Work Day, Sick Day

sick day

Stock photo via GoDaddy

The Thanksgiving Plague finally got me. I hadn’t had so much as a sniffle for six months. Several of my family members were sick in the days surrounding Thanksgiving–my daughter’s fiancé only came out from his room to give the 17 assembled guests a wave at the end of the feast. Fortunately, I didn’t get sick until Monday, after everyone was gone.

I don’t always work when I’m sick, but I always work when I have a deadline. In some ways, I like to write or edit when I’m ill because the illness keeps me in one place–bed, if I can manage it. As an HDW (Highly Distractible Writer, which I just made up), anything that keeps me seated for long periods of time is A Good Thing. I don’t care if it’s the kind of thing that demands two boxes of tissues and a box of Sucrets. (Do they even make Sucrets anymore? I loved those things.)

I edited for eleven hours today. I know that because I tracked it on Office Time which even keeps track of the time you’re away from your keyboard for your counting convenience. On a normal editing day, I get in about six or seven hours, with a bit of web surfing, dog walking, and errand-running at their edges. It’s amazing what a person can get done when they just toss the dogs outside and remind them to do their business, and fling ten bucks at their son so he can bring home pizza for those who can eat.

Today my protag opined about how much she likes to spend the occasional day reading in bed. Doesn’t that sound lovely? Maybe it was transferred wishful thinking on my part because, you know, deadline.

Do you write through the flu or migraines or colds or even broken body parts? Or are you sensible and take good care of yourself by putting all your mental and physical energy into getting better?

This entry was posted in Writing and tagged , , , by Laura Benedict. Bookmark the permalink.

About Laura Benedict

Laura Benedict is the Edgar- and ITW Thriller Award- nominated author of eight novels of suspense, including The Stranger Inside (Publishers Weekly starred review). Her Bliss House gothic trilogy includes The Abandoned Heart, Charlotte’s Story (Booklist starred review), and Bliss House. Her short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and in numerous anthologies like Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads, The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers, and St. Louis Noir. A native of Cincinnati, she lives in Southern Illinois with her family. Visit her at

19 thoughts on “Work Day, Sick Day

  1. Laura, I’m astonished that you could edit while sick, especially as an HDW. When I’m sick my thinking gets muddled. I’m slow to answer simple questions much less read, write, or edit. (Oh dear, I wonder what that says about my neurons.) Anyway, you’ve impressed me!

  2. I’ve got the flu, so I feel your pain, Laura! Yep, I work no matter what (I’m on deadline too). The most difficult time was when I broke my collarbone a couple years ago, which also caused a frozen shoulder. That same shoulder now re-freezes every fall (not unusual with RA). I’m less likely to socialize on social media when I’m down-but-not-out. Instead, I block out the world and write. For me, there’s no better way to escape pain, body aches, and cold/flu symptoms.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • The flu?! You are a true trouper, Sue. I’m so sorry it got you. I’m wildly impressed that you even commented today.

      I didn’t know you have RA. My dad has it as well and I know it can be capricious in its attacks. You are a dynamo of energy and dedication!

  3. Hope feel better soon!
    Also be aware JSB has an excellent post today at

    Last year 4 surgeries (all for different problems) ending with nerve decompression and cervical fusion three days after I released book #2 in my suspese-thriller series. My series involves medical settings and action – unfortunately the writing process did as well.
    BTW thanks to a lot of dedicated folks I’m 100% (playing basketball and writing pain-free)

  4. I take a nice wifi-ed bus as part of my Thanksgiving trek to Michigan and it’s two hours of quiet where I usually get a lot done.

    I am THIS CLOSE to finishing my final rewrites and fired up the puter when I got on the bus. Got the worst case of car sickness I ever got. Closed puter and sat there and moaned til I got to airport.

    Hope you feel better, Laura!

  5. I’m impressed by you writers who can and do work when you’re ill. When I get sick, I whimper and whine and ask my wife for more water, Pepsi, and tomato soup.

    I can’t even watch TV or read.

    I salute you. Which I could not do if I were ill.

  6. Pingback: Drama...Alpaca? - Laura Benedict

  7. Pingback: Writing Links 12/4/17 – Where Genres Collide

Comments are closed.