I awoke around 3am with stomach pains and a dull ache across my lower back. I rubbed my belly for a little while, grabbed the heating pad for my back, and dozed in and out of consciousness for some time. By 5:30 am, I was kneeling on my bath mat and praying that whatever was fighting the good fight in my gut would give in and admit defeat already. By 6:30 am, I was violently expelling the contents of my stomach into my thankfully recently cleaned toilet. Again and again, my stomach forced the poison within back out through the front door. And all the while, writer nerd that I am, I thought, “I must remember how awful this is the next time I make one of my characters vomit.”
When I started writing this blog, I made a commitment to myself that I would post every other Tuesday without fail. Like many people, I am most organized and reliable when I have a deadline to work with. You may not have noticed that today, the day of this posting, is Wednesday. But I have. For the last two days, as I’ve continued to evacuate all fluids from my body (how is there anything left at this point?), I’ve agonized about not meeting my deadline. I let myself down.
Oh, I’d planned ahead. I already knew what I was going to write about, had even plunked out a rough draft Sunday night after my 6-1/2 hour drive home from a long weekend in Los Angeles. And then this.
In my few moments of mental clarity over the last two days, several things have occurred to me:
- It is good to plan ahead.
- It is good to be flexible even when you’ve planned ahead.
- You can find inspiration in the oddest places (kneeling beside a toilet at 6:30 am, for instance).
- Take it easy on yourself. So you missed one deadline, one goal, one or 100 days of writing. Start again tomorrow.
- While I’m still not sure if my sudden illness is due to a bug or something I ate, it will be a while before I look at tomato soup the same way.
Well, at least I already have a draft of my April 15th post. Hope to see you back then.