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Saturday, 19 March 2016

ILLNESS FOR WRITERS: A REPORT FROM A FUGITIVE.

Slow typing days.
   That's illness in a nutshell, for writers.
   I was assailed on three fronts. A fourth annoyed me.
   What can you do? Type on.

*

I staggered and stumbled around, feeling ghastly.
   Then another fun health-based encounter descended, and troubled me greatly.
   When will this hell be over?
    Oh, when hell freezes over.
   Third time's the charm. Well, fuck. This feeling low feels lower. The fun never stops. It simply intensifies.

*

And then. I noticed something else. I'd cut myself, at the base of my thumb. When? Don't know. How? Don't care. This was one of those tiny slashes...
   The kind of injury you don't feel at the time, as it occurs during business hours - when you are busy experiencing other things. Gradually, the tear deepens...
   Eventually, the cut splits open.

*

Bad enough that I was ill, feeling wretched from the second source of trouble, which added to the first, and...
   Feeling grim from the third source, which multiplied the effects of the first two ailments...
   But the fourth stab compounded the lot, leaving me with foreboding at what lay next on the menu.
   Every move I made seemed destined to aggravate the cut. Once I felt it, the damned thing screeched like the stump of a lopped-off arm. Vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and more salt, landed on the raw ravine.
   This was just taking the fucking piss.

*

There's no such thing as a day off, if you are a writer. Writers are always on the job.
   Even if you lie there, semi-comatose from that unexpected impact with a train that jumped the tracks and came in search of your left knee...
  The writer in you struggles to the pain-bedecked surface, wondering, vaguely, how to squeeze a story out of the situation.

*

My task was to republish all of my books. When I removed material from one volume on the grounds of exclusivity, I added bonus material and increased the word-count.
   So?
   I believe in transparency in publishing. My Amazon product descriptions all list the word-count. I use the blurb in the back matter of my books, to plug all those works.
   And so...
   Altering a book's wordage means fixing the blurb AND fixing the blurb in the back matter.
   Ill, I worked my way through this drudgery, feeling terrific. (A lie was told there, surely.)
   I updated ToC, blurb, a few descriptive sections here, there...
   Hell, I even added what amounts to a money-back guarantee. If you bought the book in error, take the refund. I don't want your money if the product didn't satisfy you.
   Slow typing days. That's illness in a nutshell, for writers. Remedy. Type on. As fast as you can. If that means typing slowly, hey, at least it's typing.
   I'm much better today. That's not to say I'm feeling great. Excuse me, while I take my caffeine-based medicine.

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