Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Writer's Life: Permission To Be Sick

Ah, Spring. I knew you were here even before the calendar told me. Any other Spring allergy sufferers out there?

Today I write about another perk to the Writer's Life: Guilt Free Sick Days!

Yes, cube life does sometimes grant sick days but you wanna know a secret about those? Your employer really doesn't want you to use them. Oh, they'll say it's ok to take a sick day but just try taking one. Go ahead. I dare ya. Anybody else call in sick and get that "you are a bad employee" vibe from their boss?

I always did - from the last boss, anyway. I went through a tremendous amount of stress first thing in the morning while trying to decide if it was worth the agony to call in sick or should I just suck it up and get my sick self into the office? I usually went in. Didn't get a whole lot done but at least I was a warm body in a seat for the day. And that's really all that matters in cube life.

You see, the thing is - and this where the rulers of cube life are short-sighted - a person comes to work sick, they spread that sickness to their co-workers and soon, half the office is out sick. However, if that sick employee had been allowed to stay home at the first sign of the illness, that might not have happened.

Now, you should know that I was the kind of employee that if I was calling in sick, rest assured, I was sick. Only once in my life did I ever call in sick when I really wasn't and by the end of that day, I had a stress migraine from worrying that I would get caught. Never did it again.

But that's cube life for you. As a full-time writer, sick days are something completely different. For one thing, nobody makes me feel like I'm a bad writer because I've decided to take a sick day. I mean, the only person who could do that would be me and since I'm the sick one in the first get the picture.

I'm not saying that writer's don't also answer to a higher authority. If a writer is working with a publisher, they will have deadlines to meet but generally, from what I've read, those deadlines are achievable even if the writer takes a few days off to recuperate from illness. Even sick, a writer can do a little something every day if they feel up to it.

I have accomplished very little this week. I did make assignment deadlines over the weekend, but that's about it. Those pieces were pretty much already written anyway, they just needed a quick tweak before sending them off. After that, I succumbed to the Spring plague with a clear conscience.

One of those pieces may get a little more work. The Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition deadline is approaching and I am considering sending in my entry. The max word count is 4000, so I can flesh out my story a bit more using my instructor's suggestions. Deadline for early entry is May 4. Check out the Writer's Digest website for more information if this sounds like something you might like to try.

Speaking of being productive, I'd better get cracking here. I have a webinar recording to watch/listen to and tons of reading to catch up on before composing the two writing assignments due on Sunday.

My Writer's Life in action.

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