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Friday, April 04, 2014

Friday Speak Out!: Sick? Stop Writing and Rest!

by Rochelle Melander

Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.—Norman Mailer

I’ve read and shared this quote from Norman Mailer multiple times. He gives good advice: real writers work even when they don’t sleep well, the kids get sick, and the basement floods.

But still, sometimes you’re just too sick to write. Instead of beating up on yourself—I should be making progress on the novel, Stephen King would be writing, I’m such a loser—give yourself a break! Instead of writing, try this:

1. Sleep. Rest helps you to recover faster. At least that’s what my mom used to tell me. Plus the dreams you have when you are sick are wacky and fun. Jot down the best dreams and use them for inspiration next time you have writer’s block.

2. Have a Film Fest. I rarely get a chance to lie in bed and watch movies. This week, I plan to work my way through my Netflix queue. Next time you have a free moment, make  list of everything you’d like to watch. Next time you are sick, tired, or just in need of some inspiration, you’ll be prepared! Sit back and enjoy.

3. Read. I’ve always got a stash of books to read, and that’s what I’m planning to do this week. Keep a stack of books you want to read “someday.” Next time you get sick or snowed in, you’ll be prepared!

4. Take notes. Being sick gives you way too much time to think…and worry! Instead of tormenting yourself, take your journal to bed and jot down your writing ideas.

5. Surf the net. I spend so much time on the computer for work, I rarely have time to seek out great blogs, resources, and other tools for myself and my clients. What do you long to know more about? Make a list of all the information you’d research online if only you had the time. Next time you have the time, you’ll know what to search for!

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Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is an author, a certified professional 
coach, and a popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). As the Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!



  1. Rochelle--Great reminders. And I love the Norman Mailer quote that you began with. We DO have to write--even when it's not an ideal time.

  2. Rochelle - enjoyed this post! When I feel bad enough to slow down, I sleep with six dogs. Watching them takes away all guilt.

  3. I always think of that quote too. I mean if the 9 to 5 world only worked when they felt perfect, there would be a lot of businesses and schools closed every day. SO, we have to treat our job as writers just like that. But you are right, sometimes, you need to rest and stay in bed. Thanks for giving us a break.


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