I’m a couple of days late with this post, but for good reason. I’ve been sick as a dog for a week now. I thought for sure it would come and go in a couple of days, but this is Day 7 now and I sound like a frog. This hasn’t been good for my writing (don’t tell my agent, but when I get sick like this, the first thing I cut from my to-do list is my novel writing), but I’ve been able to keep up with my other work. As much as it sucks being sick for this long, I have to admit that it’s helped me appreciate the writer’s life.
It’s easy to whine about the hardship of writing—the market is always changing, publishing is always changing, Facebook algorithms are always changing, and some how we’re supposed to keep up with all of that while still creating captivating, can’t-put-them-down novels that agents and publishers will love. Not easy.
But then the Cold-Cough of 2019 sets in and, despite all the tissues and phlegm, I saw things clearly. Sometimes the writer’s life is the easy life.
- I don’t have to go to work when I’m sick. That doesn’t mean I don’t work (there’s always writing and editing to be done), but I don’t have to go I don’t even remember what it was like to get dressed up, fight traffic, and sit behind a desk all day interacting with people when all you want to do is put on you sweats and take a nap.
- I can nap when I’m sick. Rest is crucial to your health. When you work in an office, you’re out of luck. For the writer, however, naptime can happen. And it does. Often. Which is fine! Because I can work, nap, work, nap, work, and nap for twelve hours if I need to.
- What’s dressing up? The only thing worse than being sick is being uncomfortable when you’re sick. But I work from home, so not only can I slip work in between naps, I can wear my most comfortable, office-inappropriate clothes to do it.
- Have computer, will travel. When I finally beat this thing (it’s gotta happen soon, right?), I’m free to move about the cabin—figuratively and literally. One of my favorite parts of my job is that I can do it from anywhere (even on a plane, which happens often). Every winter I spend a few weeks in Las Vegas with my family to get out of the cold and enjoy some sun; my work goes with me. I attend writing and editing conferences around the country, and I always bring some work along. There’s not much that can stop me from writing or editing one more chapter.
Writing a novel is hard. The writer’s life, however, is really a matter of perspective. For the past week—as I’ve killed off a box of tissues and a bottle of cough syrup—I’ve decided to focus on the good. This really isn’t a bad way to live (she types from her over-sized reading chair while wearing leggings and baggy sweater while flanked by her dogs). Not bad at all.
Karin Beery – Writer. Editor. Novelist. Karin writes contemporary fiction with a healthy dose of romance. Represented by literary agent Steve Hutson at WordWise Media, her debut novel, Summer Plans and Other Disasters, released September 15, 2018.
When she’s not writing fiction, she’s editing through her business, Write Now Editing. And when she’s not doing either of those, she teaches Substantive Editing for Fiction and Romance Editing through the PEN Institute. Karin is also the Managing Editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, where they publish stories that entertain, encourage, inspire, and enlighten.