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Being sick is a horrible experience. For a weakling like myself, the frequency makes it hard to live. Yet for three days in a row, I tried to write a story around being sick or being weak. Each of the story lines have been either naive or just whiny. I cannot seem to find an angle that is worth exploring.

This reminded me of Virginia Woolf’s wonderful quote from her piece ‘Being Ill’:

“Consider how common illness is, how tremendous the spiritual change that it brings, how astonishing, when the lights of health go down, the undiscovered countries that are then disclosed, what wastes and deserts of the soul a slight attack of influenza brings to view, what precipices and lawns sprinkled with bright flowers a little rise of temperature reveals, what ancient and obdurate oaks are uprooted in us by the act of sickness, how we go down in the pit of death and feel the waters of annihilation close above our heads and wake thinking to find ourselves in the presence of the angels and the harpers when we have a tooth out and come to the surface in the dentist’s arm-chair and confuse his “Rinse the mouth-rinse the mouth” with the greeting of the Deity stooping from the floor of Heaven to welcome us – when we think of this, as we are so frequently forced to think of it, it becomes strange indeed that illness has not taken its place with love and battle and jealousy among the prime themes of literature”

And I agree. I have written about love quite a bit. Battle and jealousy are themes I feel I can attempt in the future. But illness seems to be a tough one to wrap my mind around. For someone who falls sick a lot, I thought it would be easier. Since for me, a lot of my writing feeds off my personal experience. Over time, I have been able to detach myself from the experiences enough for the writing to be imaginative. But the triggers seem to be from my life.


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