First of all, please let me apologize for the lack of ‘Thoughts for Friday’ last week. As those of you who read my last blog post will know, I found myself struck down with a nasty strain of the flu. The enforced rest that I’ve had to take has played havoc with my blogging and catching up on the posts of others. I’m getting back to full health slowly and I’m hoping within a week or two that I’ll be back to my normal self.
Back to the real point of this post: This week’s quote comes from John Steinbeck. I could tell you numerous things about this author but you probably know them already. Let’s just say that he was one of the most influential and memorable authors of his time and that his works still live on to this day.
I probably chose this particular quote as a way of reassuring myself that not getting thousands of words a day written when you’re sick is not to be seen as some sort of failure. I am the world’s worst sick person and an impatient patient. I HATE not having the energy to complete even simple tasks and the fact that I’ve been unable to produce my usual output of writing throughout these past couple of weeks has eaten away at me.
The flu has really knocked me for six and so I have had to prioritize how and when to complete certain tasks which has meant a great deal of things have fallen by the wayside during that time. I constantly push myself to do more and feel as if I am not achieving anything by taking a break and resting. I know I am placing unnecessary pressure on myself when I don’t actually have a timetable in which I have to complete certain tasks. I am putting the pressure on myself to live up to unreasonable demands and then finding myself frustrated when I inevitably fall short.
My best friend told me that I should take a few days and allow myself to recover properly and she had a point, I do need to slow down and take it easy. It’s not like I have a deadline for a novel that needs to be at the publishers (although believe me, I wish I did!). There is nothing on my plate right now that can’t wait a day or two and trying to force myself to push past my body’s limitations is not going to help my physical health or that of my writing.
Steinbeck’s words of wisdom serve to remind that a 400 page novel is not written in a day, much in the way that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I need to be free of the pressure that I place upon myself and be aware of my own limitations. Forcing myself to be something I’m not or complete something that I cannot is not going to help me in any way. I need to listen to my body and do only that which I am capable of at the time. The rest will come with time and a full recovery, there’s no need to push myself now.