Monday, February 23, 2009

The Sick Writer

Well, folks, I'm sick. All these bugs finally caught up to me. I feel like I spent more than I had to give on my technical writing at work today, but I slogged onward, focused on getting the mission done. Was it my best work? No. But, you know, it wasn't half bad. It was accurate, and that's always a huge plus when it comes to writing training and reference material.

After clocking out, I crashed on the bed for half an hour or so until the family got home. I could have slept for a week to be honest. I’m tired, scratch that, I’m dead tired! On days like these, man, it would be easy to retreat to the bedroom, snuggle up underneath those comfortable sheets, and call those 8 hours of research and technical writing my quota for the day. But I’m not going to do that, no sir!

As some of you may know, Jim Murdoch has been stopping by HuntingtheMuse for quite some time now. Putting it straight, I was absolutely floored this morning when I dropped by his blog, The Truth about Lies. It seems, unbeknownst to a lot of us, that the last few months have not been good for Jim. Every day this talented author has been fighting a plethora of maladies along with the depression he’s struggled with for quite some time. And yet, Jim’s writing transcends the murky abyss with all the lightheartedness of a conversation between old friends. It’s that welcoming aura that grabs hold of you and draws you in. Reading his post today wasn’t like sitting with that aunt who drifts off into dementia and relates all the illnesses and a few imaginary illnesses that she’s been burdened with. You know what I’m talking about. Those conversations that beg for attention and scream that we don’t suffer as they suffer.

No, Jim laid his humanity on the line and gave it to us firsthand. He told us of his struggle, not as a cry for attention and not as a means of perverse boasting, but as one old friend to another.

So, while I may only be dealing with a cloudy head that pulses with heat, and an achy back that screams at the slightest movement, even though my legs feel like boulders and my fingers think faster than my brain, and despite my ragged coughs, I will persevere today, and I will be thinking of Jim while I do.

Please take a moment to stop by Jim’s blog and take a look around. If you’ve never met him, today is a good day to get acquainted, he’s got plenty of archives to peruse through and many a fine read.


Jim Murdoch said...

I'm glad you read the blog that way, Brady. I just left a comment on another writer's post which she headed 'Excuses' and my opening line was: "What's the difference between reasons and excuses?" When I wrote that post a couple of nights ago you are quite right, I wanted my readers to feel like an old friend that I could go for a stroll with and tell my woes to. And what I was presenting were my reasons and not simply excuses.

The Scots are a straightforward people and not heavily into mollycoddling; we gird up our loins and get on with it. It's the way I was brought up. I remember when my dad had his first heart attack and was carted off to hospital one of the men from his work came round to see where he was and I'll never forget what Big Ronnie said when I opened the back door: "What wrong with your mum, Jimmy? Your dad's not at work." My mum! It never crossed his mind that my dad would lose a single day's work on his own account.

I don't cope with being sick very well which is odd since I've been poorly since I was a little boy. You would think I would have. It wasn't easy to tell you all I was cutting back. I had my reasons but they felt like excuses. Everyone has something to contend with so why make a big issue about what I have. At least I have all my limbs and most of my faculties.

That said, what I see with you is a lot of me. You clearly work long hours and then come home and try and work some more. And you think because you're young you can handle the pressure and you'll just bounce back. And you will for a time. I was 24 when my first major depression hit me. I had been overworking since I was 16 and that's how life finally kicked me into touch. I had never experienced anything like it. I quite honestly thought I was going out of my mind. And roughly every eight years (32, 40, 48) I've been hit by another one. I guess that's how long it takes me to burn out. So, in all seriousness, watch yourself, Brady. It may not be Depression with you but your body will only put with so much.

Unknown said...

Thanks Jim! I took your advise today and called in sick. I've spent many hours catching up on sleep and drinking my fluids. My wife was even kind enough to make me some of her delicious chicken noodle soup.

You're so right about burning myself out. I am not looking forward to this summer, it's supposedly going to be worse than last year. I can't even imagine how that will play out.

You hang in there and get feeling better. You have some very good reasons to cut back for a while and we'll still be around when you get out of the slump you're in.

Anonymous said...

Hello Brady,

Your articles are very well written for someone who's sick. But do whatever that would help you feel well and happy.

It's always good to see you around. Your articles are one of my favorite reads.

Keep on!

Eric S. said...

Get well soon, and try to take care of those bugs that are harassing you. There's nothing worse than the spring time flu, it can really bring you down.

I'm off to check out Jim's article. I like the way you describe it.