I’m not very good at being sick

Is it a skill to be good at being sick? I guess it could be, because I completely lack it. I’ve been struggling with a lingering cold for close to three weeks, and it finally came into fruition on Friday. Meetings cancelled, stayed out of the office, all that jazz. Saturday was slow, I was exhausted, but no harm done because hey — it’s the weekend after all. I felt better so I stayed up late, had some interesting conversations… Then I did it all over again on the Sunday, and thus my morning shower on the Monday consumed whatever energy I had to offer that day.

I always do this, just like everyone else. You start to get better, you feel better, you’re bored, so you overdo something. Like staying up late, like going to a party, like starting a project, like working too much. Whatever it is you do when you’re at the brink of not being sick anymore, the result is always the same. The backlash hits you hard, you’ll have to rest even more, that sort of thing.

My brain is the first part of me that gets well. It fires up before I’ve even really succumbed to the illness, and it has no patience whatsoever with a feverish body. My brain wants to write. It wants to write code. The brain wants to produce something because it’s the only part of my body that’s functioning. Except it’s not, it’s delusional, even more than normal.

I also write long paragraphs when I’m sick, or so I’m told

I’ve learned to take it easy when I’m sick, for medical reasons but also because most of the things I create in this state will either be thrown out, or put on ice. I never write fiction when I feel crappy, it taints the story somehow. Sometimes I squeeze in a freelance piece, blog post, or such, but never anything that requires a lot from me.

Can’t feed the brain, oh no, it’ll just barge on and through, and then suddenly I’ve launched a new site, started a company, pitched an idea that I can’t possibly follow through on because when I’m well again I have all that other stuff that fills my days.

I also write long paragraphs when I’m sick, or so I’m told.

My timing couldn’t have been better though. There are no huge looming deadlines, just some in the distance, well under control. There is, however, a princess to save. I’ve been spending my days on the couch, playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch (which I enjoy tremendously, as you might recall). It might very well be the best Zelda-game to date, rivalling A Link to the Past. I won’t be able to tell until Breath of the Wild has battled with Father Time, any comparison now would be flawed. And yet, that’s where my mind is at the moment.

This is a great game (buy from Amazon)

Open world games, where you can roam the vast landscapes and (more or less) shape your in-game destiny appeals to me. I love The Elder Scrolls and have spent so many hours playing Skyrim that it frightens me sometimes. Games like these take time, you have to immerse yourself in the world and figure out who you want to be. It’s a bit like a role-playing game that way, the old school kind with dice and pens and paper and candlelight and nerds in a basement. I like it.

This is also the only way I can make sure I get the rest I need. By chaining myself to a game — Breath of the Wild at the moment — I also make sure I don’t get caught up in something new. I won’t start at short story, rebuild my site (err…), or start any kind of a project. I’ll be too busy exploring the wilderness, farming and cooking and killing monsters and solving puzzles. Possibly writing about it, but that’s fine, it’s connected, it’s not my brain picking the locks to my self-imposed open world prison.

Anything to give myself time to get well again. Whatever works, right?

Have you read <em>Haunted Futures</em> yet? cover

Have you read Haunted Futures yet?

I’ve got a story in the science fiction/near future anthology Haunted Futures, together with the likes of Warren Ellis and Tricia Sullivan. Check it out!