#IWSG: Writing with COVID

Hello, friends!  Welcome to this month’s meeting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!  If you’re a writer, and if you feel in any way insecure about your writing life, click here to learn more about this amazingly supportive group!

They say write what you know.  Sometimes writers follow that advice without intending to.  There’s a recurring theme in my writing.  I never noticed it was there until my editor pointed it out.  That theme is illness.

In the epic, sprawling Sci-Fi universe I’m creating for Tomorrow News Network, a lot of people get sick.  There are lots of space viruses and space parasites floating around out there, some of them natural, others manmade (or rather, alien-made).  I also tend to use disease as a metaphor for other things.  When my editor pointed this out to me, my reaction was basically: “Oh, that makes sense.”

It’s become something of a running joke among my circle of friends.  If there’s a big, scary disease in the news, James will probably catch it.  I’ve had tuberculosis.  I’ve had West Nile virus.  I’ve had swine flu.  To be honest, I’m surprised that I managed to dodge COVID-19 for as long as I have.

But last week, I found out that I’d been exposed to somebody who later tested positive for COVID.  Shortly thereafter, I started experiencing COVID-like symptoms.  I’m currently quarantined at home, waiting patiently for the results of my COVID test.

Needless to say: not a lot of writing is happening right now.  Not a lot of anything is happening, except sleeping, chicken soup eating, and binge watching Carl Sagan videos on YouTube.  But my muse assures me she will return as soon as I’m feeling better, and we’ll probably have another scary space plague to add to our epic Sci-Fi universe.

29 thoughts on “#IWSG: Writing with COVID

    1. That’s a difficult thing to write about, I’m sure, but it’s so important to get those sorts of stories out there. People who’ve never faced serious abuse need to understand, and people who have need to know they’re not alone.


  1. Sorry to hear you’re feeling sick, whether it’s Covid or not. That can really suck the writing energy out of you. We had to get tested when it turned out that the nurse who gave us our flu shots tested positive for Covid the next day. Yikes. Turned out everything was negative. Hopefully you can say the same. Enjoy the holidays as best you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, friend! To be honest, I almost don’t care anymore if this is or isn’t COVID. It’s bad, whatever it is. The important thing is it hasn’t gotten any worse, and I think it’s starting to get better.


  2. OMG James! First & most important of all my very best wishes for a continued & rapid recovery with no long lasting impact. But I have to add, I’d no idea that you were some sort of typhoid Mary. Should we rechristen you Pandemic Pailly?

    I’ll get my coat …

    Serious though, take good care.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I had something similar back in September. Fatigue, headaches, a high temperature, and a complete and sudden loss of smell and taste. I was convinced it was COVID, but tested negative. The false negative rate can be as high as 30%.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sounds a lot like my situation. The loss of taste was particularly alarming to me, because I’d never experienced that before.

        I was tested fairly late in the process, though. Apparently the false negative rate is lower for people who get tested more than four days after symptoms emerge. So I’m fairly confident that my negative result is a true negative.

        Liked by 1 person

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