Thursday 25 April 2024

Illness and creativity

I used to notice when my children were little that after a bout of illness there would be a spurt in their physical growth and perhaps more intriguingly there would be a sudden deeper understanding of something, an increase in their intellectual capacities and better mastery of a skill.

Recently I caught a bug that was going round. This meant a few days of fever, tiredness and coughing. The fever disappeared after three days but the cough and tiredness went on for ten.

I wasn’t ill enough to stay in bed and it was fortunate that it coincided with the Easter break so many of my usual people-facing activities had been suspended for a while.

I did continue with my writing and my routine marketing, editing and book-designing.

But I couldn’t bring myself to organise my book launch, a meeting for the editors I work with or some applications for funding for some projects.

As soon as I felt better I was able to complete those tasks more joyfully and with more inspiration than normal.

Illness seems to give us a useful pause. I wonder whether we become ill because something big is brewing. Or whether illness happens because we have overdone it.  Whichever is the truth, and I’m suspecting it’s a mixture of the two, it does seem that after illness we become more proactive and more creative.           

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