On Writer’s Block And The Frustrations Of Being Ill

January 24, 2014


I have writer’s block. But not only do I have writer’s block, I have a tummy bug. And at this point in time I really don’t know which is worse.

I’ve sat down at my computer 3 or 4 times this week (before the bathroom became my best friend), written things and then deleted them straight away. Or written them, re-read them the next day and rolled my eyes to the heavens. Because, really? I thought writing was my thing, it’s what I like to do the most. And not being able to write properly makes me crosser than anything else, which is followed by being all stifled, all bunged up with thoughts. Like having a blocked nose that just won’t shift, even with one of those woozy-inducing olbas oil tampon shaped things.

Here’s what I was planning to write about this week: how everyone on Facebook pretends to be all smiley, happy and shiny when really they’re all dark and moody (uplifting, right?) and FEELINGS. Because Facebook and Feelings make for a winning combination of blog fodder, don’t you think? No I don’t think. It makes for a pile of words that got saved from being launched into cyberspace with one flick of the delete button.


Anyway, my writer’s block has been further exacerbated by number 4 (that’s my house) becoming an incubator of tummy upsets. Elfie was the first to go down on Tuesday, but wait, there’s a lovely story behind this: we spent last Saturday in London at a blogging event hosted by my favourite PR gurus at Bump (happy 4th Birthday!) and were lucky enough to hang out with some of my favourite bloggers: Katie and Lucy, Chloe and Alice. And then there were the ones I didn’t get to hang out with as much as I would have liked to: My Two Mums, Jennie, Katy, Lauren. It was a veritable blogging feast and the day put on by Bump was super.

But because our children are blogging children  they got on brilliantly, but unfortunately this meant they obviously shared all their germs as the families of Katie, Chloe and me have spent this week feeling rather sorry for ourselves. Woe is us! It was kind of worth it though, what’s a few germs between blogging friends?

So, on Tuesday Elfie went down with the bug and we spent a rather lovely day cuddling on the sofa with our best friends Peppa, Ben and Holly. Those quiet times are so precious, the unexpected moments when you have nothing to worry about save which pyjamas you’re planning on slobbing about it and how long you’re going to cuddle for before cooking lunch. Apart from not sleeping a wink the night before (both of us) I really enjoyed this quiet slow day together.


She was back to normal (ish) on Wednesday which was good because that’s when I got sick. Elfie was a very good nurse: “Mummy, you lie here on the sofa so I can stroke your hair, we’ll watch CBeebies then you can rest. Don’t drink your water too fast or you’ll be sick, Mummy” *waggly finger*. I honestly don’t know where she gets it from.

And that’s where I am now. Sick, ill, poorly. I THOUGHT I got better yesterday, even took a shower and a drive to Waitrose for contraband white bread and Marmite. But then something happened to me last night and I sunk into the deepest darkest depths of tummy bug hell again which really sucks because all I want to do is feel normal and healthy again. I want to go to the gym! I want to eat stuff! I want a glass of wine!!

The thing that’s most frustrating about being ill is that it leaves you completely helpless. In the old times you might be glad of a couple of days off work with a DVD but now, I got stuff that needs doing. I need to work, to see people, to parent my children. And I can’t do that when I’m groaning, moaning and feeling sorry for myself in bed. It’s a terrible feeling and one that leaves me feeling so very thankful for my (general good) health. 60 hours of lying in bed wanting to sleep, read, eat, drink, ANYTHING, but not being able to because your tummy hurts too much and the room is spinning… it’s the most frustrating feeling in the world and is the reason I just suck my hangovers up and deal with them these days. There’s no time for self-pity if it’s self-inflicted.

But NO MORE. I just ate a piece of toast (little victories!) and am going to drink water like it’s my job today. I’ve painted my nails, watched three episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and taken part in a Twitter party so things are definitely on the up. I’m going to a Burns Night party tomorrow which I WILL be well for because it’s Black Tie, and there’s nothing I don’t like if not Black Tie. And I just wrote a whole blog post so this must mean my writer’s block is over.


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  • Reply Harriet January 24, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I hope you feel better soon! There’s nothing worse than being ill when you’re a mum. I had an upset stomach on Wednesday too and can’t wait to be chipper again! I’m also having a bout of the old writers block and am thinking about whether to take a blogging break!x

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Thanks Harriet! Hope you’re feeling better with your tummy (and writers block too!) x

  • Reply Mammasaurus January 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Nothing kicks the ass of writers block more than the moment when you write about having writers block. BANG and the stain is gone. Block I mean, the block is gone. I hope hope Chez Toast gets back to full health asap :)

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Yessss my mojo is back! You were so right, writing about having writers block totally smooshed my writers blog into the ground. Take that!

  • Reply Cakesphotoslife (Angie) January 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    I do hope your all better soon and that you manage to get to your black tie event and have a great time x

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Thank you Angie – I did make it out!

  • Reply maggy, red ted art January 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Hope you find your writing mojo again soon!

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 10:54 am

      thanks Maggy! I’m happy to report it’s back :)

  • Reply Katie Albury January 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Tummy bugs are the worst…like you say you can’t actually enjoy being ill in the slightest and you spend your time remembering what its like to be normal! The only good that comes out of a sickness bug is a few pounds shed. I’ve actually been known to try and snog people with the bug to try and knock off a few pounds myself…desperate times call for desperate measures. Haha!

    Hope you feel better soon and that you can enjoy your party!
    Katie x

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Hahah, now maybe there’s a business idea? I should collect my germs and hand them out to those who fancy losing a couple of pounds ;) x

  • Reply Katie @mummydaddyme January 24, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Was lovely to see you, germs and all. Hope you feel better and enjoy your black tie do. Black tie, what’s that? Been so bloody long since I went to something nice! x

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:16 am

      The black tie was such a treat! Although I was walking like a baby giraffe in my heels. Had totally forgotten how to operate heels! x

  • Reply Kim Carberry January 24, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Aww! I hope you are feeling better soon x

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Thanks Kim! Well on the road to recovery now x

  • Reply Katy Beale January 24, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Oh no, being poorly sucks – and having to look after children on top of that sucks even more!

    There’s been some terrible bugs going around this Christmas. Ones, that like yours, seem to go away and then return again in full vengeance.

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:22 am

      It’s one after another with the children isn’t at? Toddlers and their lovely lovely germs…

  • Reply Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer January 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I feel your pain – that single mother and being ill business – glad it hasn’t beaten you :) x

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Luckily I had some help from my mum this time around… there’s nothing harder than single mum parenting while being ill! x

  • Reply Carolin January 24, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    I’m sure your blogging spirits will return with the ability to keep food down. Just take the time you need. This is all meant to be fun. Hope you all feel better soon x

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Thanks Carolin :) x

  • Reply Lu January 25, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Love your blog but as a scottish fan i have to point out on behalf of our national poet that it is Burns night (not Burn’s). Offered with love!

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Lu – errant apostrophe duly removed!

  • Reply Chloe January 25, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    I want to hear about Facebook though! It does seem to be that Facebook = gloating, Twitter = moaning…. Or maybe that’s just my feed ; )

    Lovely to meet you (sober) on Saturday. I say sober, because by the time the next Britmums rolls around I will be cradling wine rather than a small baby.

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:30 am

      That sounds about right! But I always think that if people gloat THAT much about being THAT happy then really they must be mostly miserable?
      Yay wine! I’m with you on cradling wine rather than a baby :) x

  • Reply Lauren January 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    It was so lovely to meet you, although once again I was starstruck, even by Elfie when she talked to me! Next time I will be cool and calm and will talk to you properly.
    I hope you feel better now and that your writers block is gone asap xx

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Heheh :) it was lovely to see you too. We must all do it again soon! x

  • Reply Tess January 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    I hope you’re feeling better – and have managed to leave the germs behind and go out!

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Much better, and I made it out! Thanks Tess x

  • Reply Boo Roo and Tigger Too January 26, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Aww you poor thing, feeling poorly is the worst. I really hope that you are over the worst of it

    • Reply alice January 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Much better at last… I feel human again, hoorah!! x

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