How to survive the quiet times: A guide for writers, part 3

Google symptomsAlmost every freelance writer experience the occasional lull. In this series of guest posts, freelance journalist Deborah Willimott offers some favourite tips for surviving those quiet times. Who knows, some of them may even lead to feature/fiction ideas!

Survival tip 3: Google your illnesses

Irrational fear over new and unusual lumps/rashes/coughs/tongue patterning is a common affliction for the work-from-home flancer. And what a stroke of luck it is that the World Wide Web is sitting there in front of us, 24/7 so that we may enjoy full, unlimited access to the sort of information that can turn gentle puzzlement into paranoia and terror of epic proportions within seconds.

Online doctoring loves a bit of worst-case-scenario. Google ‘Headache’ and you will find out everything you need to know about brain stem tumours. Google ‘Rash’ and ringworm will haunt your dreams. Google ‘Dizziness’ and The Brain and Spine Organisation of Hull will present you with a questionnaire to discover the likelihood of you losing the use of your limbs within the next 48 hours (Answer: probably).

And so if you happen to stumble across a flancer gazing in dread at a laptop screen you can make an educated guess that they have just Googled ‘Mole’ and are now looking at a page full of words like: ’spread’, ‘malignant’ and ‘nodular’ and other unpronounceable horrors.

Either that or they’ve just Facebooked an old boy/girlfriend and are looking at their wedding photos.

But at least it stops you worrying about your overdraft for a bit.

Survival tip 1: Become a ‘Curtain Twitcher’
Survival tip 2: Accept the commission from hell
Survival tip 4: Seek food
Survival tip 5: Experiment with a new computer font
Survival tip 6:  Consider organising your accounts
Survival tip 7: Cook something complicated
Survival tip 8: Dress inappropriately