Monday, November 14, 2016

Christina Hollis—Back In The Old Routine...

In sickness and in health...
I've had to take a break from writing over the past few weeks. My son was born with several health problems, and now sees consultants for three different conditions. This involves regular cross-county trips to hospital for check-ups and treatment. 

I fit my writing around these, and school runs. My system worked well until my husband was felled by Campylobacter. This is a horrible form of food poisoning. He spent the best part of three weeks in bed (and the bathroom), except for the times when I was ferrying him between the emergency department, various tests and doctor's appointments, and pharmacies. 

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Quite frankly, during that time writing was the last thing on my mind. I rarely had time to think, let alone sit down. I'm still trying to catch up, but what happened to my husband has made me take a long, hard look at my own life. 

My Other Half has a high pressure job, and he's on call around the clock as his firm has clients around the world. In many respects it's like writing (apart from the size and regularity of his earnings!).  Pressure is good—it's what drives us to succeed. Writers can react to the pressure of deadlines, get the work done and move on. The stress of a piece being rejected, or lack of recognition for the novel you've battled to create is bad. Very bad. 

Too much stress crushes your immune system. Problems snowball until your health breaks down, and you're forced to take a break. When you return, clearing the backlog while trying to push forward traps you in a downward spiral.
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I cope by planning. I schedule my writing time, to include regular breaks to take the dog out for a walk. That gives both of us fresh air and exercise. A good thing too, as I love to relax by baking. Those calories have to be burned off somehow! 

I stop work well before bedtime, and spend an hour or so relaxing and looking for laughs. Nobody can function at the top of their game if they're too wound up to get enough sleep. 

From now on I'm not going to answer the phone on its first ring, or reply to emails the second they come in. I only wish I could persuade my husband to do the same!

Incidentally, although the Department Of Public Health have investigated us, our relatives, friends, neighbours, work colleagues and everywhere we've visited (from several weeks before my husband fell ill until after he stopped being infectious), the source of his infection has never been traced. 

What's your tip for a productive working day? I'm offering a copy of my short romance My Dream Guy for a comment picked at random, on 21st November.

When she isn't cooking, gardening or beekeeping, Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women.  Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she’s sold nearly three million books worldwide. You can catch up with her at, on Twitter, Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at
Her current release, Heart Of A Hostage, is published by The Wild Rose Press and available at  worldwide, and from in the US.


dstoutholcomb said...

I haven't found it yet. Making a to-do list can help. Fell off the wagon on that one myself.


Christina Hollis said...

I know all about falling off the wagon with that one! Making a list of what I'd achieved each day made me feel a *bit* better, at least for a while ;) Thanks for commenting, Denise.

Christina Hollis said...

Congratulations, Denise, you've won a free copy of my ebook, 'My Dream Guy'! If you'd like to send your email address to me at christinahollis(at), I'll forward it to you. Thanks for commenting!