The Common Cold And The Creative Brain.


Posted by Ryder Islington, Author of ULTIMATE JUSTICE, A Trey Fontaine Mystery

Maybe the title should be more specific–based on This Creative Brain. I hate getting a cold, and in fact don’t think I’ve had even a sniffle in the last ten years. Until last week.

At the most inconvenient time, when I’m in the beginning stages of revision with my wonderful, and patient, editor, I was knocked for a loop by a virus that had me sneezing and hacking, unable to sleep, with a fever, a sore throat, and a bad attitude.

The first couple of days I couldn’t concentrate on anything. My brain was just too busy sending out warriors to fight the virus. It didn’t have time for creativity. In fact, it didn’t have time for understanding simple English. I said, “Huh?” to anyone who spoke.

By day three the fever was lower, and I was able to function on a simple level, but trying to revise the story and get it back to the editor just couldn’t happen. By Sunday, the fever and headache were gone, and my throat was only sore from a raspy cough. I began with page one of the revision, reading the editor’s comments, trying to make sense of what she wanted. The easiest fixes were manageable, but I still couldn’t create new content.

It’s Monday night. My sinuses are still not up to par, and I cough so hard on occasion that I think my lungs are coming up, but my brain is at least able to create. Now, if I could just understand what  it is the editor wants me to create!

We all know that even a simple virus affects many of our abilities. We know the body and brain will ignore things that aren’t vital to survival while fighting off invaders. But I never realized how profoundly my thinking is altered by a simple cold.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to send an email to the editor and see if she can explain her comments to me, like I was a two year old.