🔖📚 Read Back Draft: Meghan O’Rourke.

O’Rourke’s making the rounds to promote her new book, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness which I want to read so much. (I’ve got it on hold from the library.)

There are a couple of key quotes from the interview I want to share:

when I was at my sickest, I couldn’t write anything much longer than a sentence. Not a paragraph, and definitely not a chapter.

On my worst days, I feel this way. The difference between days when my brain is zipping along in clarity and wheh it’s slogging through fog is hard to communicate. It is vast.

I was talking about this with a student the other day, and she made a great point. Writers are always being told that you need to be at your desk every day, that you have to push through. And for writers like herself — she has several chronic illnesses — that’s just not feasible. It’s an unreasonable expectation, and an unhealthy one.

Yes! I sometimes scold myself for not writing every day but this is important to remember. It’s also important to capitalize on the good days when we have them.

I wanted the book to be readable for people like me. When you suffer from brain fog, it’s tough to sustain your attention for so long. That’s also why I wanted the chapters to be relatively short and digestible.

This is awesome. I turn to essays when my brain is foggy but I want to read. I’m going to think more about what accessible literature means with respect to cognitive capacity.