You are plunging into a pit of despair. You are sick, your brain is in a fog. Thoughts seem to flick like wraiths, just out of reach. You can’t think but you have writing deadlines: a blog post; a story for a competition; a manuscript that you have ideas for and you want to write but you just want to crawl back to bed, curl up and sleep until you are well.
Oh am I hearing you! The last few weeks have been one thing after another. Which, as my daughter and close friends pointed out to me, is not unusual. If there is a strange virus to get; weird allergic reactions to odd things (i.e. anaphylactic to Strepsils); infections that don’t respond to antibiotics; then I will get it/have it.
Chuck into the mix living with Fibromyalgia, commonly known as a muscle disorder, but it can affect every part of your body and nearly every system (which is probably why the above things happen to me), then I really know how you are feeling. Winter is never a good season for me. My legs feel like lead and it is exhausting having to drag them around. And my muscles and tendons tear just because they can. And I work part time as well.
And over the last two weeks I’ve had double ear infections. One ear has cleared up the other has not. Then I blacked out Friday night and I am going through tests to find out why.
So how do I manage to get a blog post up nearly every week? How do I continue to write stories and enter them into competitions and submit to publishers? How am I able to be active on social media? How do I manage one critique a week for my online critique group? And how do I all these things, have a have friends visit, go to my monthly writer’s group, enjoy my life, as well as live with Fibro? (Notice I said ‘live with’ and not ‘suffer from’)
Here is my secret. Are you ready?
I just do it!
Ahhh! I hear you screaming at me! Noooo! It can’t be that simple. Well...it isn’t. I do have strategies in place to help me through.
Strategies that work:
Underpinning all this is the answers to some questions that I asked myself at the beginning of my writing journey – when I decided two years ago to start writing seriously. So I put them to you.
Serious questions to ask yourself:
It was only after I had taken the time to ask myself these soul-searching questions, come up with the answers, and write them down, as well as being able to articulate it concisely in a few short sentences, that I began to be able to write whenever.
Yes there are times that I feel so sick that I don’t want to move. I rest when I need to. I take time out when I need to. How I manage my illness alongside my writing is the main hurdle that I have had to overcome. I don’t use excuses. I do what I do because I love it and my motivation comes from deep within me. Nothing is going to hold me back from doing what I am doing.
Have a quick look around my website. It won’t take you long to find out what keeps me motivated on my brain fog and unwell days.
But…yes, there is a but…what works for me may not work for you. You just have to try different strategies starting somewhere. Anywhere is better than no-where.
So I hope that this post has helped in some way so that the next time you feel unwell or your brain is in a fog, you'll know what to do. Happy writing!
What works for you?
On my blog you will find:
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