Monday, 10 April 2017

Spoonie Writer: Setbacks Happen


SPOONIE WRITER: SETBACKS HAPPEN

I had a bunch of stuff planned for today. I had a bunch of stuff planned for the week actually, and last week too. I do a big thing at the beginning of the month where I write down everything that needs to happen. You all know this, I've talked about it enough. I also do sticky notes for one thing every day, though some days are better than others and I get more than one thing done. Feels great and I get to tick it off and move onto the next thing. It's all good, right? And then I have days or weeks like I'm having right now. When I end up having to add today's work to tomorrow and move everything back a day. Some things, like Monday blog posts, and Friday interviews and the writing vlogs I do four times a month, they don't and can't be moved. I'm setting a schedule and I'm gonna stick to it as much as I can. So some things can't be moved, but the things that can? They're usually the things I really wanted to be doing. Like say, writing.

However, I've been a spoonie longer than I've been an adult, and a writer, and so I've learnt that there will be days when I just can't. And on those days I need to remember to be both kind to myself and to realise that just because it didn't happen *today* doesn't mean it will *never* happen. That chapter I'm supposed to be writing today? It'll get written tomorrow. The video I wanted to record, that'll be done Wednesday and the captions will be done on Thursday. It all will happen, just not today. I think it makes a lot of sense to be writing this blog piece today because I've had a hell of a few weeks. Along with anaemia and iron issue as well as the saga of my lumpy finger, I've just been flaring and stressed to the max. On top of that I've really not been writing all that much and it does bother me more than it should.

One of the things I try to remember is that I do get stuff done. One of the problems of being an indie author is that everything is done through me, by me or for me. I'm the final say on everything and that's a heavy load to carry. However, I do have help. I have my best friend who'll do a spot of this or that on days when I want to get stuff done but just can't manage it. Recently in fact, I had a bit of a moment when I realised that one of the books about to come out this summer had an obvious, like REALLY obvious issue. My problem was I didn't know if it was my nerves talking or if I spotted it because I, you know, wrote the thing. She settled down to read it and then went through it with me. So I do have support and I do have other friends who have worked as editors, graphic designers and video editors among other things. My problem isn't that I have too much to do, it's that the energy I do have is so limited that I get a little overwhelmed.

And it is easily to get overwhelmed. It's also easy to get to a point where you start to wonder if it's even worth calling yourself a "writer" when you spend the majority of the day seemingly *not* writing. I try to give myself a break. I am doing what I wanted to do. I am writing. Whether it's a blog post or a book, it's still writing, and still committing to my day job as it were. As someone who's always been harder on myself than maybe I should be, it's easy to forget the simple stuff. My body is sick, therefore I will need days to take care of those needs and doing so does not mean I have failed in my day. I've still done something productive in that I have moved forward. Even if it's not something that can be measured in words, pages and chapters, it's still something important.

So, as one spoonie to another, be kind to yourself and remember that there will be days when you just can't. And that's okay. Even if that day becomes a week, it's still okay. You as the writer, you come first. Chasing the words and the stories is a big part of your job, but you come first and it's important to remember that setbacks happen. And that, as my good friend once told me, it takes as long as it takes.

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