Monday 22 August 2022

Spoonie Writer: When Life Throws A Curveball


As someone with multiple chronic conditions, I'm well-versed in what happens when everything that can go wrong with your health, actually does go wrong. Right now, at the time of writing this, I'm facing up a heavy month of work, and still in developmental edits, before moving in to line edits hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks. All of that is because life threw me one hell of a curveball. I'm struggling to keep my head above water, and while it's the end of the month and I only have a few more bits and pieces to do, it still feels like a whole lot to manage!

So what do you do when you're a writer or author, and you're also chronically ill? How do you cope when things all get messed up, your health takes a nosedive and you know that you're not going to meet that deadline, self-imposed or not, and you're just really very much on the struggle bus? I wish I had some simple answers for you, I wish that I could tell you that it's just a case of doing x and then y and boom, all fixed. Spoilers, it doesn't work like that, it never has, and never will.

What I do when life hits me like that is I take stock of what absolutely has to happen. Like I know that blog posts and the like aren't going to magically write themselves, any more than my drafting is going to do the same. I know that I can't just cross my fingers and close my eyes and hope that edits won't be too bad, because if they're gonna need rewrites, we're back to that whole writing not doing it by magic. So I take stock, and I work out which of the fires I need to deal with right now.

For me, that's getting the edits done, and getting the book onto the next stage of the process, so everything else becomes a secondary task. If I have the energy to do more, great, if not, everything I have is poured into doing that thing that can not wait no matter how much I wish it could. If, like me, you're an indie author, some of that is on your shoulders. I chose to publish this book when I did, and I was the one who dropped the ball earlier in the process so I'm the one that's gotta suck it up and keep going.

Now, having said that, there comes a point where you just can't suck it up. You know me, I've always been a big proponent of breaks and taking the time you need to recharge, and now isn't any different. If at all possible, if you can push back a deadline, or you can move this or that and make it so you have a little wiggle room, then do it. My issue is that right now, the deadlines have been pushed as far as they can be. My editor has other commitments, I need to get the book finished in time for line edits and proof reading, and I have a deadline that I can't move. In those cases, when life throws you a curveball, you might find that you want to throw it back at life, but you can't always do that.

Stress happens to everyone, and it happens to all authors and writers, no matter which publishing path they've chosen. The problem is that when you're a spoonie, you're also already working on hard mode, so even the smallest thing can throw everything off. I don't know whether all will go smoothly, because I don't have a time machine, all I can do is keep my head down, keep working and hoping that I will come through this unscathed. As I've said before, something always goes wrong during the run up to release, and now isn't any different.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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