Monday 4 September 2023

Spoonie Writer: Avoiding Flares & Other Things


I don't really know why, but when the warmer months hit, my pain flares up something horrible. I spend the time between like May and September really struggling with the levels of pain. I also get the same during the winter months, but that, at least, makes more sense to me. I don't stop writing and working during the summer. It would be next to impossible for me to do so, but I do find that avoiding a flare is a lot harder than it is during spring and autumn.

So how do I manage to keep going? A lot of it is good old stubbornness, deadlines creeping up and just not wanting to spend all my time in bed. Another part is that I have, thankfully, a pretty good team of doctors who've made sure that I'm medicated to a certain level to allow me to stay on top of things even when it feels next to impossible to manage.

I know that makes me very lucky, because I know that most spoonies don't have that, it sucks, and it's wrong, but I wanted to give you some tips that might help you both manage any flares, of any kind, I talk about pain because it's the very big constant right now, but it can apply to any kind of flare, and also keep going with whatever else you're trying to manage.

I put it like this because there are, usually, some reason behind why pain or whatever are getting worse. Not always the case I know, but sometimes by tracking things you're able to see that if the weather does a certain thing, or if you eat a certain food, or if you do this or that, then you have exacerbated symptoms. Tracking them in some way allows you to see a pattern. Now this pattern might not, in the end, be something you can do anything about, after all, no one controls the weather, but it might give you some forewarning of the bad days so that you can adjust your schedule and do what works best for you.


When I started to really get into a routine with my writing, and really got very organised with it, I would still have days when everything was just too much, and I would be tempted to just push through. I'd think, well tomorrow's going to be a bad day anyway, why not make it count? Do not be like me, do not make this mistake. Tomorrow might be a bad day anyway, but it can be so much worse, and why put yourself through that?

You all probably guessed that I'd say something like this. I am, always have been, always will be, a big advocate for taking time off when you need it. When it comes to deadlines and writing and publishing, it can be tempting to push through, like I said above, but it can also, if you don't meet that deadline or whatever, be tempting to beat yourself up, and feel like taking that break means failure, and it just doesn't. You've got to rest, recharge, and you're already playing life on super hard mode, don't allow yourself to get caught up in trying to achieve more than you are currently capable of.

This one applies to the healthy writers as well. There's this temptation in our society of productivity being tied to worth, that you have to always be doing a million things and if you don't, then you're somehow doing it wrong, and that, my friends, is complete crap. When you overload yourself, you're going to end up with more pain, more fatigue, more anxiety and all the more risk of a massive flare. You don't have to be doing everything possible to be valid, to succeed. Take the time you need to do the things, and you will be so much happier for it.

So there we go, those are my four tips when it comes to avoiding flares. I'm in the midst of one, like I said at the start, and have been parcelling out my work into much smaller chunks than I usually do, but that's not a bad thing, and it's something we all need to remember.

Good luck, and happy writing!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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1 comment:

  1. A lot of pain problems are related to inflammation, which is badly impacted by heat; might be relevant, might not be.

    *hugs* anyway!