Monday 22 January 2024

Life Hiccups & Writing - The Creative Process


One part of writing is that it can be all consuming and so when something goes wrong in your life outside of writing, it has a horrible knock on effect. Like at the time of writing this, it's nearly the end of the year and I only have these posts to write and a video to record and I'm done, but I'm also sick with a horrible cold. I had all my plans, but my body didn't get the memo and so now I'm having to balance being sick with getting some work done.

That's only one example of a life hiccup, there can be many more. Sometimes you'll be working a day job and then find that work there has gotten really busy and you can't dedicate as much time to writing as you'd like. Other times it's a loved one getting sick, or needing to take time away from writing because of other life commitments. Whatever the reasoning, these life hiccups happen and sometimes we just have to roll with them. Sometimes they can come at the worst time and you find that you're having to juggle a hiccup and a deadline that can't be moved or changed and it just feels like the world is conspiring against you!

So what do I do when I have one of these life hiccups? Like right now I planned to have these posts all written and scheduled earlier in the week, but I was just not well enough to manage it and so I've had to shift things around. I could have put them off until the new year, but I also knew that with the busy month ahead of me that wasn't going to work, so it's a case of having had days off earlier than planned to try and recover from this cold. That's one example, let me give you some more tips.


This is something that's worked for me before. I basically do only the bare minimum and allow the rest to pile up for when I'm more able to deal with them. Sometimes I can 'catch up' with myself at a later date, but other times it's just a constant rush of trying to just do what has to be done and leave the rest alone. It can be irritating and anxiety inducing for me, but I am also not going to push myself to breaking point just because of things that can and should be put off.

For those that know me, I'm a very organised person. While I do use a paper planner, and things in there are, pretty much, set in stone, I also use my iPad calender and because of that I can, and often do, switch things around when needed. This gives me some time to breathe and allows me to shuffle my work until I can get to a point where things are gonna be more manageable.


Now, for things like getting sick, you can't really plan that in advance. It happens and you just have to live with it. But there are always chances that you can plan for the eventuality of a hiccup. Like one of the ways I work is to do a month's worth of certain things the month before. Like these blog posts have been written in December even though they won't go live until January. This means that when something, like getting sick, happens, I can easily leave them off and only do them as necessary, as I said above.

But if you know that the busy season at work is about to hit, then you can plan around that. Whether that's deciding to get more work down before the hiccup, or planning to do more afterwards, then it's all about what works for you. There are other hiccups that you can see coming, and for those, trying to plan around them is the best bet.

One big thing I think as a writer, especially one with chronic illness and disability thrown into the mix, is knowing that even if everything is going well and things are moving along swimmingly, there will always be hiccups thrown in from somewhere. Some, like I said above, can be planned for. Others will hit you and you'll be floundering and trying to find a way to keep your head above the water.

I know it's easy to say, but try not to stress about them too much. Accept they will happen, do what you can to mitigate the impact, and keep moving forward.

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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