I missed last months post, and nearly missed this month as well, thanks to the flu. It’s that time of year here in Australia, and I get sick so easily at the best of times. Of course, I scheduled to get the flu shot the day before I got sick, but thankfully by the time I went in my fever had broken, so I was able to get it. I seriously hope I can avoid getting that sick again. I end of falling so far behind.
I still haven’t finished writing Episode 20 of my Shadow Stalker serial and Episode 21 is due out tomorrow… guess what’s not happening?
At least I’ve been writing little bits at a time though, and Episode 20 is nearly done. I’ll just release stuff as I finish it until I’m all caught up. Thankfully, I have a great group of readers who seem to be very supportive when I get sick like this. Happens to us all, I suppose.
Writing for me is always slow between March and August, so I think in the future I need to plan for that…and that’s what I wanted to talk about today.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress and anxiety of keeping up with a schedule, especially when you have a chronic illness. For those who don’t know, I have Hashimoto’s Disease, which is an autoimmune disease which affects the thyroid. I’m one of the lucky ones who doesn’t respond well to the treatment, so most days I feel like I haven’t slept for days, my brain almost always feels like mush, and I won’t even get started on the pain.
I used to get very stressed out and feel like a failure when I couldn’t keep up with writing schedules like other authors, but it was very counterproductive. So I started talking about my illness and my setbacks with others, and it was the best thing I could have done. People are quite supportive, which gave me the push I needed to keep going.
It’s important to recognize your limitations and work with them, rather than trying to force yourself to keep up with everyone else. Instead of worrying whether or not I’m keeping up with my schedule, I rearrange my schedule when I need to, and instead I focus on following a routine. Even when I’m not well, I try to write a little every day. I’ve had days where all I could manage was a few sentences, but every little bit brings me closer to finishing my project.
Some days I can’t write at all, but that’s okay too. I use those days to catch up on other things like emails and promotional stuff. If I can’t get out of bed, I’ll even work from my phone (thank goodness for smartphones, right?). Eventually, I always catch up. It helps that I schedule time off from writing during my daughter’s school holidays, so I can use that time for catching up.
Do you have trouble sticking to a schedule? Do you have an illness or injury that makes it seem impossible? What do you do to keep going? I’d love to hear your story.