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Writing Through Cycles

Buried in the Slushpile, writing

For the past decade, I have struggled with all sorts of health issues. Disparate things like a buildup of neurotoxins during a mold exposure to a hormonal imbalance most likely caused by stress (and age) mean that I often have periods (sometimes extended ones) where I can’t get much done.

I’m not alone in this. People with chronic illnesses face this sort of thing all the time. There are the good day and the bad days, and as anyone with something permanent will tell you, the good days are never taken for granted. And good days are not just about catching up. Sometimes they are about recovering from the bad.

Let’s face it. Good and bad days aren’t limited to people who are ill. We all have them whether they are caused by circumstances, emotional responses, or other things we can’t control.

All of this affects our writing. If writing isn’t your full-time career, then possibly, it affects your writing the most. When having to prioritize, writing is often the thing that has to go. And that’s okay.

That’s why when I read or hear an author admonishing aspiring authors for not writing every day, I want to roll my eyes. For some of us, it’s not possible. Yes, I try to write 100 words a day, but as you can see, that often does not happen. Again, that’s okay. I modify my goals as I see fit.

Writing so far in 2018

So, this month, I challenge you to look at your goals and see if they need modifying. Then, continually adjust them as needed as life occurs. It’s great to want to finish a novel a month, but that may not be realistic with life. On Monday I set my goals for the week. An hour ago, I started running a fever. Obviously, I’m re-adjusting now.

Writing, like life, has cycles. Figure out yours so you might take advantage of the peaks. Then don’t worry about the valleys. Ten to one there will be other worries during those times. Your words will wait. Life will not. When you are ready, the words will come. And that is the most important thing of all.

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