I was diagnosed with breast cancer in February, following a routine mammogram. Two days later, I finished my first book. Great timing, huh? I’m sharing this because sometimes life sneaks up behind you and pounces. It doesn’t have to be an excuse to set aside your burning passion for publication.
If you have the will, fitting in time to write while waiting in doctor’s offices or hospital rooms can work. After surgery, it took more than a week before I could truly feel creative again. Don’t worry; it comes back. Use the time you’re laid up to network, research agents and publishers. Cruise social media, building your platform and readership during sick days.
What are you supposed to do when life gets in the way of your writing? Here are some strategies to help you get through the major (and minor) skirmishes in your life.
- Forgive yourself. Concentrate on what you can control.
- Have realistic expectations. Don’t expect to be brilliantly creative every day. Make the most of the days when you are.
- Find pockets of peace. Recharging your batteries, physically and mentally, will help speed healing and keep you feeling positive.
- Let some stuff go. When you let the little things fall away, the most important parts that are vital to your well-being are exposed.
- Feed your soul. Do things you enjoy, like watching old comedies, meditating or hanging out with friends and family.
- Journal the experience. Use this challenging time as a plot line or character’s back-story in your next book.
Writing is what I love. It keeps me sane; makes me feel whole. Because of these facts, I reserve part of my time and energies every week to putting pen to paper, after a fashion. Propping up in bed with a laptop in front of you works, too. Fighting back when life hits you hard is possible. Writers are used to it. Impossible odds are our bread and butter.
“My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass. “–Terri Guillemets, American anthropologist