As some of you might have seen yesterday I had announced my hopes to write 10k on my wip today. As you can probably guess by the title of this post that didn’t happen.
I did manage to write 2,073 words which I’m pleased with, but obviously that’s a far cry from where I hoped to be. So what happened? Well, for starters computer nonsense. I had hoped to do some #1hr1k on twitter, but I couldn’t even access twitter for the majority of the day since my internet was spotty/moody/infuriating.
To round that off, I also came down with some weird stomach bug. Not pleasant. In fact, still not pleasant. Obviously you can’t plan for everything and we all get sick sometimes but it can be frustrating to not be able to work as hard as you’d like.
I suspect for any craft, though this is especially true for writing, as long as you work every day you’ll make progress. Unlike some other mediums, you can’t write a book in a day. A short story yes. Perhaps a small novella, but not a book. This is both a blessing and a curse because if something happens, not writing for one day isn’t going to completely throw your schedule out of wack. But if stop for days or weeks at a time then what might have been a long project becomes an infinite progression of “Someday I’ll get back to that.”
If life is messing with your creative plans find another way to be productive. Here’s my tips for working through illness or the unexpected.
1. Break up your work load into smaller chunks. If 1k an hour is too much, try 250 words every 15 minutes. Take small breaks between each session and use social media (if you have internet >_<) to stay motivated and find other writers.
2. Alternate mediums. If sitting at your desk requires to much energy or the screens are amplifying a migraine, switch to a notebook in bed, or on a couch. Also switching up where you write and with what can help to keep things feeling fresh rather than same old same old. For the healthy days, I also recommend standing desks because you can break up your writing sessions with blood pumping dance parties. 😀
3. Caffeine. This is an essential most of the time, but especially when you can’t keep your eyes open. Just remember to let your body rest, too. Also if caffeine isn’t your thing or, like me, you’re not supposed to have much/any, I’ve found sour candy to be really effective at keeping the brain working well into the wee hours.
4. Change focus. Sometimes writing chapters might seem impossible because head colds and nausea make it hard to think clearly. So work on something that doesn’t have to be perfect. Since my stomach was rattled and I couldn’t focus, I spent about 4.5 hours working through character development and plot arcs/subplots for the later books in my series. I may not have put down all the words I wanted, but I got a lot of questions answered and made some interesting connections despite being under the weather.
5. Lastly, whether sick or not, drink lots of fluids and make sure to eat. It can be easy to get wrapped up in a project but if you don’t take care of yourself you’ll wind up paying for it sooner or later.
So that’s all. Let me know down below if you’ve got any tips for writing or being creative when illness strikes and happy scribbling.