As I wrote about in Thursday’s post, I’m not doing too well on the health front. However, now I’ve had a chance to rest up and consciously took a step back from writing – even though it is Camp NaNo month – I’m beginning to feel better. I still feel like I haven’t slept in a week, my head still feels like it’s filled with cotton wool and the joint pain has moved from my hands and feet up to elbows and knees…But, I’ve been able to walk the dog without wanting to collapse and read a little here and there. So it’s an improvement.
The one thing that I now need to be watchful of is that I don’t over do things in coming back to them. With regard to writing, this means limiting my time spent at the laptop (even if I might be in bed), because if I get lost in the process I’m apt to trigger more symptoms and set back my recovery time again.
What’s interesting is that when I first started the NaNoWriMo experience I could only write in short bursts. Sometimes I could only spend 15m at the keyboard before I absolutely ran out of words to write. Yet, as I built up my word count and got into the groove of the story, I discovered I could tap out up to 500 words in this 15m period when I was on a roll. Three or four bursts would get me up to the minimum word count for the day and I’d only spent an hour writing. In 2012 I discovered that I could focus for up to an hour and wrote 10,000 words in the first four days alone.
It pays to remember the lessons already learnt.
As a result, I’m going back to the strategies I developed in my early writing experiences. I’m planning to write in short bursts with regular breaks for meditation (read: naps) and plan out what I want to write in each session so that I’m primed and ready for it when I sit down to focus on my story. Hopefully, this way, I can still write and recover from illness without falling behind in my expected target and still ensure that I’m getting the rest I need to recuperate.
What techniques do you return to when you have to cut back on the writing time? Any ‘back to basics’ advice that might help other writers when they feel overwhelmed by the pressures of everyday life and/or illness?
As usual, leave your thoughts in comments or Tweet Me.