Writing With Migraines and Other Chronic Illnesses

Writing With Migraines and Other Chronic Illnesses

Hello everyone,

Sorry it’s been so long since I last posted. I was dealing with a major migraine. And that’s what I want to talk about today. How to keep up a writing and posting schedule when you have a chronic illness such as migraines or fibro. Personally, I deal with migraines and pain from fibromyalgia on a nearly daily basis. It makes it hard to do basic things like cook and when I’m dealing with that anything else falls to the back burner. But I do have some tip and tricks for handling life with chronic illness as someone in the writing/creative arts field.

  1. Set your screen refresh rate to the highest possible on the computer. You can do that by going to display settings> screen resolution>advanced settings> and then set the refresh rate higher. It helps your eyes out if you’re working a lot on the computer.
  2. Have a non-technology alternative. For me this means on days where I just can’t look at a screen I write with pen and paper. And on days that doesn’t work, I just have to accept that I need a rest day.
  3. Set reasonable goals for yourself. If you have to stop and get up from the computer every hour do it. Don’t expect yourself to be able to write 10,000 words in one go on the computer if that hampers your other activities.
  4. Accept that some days you won’t be able to be productive, and that’s okay too. This has been the hardest thing for me to accept when it comes to my writing productivity. Sometimes I just can’t focus and I can’t write for that reason. In that case, I try to come up with ideas or just let myself relax and watch Netflix.
  5. If you need something done that day, it helps to have someone you trust work on it for you. For example, some days when I can’t work I ask my boyfriend to read my work and give me feedback so I can keep working the next day. I am also working on creating a cache of posts for days when I can’t write so I have something to go up on the blog.
  6. Some days, you just have to struggle through it. On those days I recommend comfy clothes, as calm of an environment as possible and frequent breaks for naps and resting.
  7. I keep a journal of blog post ideas, story ideas, a scene list for works in progress and changes for stories. This helps on days when I can’t necessarily think, but I have to make progress. Like my novel. I spent time working on an outline and now I can just write out a scene and feel accomplished with the work I can do.
  8. Some days when you’re worn out, it’s better to write about how you’re feeling. This helps not only with your writing, as any writing is practice, but it can help to spark a new idea once you get your feelings written down. I find that I get the best ideas after journaling.

Well, that’s all I can think of for today. I’m fighting a migraine I’ve had for three days now and I hope that his post helps you cope and keep writing. If you have anything to add please let me know at jessica.entwistle@jessicaentwistle.com

Jessica

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