Author of Middle Grade novels about friendship, family, and figuring out where you fit in.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How In The World Can I Do This?

Surprise, surprise: I landed myself in the ER two weeks ago (right before a major trip out of town) and kicked everything writing-related to the side while I recovered.

Those of you who have been following along for a while know that I'm chronically ill. I have debilitating migraines that tend to come in waves. I can go several days feeling well, but then I have a string of can't-even-move days. It's unpredictable.

I know I talk about my health a lot, both on here and on Twitter, but the truth is that right now, the rest of my life is on pause while my body gets its act together. I quit my job a year ago. I write and edit and outline and beta read - but only on those good days. I visit with friends and family, but almost 50% the time, I end up canceling those plans due to illness.

So, I'm insane when I say that I want to do more with my time.

I can't even say with certainty that I'll get out of bed before ten tomorrow (migraine meds make me fatigued), or that what I'm having for lunch will stay down (I'm no stranger to frequent vomiting), but I want to add more items to my To-Do list? Really?

Blogging more frequently is one of those items. Every time I visit your blogs and catch up with you all, I realize how much I've missed participating in the blogging community. But besides blogging, I want to write more.

I've just started my latest MS, but I have many more ideas floating around. Not just Shiny New Ideas for fiction (but yes, those too), but ideas for different kinds of projects: nonfiction books and a new (non-writing) blog, for instance.

I'm crazy. How in the world would I ever be able to accomplish any of this?

I guess I just felt the need to update you all, to be honest with you and share what's really going on. I wish I had a truly creative, thought-provoking question to ask, but the closest I can come up with is: How do you do it? How do you manage so many things at once?

I'll be around to visit you guys today. Looking forward to catching up with you.


Tiana Smith said...

I think the reason why I'm able to accomplish as much as I do is because I've been blessed with good health :) I have no idea how you're able to do what you do while still struggling with your health problems. You have my respect for that!

Julie Dao said...

I think you are a TRUE trooper for doing your best and sticking to your guns, even if your body's not quite agreeing with you all the time. Keep at it. Sending you all the hugs and good vibes in the world so you'll feel well more often and get those story ideas on paper!!

Rena said...

It's super hard being sick. I'm constantly amazed at how people can manage as much as they do, and you are a trooper. I've been very blessed with my health. When it comes to getting stuff done, I don't have a plan: I obsess. I don't balance or find inner peace. When I'm in the throes of a novel, I let pretty much everything else fall to the wayside. Dishes? I'll do them when I finish. Cooking? I'm sure someone else can manage that too. It's not a good way to do it, but that's the only way I know to get something done.

Jemi Fraser said...

Dealing with illness and those devastating migraines is incredibly tough. You work so hard!

I don't feel as if I'm getting it all done most days. I've always been a multi-tasker which helps - even when I'm doing something else, my subconscious is percolating away for me! I've got far too many ideas for writing - just wish I had more time!!! :)

Take care!

Anonymous said...

Shelley, I'm so sorry to hear about your illness. My sister suffers from migraines too, so I know how debilitating they can be. Well, for me, managing to do it all...I don't even try. I used to be that way. But I slowed down and I try to keep a short to-do list so that I can have time for R&R. :)

Laura Marcella said...

Good for you for still doing what you love in spite of your health issues! Wishing you well, Shelley!

M Pax said...

I hope you find relief at some point. I've had a few migraines, but not often and haven't had one in years now.

I have a strict schedule, but even then many things 'slide'.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shelley - it must be very challenging .. one thought is to dictate your blogposts or writings - into a dictating machine ... if someone else would transcribe them for you ...

I hope you can gather some strength and feel easier ... good luck - just look after yourself ... Hilary

Anne Gallagher said...

I've been dealing with fibromyalgia and a couple of herniated disks for about a decade now. It's not fun. I make myself get out of bed every morning and do something, but on those days, it's not a lot. On my better days I can accomplish a lot more and that kind of makes up for it.

But the one thing I have learned through all this is that it's one day at a time. I don't put too much stock in the future anymore. I have no idea how I'll feel. But if I feel good, then I do it. If I don't, I don't feel guilty about it.

I can't plan anything. I can't say "Sure, I'd love to be there." I can't visit, or shop, or even go to school events for my daughter, because I just never know how I'll feel.

But I gave up feeling disappointed in myself that I'm not the same person I used to be. I gave up the guilt.

My health is more important than anything else and if I can't write the books I want to write right now, or sit at my computer all day, then so be it. I'll get to it eventually. Or maybe not at all. But I'm not moving in the fast lane anymore and that's okay.

I hope you find some peace with this Shelly. I know how hard you've worked to get this far. Just keep plugging along. Some day you will feel better and write everything you want to. But for now, just take it one day at a time.

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