Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Chronic Pain Impacts Writing (Tips)

Writing is not as physically demanding as many other occupations.  When you have chronic pain (and/or fatigue) however, it can feel like writing wrings the mind and body totally, leaving you drained and hurting.  And, if writing is uncomfortable at best, marketing in person is often out of the question.

Writers are pressured to produce, submit, market, and repeat.  If you aren't constantly writing, fans supposedly get bored and drift away from your work.  If you don't submit/query (for months or years), your work doesn't find an audience (unless you go indie, but that can take even more energy and agony).  And you're taught to market your writing (and yourself) from the moment you decide to write.
So, how do you handle it?

Everyone has their own way of coping, but here are some ideas:

1.  Be okay with your own schedule - You're not going to write daily.  Sometimes, your blog will be neglected.  It doesn't mean you're not committed, it means you honor your limitations.  Being angry with yourself won't help (and may even hinder) you.

2.  Try to find a comfortable spot and compatible technology or devices - A lot of people with chronic pain write lying down.  There are tablets, tables that slide over the bed, voice recorders, and other things that may help you.  *I'm composing this post on the Wii U gaming system, for instance.*

3.  Maybe recruit a friend or family member - Some of us may be lucky enough to have someone close to us who will transcribe what we say or help us submit to literary magazines.  There are also submission services but most are outrageously expensive.

4.  Market online - You can reach many people using Facebook and Twitter alone.  You can even schedule posts ahead of time with programs like TweetDeck so you can allocate your spoons easier.

5.  And spread out in-person events - Figure out which events would have the biggest chance of boosting your career and/or sales.  Try to schedule them far enough apart so you have a chance to recharge.  Keep local, if at all possible.

6.  Seek out (or advocate) for online or elastic workshops or groups - Some writing groups dictate a page amount per week.  Some people with chronic pain/fatigue may not be able to produce the required amount.  Same with workshops.

7.  Reading is necessary - Don't feel guilty if you read more than you write.  Reading will only assist you in your craft.  In a way, you're working right now!

8. When brain fog sets in... eat chocolate, drink juice, listen to music, binge on Netflix. Because brain fog sucks.

Okay fellow spoonies, your turn:  Share your tips in the comments.


  1. Congrats on this new endeavor. I really like the idea and hope you can get it off the ground soon. I know quite a few folks who might like to talk with you and will send them your way!

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

    1. Thanks! Our guidelines are at the top. I appreciate it!