Chronic Conditions and Creativity

Or Managing Migraines and Manuscripts in my case. The thoughts around it and the grace we need to give ourselves are the same no matter the condition we deal with. Last week was full of migraine management and my manuscript sat untouched through most of it.

I was not able to get any creative work done and that was difficult to handle. I was coming off of some stalling in my process because of my own hangups and I’d finally moved past it and then bam. I was hit with a few migraine days and then lingering headache days and before I could put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, the week was pretty much up. While I was disappointed in that outcome and frustrated, I was also at peace with it. I was at peace with it because, though I don’t like when it happens, I budget for these days ahead of time because I know they are coming. I know that one of the things I have to do to manage this chronic condition is to make time for it, but learning to do that has been difficult. I was officially diagnosed with migraines when I was eighteen and I’ve learned a lot about managing them in these past two decades (😳) that they’ve been part of my life. I know that I will lose a certain amount of days to migraines each month. I know that when I feel one coming, it is time to switch into that different gear to get through the time it takes my body to recover and that there are certain things that will not be able to get done until I’m back on my feet. For family and house things, it’s no big thing, because our family supports one another and I don’t need to worry about any of that. For my creative things, like my manuscript, it is a very big thing. I can’t follow the paths of my worlds or transcribe the journey my characters are taking when I am in that migraine place. For YEARS I had a hard time with that and I would let the frustration and anger at not getting things done take what little energy I had left. It took me a long time, but now I am able to take those days, or the full week sometimes, to rest and know that I will get back to my story and my characters when I’m able to. I know that I am not my worst days. I know that the bad days will pass and my writing will be there waiting for me when I am finally able to get back to it.

This week, hopefully, will be a better week and start a bit of a marathon to get work done to finish the revision of MS:D. I’m hoping to get through a chapter or two each day during these last weeks of July. I was able to take some very rough notes before the migraines hit last week on where some of the pacing in these next chapters needs to be fixed. I’m focused on several things, but one specifically continues to be how my antagonist is circling my main character in her blind spots and how that action is bringing out more personality and interaction with a different character in the story. The action is bringing this other character into a bigger presence and fleshing out her character more than it was before. In the end, this other character’s development is going to affect how my main character reacts to her dark night and how she feels when she’s going through what she will. It also adds more dimension to my antagonist and makes me see him in a much clearer light. I love stories that make me really pull apart the antagonists intentions and motivations. It’s just my favorite. 😁 I might change my approach this week to diving straight into the revisions in Scrivener without looking back at much of my notes I made in the paper copies of the chapters. I’m feeling the pull to that kind of process this week but I’m not sure if that’s because my characters have something specific in mind or they’re just trying to distract me from something else. They are mischievous characters after all. Either way, I’m hoping to be carried away by my creativity this week to make up for last week and hope that ending the week with a nigh by the fire pit will help set the tone for a much more for a chill week.

In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.

Happy Writing!

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