It has been a while since I posted. Who would have imagined that an ordinary doctor appointment where I mentioned some pain I was having, would lead to surgery and a month long of recovery? I definitely wasn’t prepared for that, but I am back and feeling a lot better. 🙂
One thing my unexpected surgery has gotten me to see is that there are things which end up out of your control and they seriously can affect your writing.
It was only after I had finally started feeling better and able to sit at a desk longer than a few minutes that I realized how what I did get to do during the weeks of recuperations had helped me be a better writer.
Allow Yourself the Time
Throughout my recovery, I constantly harped on myself about the lack of writing I was doing. I felt that if I could go back to my 9 to 5 job, then when I got home I should be writing like I normally did. The thing about this was that by the time I would get home in the evening, I would be in so much pain, I had to take pain meds. I have a very low tolerance for medication and these pain meds would typically have me feeling like I drank way too much.
It was after the second week when I realized that if I was going to get better and heal, I needed to allow myself to do just that. Instead of trying to force myself at a computer or criticizing myself for not getting things done, I focused on allowing myself to actually relax and recuperate. When I got back to writing, I actually felt rejuvenated.
Other Things Besides Typing at a Computer
Not being able to sit and be at a computer can actually put a crimp into a writing life, plus not to mention being on pain medication. Nobody wants to read the long-handed writings of a person who is in the land of medications. This of course puts a huge screeching halt to my writing life, or at least seemed to.
Not sitting in front of the computer every night, typing away, allowed me to look at the method I used to write my stories. My last book for myself and the three I ghostwrote, took me longer than I planned because of the method of writing.
Writing short stories for years, I never had an outline. Typically, I would come up with an idea for a story and then set about on writing it. This has worked for the novels I’ve written, but I would get sidetracked or reach a point where I didn’t know where I wanted or needed to go.
While I was recuperating, I thought and read a lot about ways I could fix this issue. Everything boils down tome needing to actually focus on creating a better outline of the work, before I actually start to write. And thanks to the time I was able to do some research on my Kindle about this, I have a few method I am going to try with my next book.
Reading and Television
During my recuperation time, I allowed myself to actually read and watch television in the evenings. Normally I read before bedtime and watch roughly an hour of television a night. During this time, this was basically how I spent my time. Although most people will think it was a waste of time, I actually learned a great deal about plotting from my time of reading and television.
Nothing helps you figure out how to plot your next book better than reading and watching television programs in that genre. While doing these things in the evenings, I wrote down tons of notes and ideas about things I wanted to happen in my next book. Most of them I probably won’t even use, but there are a number of good ideas which I can’t wait to throw into my next outline.
Even watching and reading outside of your genre helped. The main reason was that I was relaxing and actually giving my mind a break. I wasn’t thinking about the plot or wondering if the next deadline was too close to get things done. I basically just allowed myself the time to enjoy the things I was reading and watching.
I think from now on whenever I have to take a day or two off from my writing, I might not be so hard on myself (as long as there is a valid excuse such as illness). But the time for recuperating is over and not it’s time to get my butt in the chair and get writing!