What do you do when your body can’t get along with your mind? You want to write, you have ideas in your head, but you’re tired, sick, or mentally unable to focus. There is too much stress, the house is gaming apart, and that new video game you wanted to play is out.
You write anyway.
I’m currently on week five of acute bronchitis. It’s a viral infection so they can’t treat it with anything, I just have to suffer through it and let my body fight it off. That means nights with too little sleep, days with fuzzy thinking, and moments when I just want to curl in a ball and cry because of the pain and coughing.
So, I write. I use those good moments when I can breath and think and get as much down as possible. I use the not so good moments to write a few words here and there. Every word counts, and gets me closer to something finished.
It isn’t easy, but writing is important to me. I want to be an author more than anything. I want too breathe life into the worlds I dreamed up. And that means writing even on the crummy days.
There have been men who wrote novels while in prison and had to smuggle them out. A man who wrote an entire novel by blinking each letter. Some who endured concentration camps, and mental health facilities where they were given electric shock therapy. And yet they wrote, they accomplish what they set out to do.
If so many others could overcome those horrible situations, I think I can endure a cold.
We live our lives blind to what is beyond our personal experience, and when we get to a low point we think “this is rock bottom,” never realizing we might hit an even lower point a month later. Never knowing that what we think of as “rock bottom” would be utter heaven to someone else.
So many people ask “how do I write?” The answer is: you do it. Even when it’s hard. Even when life is trying to break you. You tell the story only you can tell, and you keep telling it.
Giving up is easy. You go play a video game, or read a book, or take a vacation. You put those things ahead of writing, or painting, or learning a musical instrument. You have fun, and make memories, and keep going.
But when you wake up ten years from now will you be happy with the memories, or will you feel like you’ve missed something by not finishing that book?
What’s important to you? There are no wrong answers. Not everyone is meant to write a novel, but you need to be honest with yourself. Only then will you be able to stand against all those things trying to get in the way… And just write.