My new normal…

My new normal…

A few weeks ago, I spoke in some general terms about my health issues. Another month has passed, and well…I wish I could say that my life had returned to normal and that I was back to my habits of writing 2,000-3,000 words a night. But that’s not the case, and so I’m trying to learn how to cope with my new normal.

Now, that’s not to say nothing’s changed. My doctor has prescribed some new medication, and I’m finally to the point where I have good days again. Last month, my good stretches lasted two or three hours. Now, my good periods can last a day or even two! But when they end, I crash, hard. Two nights ago, I crashed and I think I got 150 words all night. They weren’t good words. I deleted most of them the next morning.

I’ve started to develop coping mechanisms for this new normal. No, they don’t involve coffee. While I still love coffee almost as much as I love my family (just kidding…mostly), I’m slowly switching to decaf. Right now I’m on a mix of approximately 2/3 decaf and 1/3 full-caf. By Christmas, I plan on being on full decaf. But back to those coping mechanisms…I’ve gotten very good at pounding out 500-700 words on the bus in the mornings. I tend to feel better in the mornings, so this is key writing time for me. In the evenings, I’m working on email, formatting, and trying to relax.

I’m taking more days off work. As a dear friend keeps telling me, “Sick days. Use ’em.” When I feel like crap, I occasionally call in sick (now here I’m talking about the exhaustion, not colds or flu…if there is even the REMOTE possibility I’m contagious, I’m staying the hell home). I’m trying to focus my work so that when I’m at the office, I’m pounding out as much productivity as I can, even if I have to take off early due to an inability to remain upright for a full nine hours (eight hour days just aren’t always possible in my line of work). Then when I get home, I turn off the day job completely.

But the biggest challenge for me, really, is learning to forgive myself. You see, one of the reasons I feel so guilty is that I have four different series going right now that aren’t complete. And the more books I sell and get out into the hands of fans, the more messages I get asking for the next Restrained book or the last By the Fates book or the next In Blood book.

I respond to all of those messages, and I’ve gotten better at some realistic goals for completing those projects. But I still feel guilty.

I can’t work the way I used to. Maybe one day I’ll be able to again, maybe I won’t. But I can still work, and I’m going to keep plugging away a little at a time, getting as many words down in a week as possible, while trying to get myself back to full health.





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