My tips for writing through the pain
Sometimes, my books take a while. Lots longer than they should, and there is a reason for that. I have a severely disabled son. He’s autistic.
He’s also pretty hilarious, and a general joy to be around. Yet, we have phases, and those phases can take a toll on the writing life. A heavy toll. Here’s my list of coping mechanisms for writing through the heavy stuff.
Sometimes the heavy stuff is too heavy.
You can’t do everything. When my dad was on hospice and my sister and I were making heartbreaking decisions, I couldn’t write much, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to finish Cry Havoc. That was a mistake. Life happens. You can’t fight that.
It’s important to understand it doesn’t have to be done this second if you’re publishing indie. You can put things on your time table. Look ahead and do the minimum with big bursts in the quiet times. So much of our pressure is us. It’s all us. Embrace the fact that you’re human.
Channel the pain
I ain’t gonna lie. This is the most valuable thing you can do. Turn that pain into words, and let them go. You’re gonna edit later. If it goes too dark, you can always pull it in. Parenting an ASD child is hard, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise. I always say that my exhaustion comes less from the Autism part of his diagnosis and more from the Severe part. It comes with a lot of loss and sacrifice, and a lot of sleepless nights.
Be nice to you!
You hear about the importance of self-care, but, in a tough stage of life, it’s not just important. It’s a survival skill. There is no shame in taking a break. Give yourself the space you need to get through this. Everything will pass, and that’s the only guarantee we have. You’ll have a chance to do what you need to do and want to do later. Pressure only makes it harder.
Get Jolie’s 47th Lancer’s series. Five novellas about love and war.