Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Indie Life: Disruptions

Last month, if you visited my blog on the second Wednesday of the month, you read a lovely post about my favorite knitwear designer. Not a post about indie life.  I had every intention to write a post, but I couldn’t.

I had a migraine.

I have suffered from migraines since I was a teenager. I used to have about one a month but lately I’m having two to three a week. Depending on their severity, they are debilitating and I can’t do anything but lay in the dark and pray for my meds to kick in quickly.

My migraines are a huge disruption to my life and I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve had to completely change my plans because of them. Like my post last month. Most times I don’t know when I’ll have one or how long they’ll last.

That makes planning difficult. Difficult but not impossible. I can plan, but I have to have an emergency migraine backup plan. I have a back-up plan if I have a migraine and for when I have to take my prescription migraine medication (which is quite lovely in dealing with the discomfort but knocks me out for 8-12 hours).

Last month highlighted the fact that life is full of disruptions. Maybe not migraines, but everyone has unforeseen issues arise in life. A sick child. Storm-related power outages. Broken vehicles. Computer problems.

With my migraines, I have found that the best way to minimize the disruptions of life is to be proactive. I avoid my triggers. When I know I’ll be unavoidably exposed to one of my triggers, I’ll pre-medicate. I try and keep chocolate on me (the caffeine helps) and I’m finding that it’s helpful to keep sunglasses around.

Being proactive also translates well into your writing life. Here are some tips to be more proactive:

Build in extra time on goals and deadlines. Plan to take longer than anticipated to finish a project. Since my migraines normally knock me out for a day or two a week, I only count three days of a week going towards working on my goal. Pad your goals so if you do have a life disruption, you won’t fall to far behind.

Do write more on your “good” days. We all know that flow that comes when we’re in the zone. When you’re there, keep going. Maybe you can write 2000 words instead of your daily goal of 1000. Maybe you can work out the next point on your plotline. That will give you an excess towards you goal.

Use scheduling tools. Every blog has the ability to schedule posts in advance. Hoot Suite allows you to schedule your tweets. Take advantage of these tools. It may save you for not having your indie life post ready (sad face).

Invest in voice recognition software. This is something that I sorely wish I could master. Most times I’m still awake and mostly alert during my migraines and can still talk. I could still talk/write during those times. And think of all the other uses for it. Someone might think you’re a little weird sitting in your car talking to yourself during your child’s baseball game or while you wait for your prescriptions, but we’re indie authors. We’re used to being a little weird.

How are you proactive in minimizing life’s distractions? What tools have you found useful?


Unknown said...

Migraines are awful! Sounds like you have some good plans for working around them though!

I find blog post scheduling really useful. If I know I'm going to be out on particular days, I schedule my posts in advance, so they go out on time, and try to schedule a tweet announcing them as well.

I'd love to have posts done in advance on a regular basis, for just those occasions when something comes up and you don't have a post ready on time, but I'm not yet that organised. (I was always doing assignments at the last minute in school too, seems to be a habit.)

Rinelle Grey

J.R. Pearse Nelson said...

Sorry to hear about your migraines. I liked the post on knitwear. :)

Remember self-forgiveness when you don't get to all that you want to. Always look to tomorrow, and part of that is keeping yourself healthy.

I agree about dictation software. I need to master it, too. I am SO scared of losing my hands or my eyes and being unable to do what I love (ridiculous, eh?). It's strange, though…Holding a pen taps into one part of my brain and creativity, while typing taps into yet another source and is where I actually produce my manuscripts. That's how I've trained my brain over the years. I can retrain it to use dictation, but right now I stumble and feel ridiculous -- my "editor" coming out to play too much.