Ever feel like everyone’s writing but you? I do. Now that I’m published and have all these new writer friends and acquaintances on social media, I’m able to read updates about their word journeys. To me it feels like they’re constantly writing. Meanwhile, I’m all like, Yeah, I need to lie down now.
After working intensely on Life in the ’Cosm from May 2014 to January 2016, I was pooped. Feeling accomplished, but pooped. I casually continued writing the second book of the series, after I had submitted the first book to Renaissance Press in March 2016. Then in June 2016, I got the e-mail. They would publish ’Cosm. I danced around, cried to my husband on the phone, and spent the rest of the month in a haze of disbelief.
When my publisher asked me if I was up to a compressed editing schedule, so my book could go on sale for Can*Con 2016, I said, “Sure!” I figured this was an opportunity of a lifetime, so why not go for it? The editors had been fantastic and I loved the cover design. Life in the ’Cosm came out right on schedule and I was thrilled.
I attended Can*Con and did my first public reading. What a fantastic experience. I appreciated the chill atmosphere and truly enjoyed meeting all those writers and authors. But a month later, added to my chronic pain, came a sudden and severe vertigo. I could barely see, let alone write.
It’s December, and I’m doing better than two months ago, but I’m still quite drained. I’ve only finished a draft of chapter eleven in Book 2, and began chapter twelve. Writers on social media pounded out words during NaNoWriMo, but I couldn’t even attempt it, with the room spinning all the time. There were other authors working independently of NaNoWriMo, on their books or short story manuscripts. And myself? Nope. Nada.
However, I did launch my career as an editor. I’d been editing as a technical writer for decades, and decided this past fall to take the leap into offering editing services for authors. It’s been great. One book has just been released and I’m currently doing a deep structural edit of a second. So, I am working with words. Just not my own.
I have to remind myself that I’ve achieved a lot as a spoonie. Still, I am not a machine. When I have enough spoons, I’ll finish the first draft of Book 2. Right now, I need to tend to my editing job. That’s enough on my plate at this time.
It’s really important for me to celebrate my writer friends who are writing, and cheer them on. It’s also super vital that I do not compare my work output to theirs. We’re individuals, and I’m living with a disability that impairs my concentration. If I compete only with myself, then I see how well I’m doing. I learned that from runners, back when I could run: compare yourself only to yourself.
If you’re feeling insecure about your lack of energy, you’re in good company. I would just encourage you to take care of you. Self-care is a full-time job for many of us. I hope you can find good medical support, and people in your life who believe you. It’s okay to ask for encouragement from trusted friends.
I hope you’re writing words really soon! Your story will wait for you. (I say this to me just as much as I say it to you.)
Hugs and spoons!
An Irish-Canadian warrior princess and author of Life in the ’Cosm, a comedy sci-fi with an unusual amount of dessert. She's also the editor of the Spoonie Authors Network blog.
Quirky, bakey, eaty, faithy, drummy, wifey sorta gal who really likes writing words.