Most of you know that I suffer from debilitating migraines. I've had a good, long stretch of headache-free days (Thank You Jesus!) and productivity has been high. I've been revising a bunch of short stories, writing new ones, playing the piano, cooking, cleaning, and living what I consider a *normal* life. But how quickly that can change. Harry can arrive at any moment and stay for days. Why yes, I've named him, just as I did my monthly visitor. That one is George. Harry and George often come together, but Harry shows up whenever he pleases. No walls keep me safe from him. So I end up doing only the essentials, and one of those is writing.
If I am on deadline, I focus on getting *something* done on the project. Since my creativity is low with Harry, I'll focus on things like revisions and photo-research. Or if I'm at an early stage of the writing, I'll study the subject, making notes of interesting tidbits I don't want to forget. Even though it is slow going, I am usually able to get the work done. An interesting thing I discovered is that the quality of my writing is not correlated to Harry's visits. I write equally beautiful or horrendous prose on any given day. So I do not pass judgment until sufficient time has passed.
If I'm not on deadline, I'll work on a favorite project, write in my journal, do a blog post, visit the Blueboards, write to friends (often begging them for prayers), or read. All these things help me to keep writing and connected.
It is so common for us to offer advice along the lines of "take it easy" or "rest and recover" and surely that is the right thing to do many times. You've just had a baby, or you are acutely ill or taking care of someone who is sick. That's life.
But what to do when you live with a chronic illness? You can write. Have faith that all the little bits will add up eventually. It's very important to know what you can reasonably do given your condition. There are days when I think I cannot do anything. But I try not to give in to that despair. Sometimes, after a good cry, I can muster enough courage to write something. And amazingly, I am happier for doing so, even if all I managed was to complain to God on the page.
Write this upon your heart: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.