How to Keep Writing When You're Sick

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Last week, I was laying-in-bed-hating-my-life sick. The kind of sick that makes you look at all of your best-laid plans and say, “Nope. I’ll just die here alone and unproductive.” Unfortunately, we can’t always stop writing or working on our passion projects. To keep you going, I’ve compiled 5 tips to keep writing when you’re sick.

Forgive Yourself For Being Sick

Sickness waits for no one, so it can be awful when you have a lot of plans. My first tip is to forgive yourself for being sick and not being able to get everything done. Being hard on yourself, or overworking when you need rest will just make your illness worse. Take some Vitamin C and give yourself some much needed rest. The work can wait until later.

Reduce Your Expectations

When you’re not feeling well, your performance will suffer. By reducing your expectations you can prevent anxiety and writer’s block. If you continue to have normal expectations for yourself, you can overwork or cause unneeded stress. Everyone works slower when not feeling well, so it is okay not to expect your best work.

Prioritize Easier Tasks

Have you been putting off brainstorming, or creating a new character sketch? Do you loathe editing even when you’re not sick? When I don’t feel well, I find I’m more productive if I prioritize easier tasks. This may not help you get the larger writing done, but it allows you to be productive and STILL get something done. Make a list of the tasks you need to do and then prioritize the things you can still do with a throbbing head.

Research Instead of Write

On the vein of prioritizing easier tasks, try to do your research instead of struggling through writing. It is 5x easier to do a Google search and catalog information with a sinus infection, than to write the climax of your novel. Research is something writers tend to put off until necessary, so get a head start while you’re ill.

Create an Action Plan For When You’re Better

If you have a daily writing goal, chances are you will have problems making it when sick. To create more productivity later on, draw up an action plan on how to make up missed work. An easy way to do this is to take your missed word or page count and divide it over a later time when you know you will be better. If a writer can pre-plan for a vacation, then you can easily plan for a setback. Tailor your action plan to you and get back to writing!

Sickness waits for no one, but you can easily combat the lack of productivity by following my above tips. I hope you feel better and happy writing!

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