Life Sucks: Writing on the bad days

Sometimes life just sucks.

Normally I am a fairly optimistic person. I try to see the potential in every situation. I try to see the good in everyone. I try to have a positive outlook on life. But then – some days just deal a very poor hand of cards to work with.

Take the last 48 hours, for example. I try not to grumble too much about my diabetes, but there are times when it just gets me so down that everything that matters just gets too much. I just want to curl up in bed and sleep forever. I know it’s not me but rather the illness that is so debilitating, but it sure gets a stranglehold on me.

When I have times like the last two days I tend to get depressed, emotional, defeatist and it is a terrible struggle to get out of that deep hole and get on with my writing. Just getting down these few words has been a mighty struggle.

How do other writers cope with serious illness? Some of my readers must have more serious conditions than mine, and yet you cope. Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments below so we can all learn to draw strength from each other.

Some strategies to try:

Meanwhile, here are some strategies I’ve tried today – with some moderate success in overcoming the down time:

  1. Tap a nap – it can be refreshing to body and mind.
  2. Do a crossword puzzle – it would have helped if I’d solved it!
  3. Watch a favourite DVD – I knew all those old episodes of MASH would come in handy.
  4. Go for a walk – at least the weather was a little kinder this afternoon.
  5. Give yourself some time off – to get a life.

So – what about your suggestions??

Leave a comment – I’d appreciate your input.

UPDATE: I solved the cryptic crossword later in the evening. Yes!


7 Responses to “Life Sucks: Writing on the bad days”

  1. prabs says:

    Hi Trevor,
    My aunt suffers from diabetes too. It is so common place today that people have started calling it the rich man’s disease :). I remember asking her a question along the same lines as yours some time back.She told me that she tries to forget her pain by reading and helping others in trouble. This is a great emotional help to her.

    This lead me to put up a free service at that encourages people to speak out and seek and give help.

    Like Mahatma Gandhi once said ” I will give you a talisman. When in trouble or doubt,close your eyes and think about the poorest man that you have seen. Think about how he copes with his situation and how what you are to do will help him… You will find your doubts and troubles melting away”

    all the best.


  2. Rick Cockrum says:

    Hi Trevor,

    I’ve got Crohn’s disease. To me, it’s nowhere near as debilitating as diabetes. By the time I was first hospitalized with it, I had lost over 30 pounds, needed a cane to walk, and had the joy of crawling to go up steps. With proper medication it’s controlled now, but I still have to watch my diet, and I have the stamina of someone 20 years older than me. When I have a flare up, all I can do is roll with it. Instead of my normal 6 – 7.5 hours of sleep a day, I sleep 10 – 11. I avoid physical activity. I read more. I watch dvds. Sometimes I get depressed, but I know it’s not going away. Once I face that, it’s easier to deal with.

  3. Trevor says:

    Thanks for visiting Rick and Prabs – and for your encouraging comments about my condition. Since writing this post things have generally settled down again – sure, there have been some down times but overall things have improved. I’ve managed to get a great deal done around the house, we’ve been away for a short break but I’ve not managed to get much writing done. I’m trying to correct that this week – and in the coming weeks before going away for a month to Sydney to visit our son.

  4. […] article worth reading – with several suggestions I know help me can be found here: Life sucks – writing on the bad days. Thursday November 15th, 2007 | Categories: The Writer’s Life; Writing Hints; Writer’s block […]

  5. Peter says:

    Thanks for directing me to this Trevor. What you describe are tough circumstances. It’s hard enough finding the time between other demands, as well as feeling sharp enough to write, without having to contend with the kind of illness you talk about. When you are dealing with illness like that you develop an instinct for the best times to write. Is it first thing in the morning, late at night and so on. Sometimes I believe the power of feeling you have done good work, or even having had work accepted, can help get you through those times and inspire you to return to the desk. But I really respect anyone who is able to be productive while battling an illness such as what you describe. Then again, as you say, there’s always the cricket!

  6. Trevor says:

    Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment Peter.

  7. […] – Life sucks – writing on the bad days – setbacks, crises, illness or disabilities can severely hinder one’s writing. This year, more […]