Monday, December 6, 2010

When You Can't Write--What Do You Do?

Tip of the Day: I was touched by this blog post from Tara Kelly on how you only get one debut author experience.

I've been struggling with carpal tunnel problems so I've been trying to lay off the keyboard. Typing, especially with my left hand, has been extremely painful. I haven't been doing much writing.

You know what I discovered? I get very grouchy when I can't write.

It's not like I've never discovered this before. Not writing makes me out of sorts. Writing for me is like work. It's not a hobby; I don't always enjoy it. I'm beginning to think of it like someone who puts aside part of their yard for extensive landscaping. It's work, but it's productive and positive, and everyone needs a productive and positive way to spend some time out of work, or else the day job is all you have. Like my husband pulls moulding off the walls and sands it and stains it and puts it back on. It's not really a hobby. But he feels like a better person for having done it.

So when I don't write, I feel like a worse person. Like a lazy person letting time slip away from me.

I know I could be reading, but I'm in one of those moods where YA seems too young and adult books seem too cliche and generic. I'm out of good nonfiction around the house. So basically I just snap at everyone about how much my hands hurt. Good times.

How do you cope when you can't write?

-- Kate, Miss Perfecting the Pages


Andrea Mack said...

Kate, I always feel grumpy and frustrated when I can't write. But I've never been able to physically not use my hands to write. That would drive me crazy! Probably I'd try to think of what I can do to make someone else's life nicer, like send some baking to neighbour. Or sort out some junk so that when I do have time to write, I'll have a place to do it!

Carmella Van Vleet said...

Boy, have I been there! Several times because of my aching wrists and once, for several months, because of a head injury. For me, I found just letting it go was the best thing. Say to yourself "This is out of my control; there's nothing I can do but it'll pass." And then go focus on something - anything else. If YA and adult books aren't interesting you, read magazines. Or watch a bunch of movies or game shows. Clean a closet or whatever. Maybe accomplishing *something* will help. Hang in there!

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

How do I cope? By enjoying the break for a few days, then getting grouchy.

Kate Fall said...

Exactly, Jennifer, slacking off was fun for about four days. And Car and Andrea, I know you're right about getting other stuff done so I have more time to write later. You must be right since it sounds like something I'd tell my kids!

DeenaML said...

Kate, that is so frustrating! How about dictating your books to your kids to write down for you? :)