Monday, April 15, 2013

Confessions of a Tired (Aspirational) Writer.

As per usual, life has interfered in a major way with my writing so far this year. I went on holidays for ten days, I have had problems with my broadband, I have had problems with Divine, and a medicine I rely on went out of stock which made me even more tired than usual.

 Tired From Illness

A couple of weeks ago week I joined a Facebook page for people, like me, with ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease.  I found that those with either disease usually have other chronic health problems. I seem to be one of the “lucky” ones. Since “catching” ulcerative colitis about 15 years ago, all I have had to suffer was kidney stones and cataract surgery on my eyes, as well as low-level asthma, and being diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago. Others in the group have had much worse, including major bowel and colon surgery and nearly dying from their illness. But one thing is consistent, just about all of them, like me, report being constantly tired.

I exercise a lot; far more than the average person I reckon. For most of the past 12 years I have swum three kilometres three times a week. I also lift weights on three of the other days and do exercises, as well as walk around 25 kilometres a week. I also spend about an hour a day in the garden. So maybe it is all the exercise that is making me tired.

My Recent Writing.

I just finished writing chapter 94. I have now written 185,792 words of the novel and I am positive I have less than 10,000 words to write. But since I completed National Novel Writing Month in November last year, with a respectable, if rushed, 50,000 words for the month, my word total per month has dropped drastically:

December: 11459
January: 8069
February: 4621 (although I was on holiday for ten days)
March: 4671

That is not anywhere near enough for someone who aspires to being a published author.

Writing for Divine.

I have also written one article for Divine this year, although I have had two published:

·         Obstacle free footpaths
·         Medicine Shortages

I have started researching another article on famous historical Australians who had a disability. I have been very surprised with who and how many famous Australians had a disability. But any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I have spent a bit of time trying to promote Divine to the world, including setting up a community for Divine on Google+. Joining Google+ has caused me to spend a lot more time on social media.

Other Writing.

I have written a blog post every week this year, except for one. I have been trying to make the posts more interesting, which has required a bit more research and thought for each post.

I have not critiqued anything this year. How can I expect others to critique my work when I don’t critique theirs?

I am reading nowhere near enough. I have only read four books this year. The problem is I am too tired at night when I do all of my book reading.

It’s Time to Wake-up.

So I have just started a gluten-free diet in an attempt to see if gluten might be contributing to my tiredness. I went gluten-free for nearly a decade before I came down with ulcerative colitis and I rarely remember feeling tired then, certainly not this tired.


Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Graham,
Read your post on your "tiredness" fighting with Crohns Disease.
I can empathize.
My son was diagnosed with it seven year ago and is now in remission with medication, a healthier diet and a Stress-less lifestyle.
Living a stress-lfree life is the key to RECOVERY, as it is with all illnesses.
Please take care.
Hoping you'll find more time for writing ... Karen Tyrrell :)
Author: ME & HIM: A Guide to Recovery

Graham Clements said...

Thanks Karen.

graywave said...

Graham, My wife has XXX and I have seen her struggle with chronic tiredness for many years. So I definitely sympathise. However, I've got to disagree: 4600 words a month is plenty for someone who hopes to be a published author. It's 55k words a year, a full-length novel every two years. I'm a published author and there were many years in my past when I wrote at that rate. At 55k per year, as the decades go by, the "bottom drawer" soon starts to stack up with finished manuscripts.

At your recent 11.5k words per month rate, you'd easily finish a novel every year. A higher rate of output than a good many published authors. So I'd definitely say, on the figures here, you are in the right ballpark.

So, don't be so hard on yourself, stop writing 200k-word super-sized novels, and relax. It sounds to me as if you're doing just fine.

Graham Clements said...


I would still love to write more. But today my asthma has me feeling blah. Oh well.

Anthony J. Langford said...

Sorry to hear about your tiredness Graham but you are very active - youre making me feel very lazy and guilty!

As for your writing, I have to agree, you're doing great, so I wouldn't be so hard on yourself. A novel a year sounds about right and with your epic, its already three novels in one. (I hope you try to sell it as such - I don't think you'll find a publisher willing to publish a 200K novel.)

Anyway, best of luck.

Graham Clements said...

I have changed back from google+ comments because I read that only people with google+ accounts were able to comment on blogs linked to google+, that is really moronic google.

Anthony J. Langford said...

Yes, I almost update too but then it would take my Google+ profile and remove my blogger profile, which I didn't want. Silly.
btw i'm impressed with your energy Graham - how do you find time to work, write and exercise like that? You make me feel exhausted! And I was exhausted to begin with!