What Illness Does to a Writer

Quick comment: my laptop is very outdated and it can no longer update (we’re talking over 8 years old here). With that, I can’t fully access my wordpress on this thing anymore, so I can’t do anything with comments, sorry.

This may be a series of posts, simply because there’s a lot to say about such a topic. I may not do them much though since, obviously, illness effects my ability to write.

I’ve seen how illness effects a person’s ability to live a normal life. My in-home care clients wouldn’t need me if that weren’t the case. I may not need someone to do in-home care with me (at least not yet), but it still effects my ability to do much. For me though, the most devistating part is how much it takes away from my ability to write and draw.

I’m still able to do it, but not as well or as often as I used to.

Losing my ability to do this allows my depression to grow worse, feeling down and upset with myself for not being abl to accomplish what I want to or what I used to be able to do.
There are times when writing feels like a chore–my energy is drained, if there’s anything to even drain, and I have all the pain, nausea, dizziness, and other strange feelings distracting me on the side. Something that’s supposed to be fun or relaxing, even invigorating, becomes difficult with everything else in the background. I try to push through it, but there’s only so much I can push through.

Comparing how much I used to be able to write compared to now can feel depressing, sometimes inexcusable despite spending many hours sick when I’m not at work or trying to get things done.
I keep telling myself I can do it again, that I can be like that again, maybe even better, but part of it is trying to accept that that’s a time in the future, not right now.

It’s hard to think in the cloud of dizziness. Depression and anxiety with my living situation isn’t helping either, but that doesn’t slow me down as much. I’m forgetting and scrambling up words and I’m becoming more aware of this. People point it out to me too and sometimes have to help me.
Some doctors think it’s just stress, some say it’s a sign of my illnesses getting worse. Whatever the cause, it’s frustrating to be someone who struggles with something they’re supposed to specialize with.

There’s less than a week to finish three art pieces and write one more short story for the 2015 release of Progenitor.
At this point in time, I don’t care about getting in as much as I do getting at least one of each in. I want to get all three art pieces in, but at this point, that may be too big of a goal for me anymore.
I’ve been trying to push myself, but it’s been one distraction after another with everything getting worse.
I want to do it so I can take pride in myself for accomplishing that much. It’d be an achievement for me to at least get something out of me through this fog and weakness. It’s the same sense of accomplishment as taking your first shower or some other independent act since a surgery.

It did inspire the idea I needed for the short story and the art piece.I have just enough in me to write the short story. I don’t know about the art yet, but I’ve been drawing bits and pieces here and there when I’m able to. I do worry I won’t have it in me to finish it in time, but I am glad I got it about 75% of the way there.

It is such a relief to finally find that spark in me again. I almost want to cry from joy, but then I won’t be able to see to write it haha.

Whatever doesn’t get into the magazine, I’ll try and post. I dont’ know where I’ll be living at that time, but I’d just need internet long enough to post them.
I’m making progress in a permanent living situation, but it’s a matter of enduring until all the puzzle pieces fall into place and that there aren’t too many distractions. That’s a post for another day though.

I’m thinking a lot of this is the lupron shot they have me on, but it’s my last option and it’s not working. The doctors theorize that I’ve been weakened by this to where I’m too weak and at risk of damage to be operated on again. My only options were pregnancy and the shot, but I don’t want a child for 1001 reasons and I cant guarantee I’ll concieve if I try.
I do plan on looking for other doctors to confirm the whole too weak for surgery thing too.
It’s just their observation. How do they know my organs are too weak to endure surgery without tests and just by looking at me? Can they put an ICD-9 or an ICD-10 code to what is causing the weakness?

Until they can, I’m not giving up.

Since I’m having some symptoms in the “rare but serious” list of side effects, I may have to go to urgent care later today and that’s why I wanted to try getting this post out.
I want to write as much as I can of this story as I can until it’s time to decide. Whether I end up going or not doesn’t really matter, I just want to do this much.

I finally understand how my grandmother felt when I took care of her and why she did the things she did, and that’s where my inspiration for this story came from…

Thinking Out Loud: Covers

I’m sure I’ll loose respect from some for all I have to say on this topic, but I might gain a little for the honesty.

I used to draw a lot more than I do now. These days, it’s mostly for the sake of character sketches to make sure I can describe them well and include all the details needed to get as accurate of an image to the drawing or sketch as I can. Not many people get to see them anymore. People think I’m weird for drawing the anatomy of a spider demon or chupacabra anyway.

Not only that, but I draw with a regular mechanical pencil. I’ve tried drawing tablets and photoshop and practiced for years, but I can’t do it. Ironically though, I can do well with the Microsoft Paint software, but only if I dedicate the time into every pixel. It’s probably because I’ve played with it for most of my life and it’s the only photo editing tool that I can use on my laptop.

With that in mind, I only have 2 cheap or free options: make my own covers in paint–putting in the time and effort into each pixel for a more abstract design or pay a friend. Chances are, the friends may mess up or not create exactly what I’d have in mind. They would most likely be some sort of graphic design student still in or fresh out of college, but that doesn’t always guarantee skill. According to an old friend of mine, you learn how to draw, not necessarily how to draw well. He may have had skill with charcoal and knew the in’s and out’s of photo editing software and programming, but I wouldn’t have trusted him to edit out red-eye to save my life. As much as I’d rather help promote the work of skillful artists I know, I’d rather not have a 2-D anime cover when I want a contemporary photo for the cover (I like anime. I have nothing against it. I just don’t want that for the cover if I don’t think it’s appropriate to the content or target audience.).

I’m poor and very cheap. I’ll put in whatever effort I need to to save money. It isn’t so much that I would rather not invest in professional help in such a field, but I want to try and do what I can by myself first. I can’t exactly pay myself, so I can’t risk or attempt to scam myself out of money or quality work either. Besides, There are options for pre-made but customizable covers with KDP, Createspace and Lulu (Waiting on a Bail) and it gives me an excuse to be a little more artistic (Vagabond Vampire)…

(P.S. The Vagabond Vampire cover is still a work in progress, but you get the idea…)
Vv cover desu Waiting_on_a_Bail__A_Cover_for_Kindle

Thinking Out Loud: “Artists cannot have a low self-esteem.”

I’m sure it’s something a lot of people have heard before: “Well, if you can’t handle criticism, then don’t draw/write/act or create any other form of art.” With that, I have been told before that only artists of any sort with high a self-esteem has the right to be an artist.

I disagree.

How many people create some form of art as a form of self-expression? How many journal or write or draw to give feelings something to possess so they don’t have to right within your body for territory? How many people project themselves into a character and a fictional setting to feel like they have control over the situation they couldn’t otherwise act upon? How many of those very people think they might have a flaw that distracts away from who they are? I would bet almost all of them do, but who doesn’t?

Sure, a good portion of any artist’s anxiety is in regards to negative feedback and what that will do to the opinion others will have of you or what you produce. That is something I’m sure exists on some level in anyone who produces art, the worry that someone won’t like it and what that says about you as a person. However, critiques are a topic for another time. Likewise, not everyone is completely happy with themselves or everything around them or else they wouldn’t feel the need to be creative or productive in the first place.

Thoughts?