Usually I write every day. My writing projects vary—everything from website posts, to blurbs for the book industry, to book revisions, to articles for magazines. In recent weeks, though, I’ve done little writing because of all the distractions. This upsets me. What are my distractions?
Open heart surgery is the first distraction and it is a biggie. I was in the hospital for a week and in short-term rehab for another week. Pain, medications, and daily exercises prevented me from writing. I also had to face the reality of having a seam down my chest for the rest of my life.
Being my husband’s caregiver is the second distraction. He requires more care these days and I’m exhausted when I tumble into bed at night. I’m still recovering from surgery and not as energetic as I used to be. Exhaustion can keep the most dedicated writer from producing new copy.
Clearly, we needed more support, so we’re moving to a retirement community.
Getting ready to move is my third distraction. My husband is paraplegic. His lower body is partially paralyzed and he is in a wheelchair. Interested as he is in decisions about our new apartment, involving him in these decisions is difficult. He has short-term memory problems due to the anesthesia he received in three operations and his medications make him sleepy. Our apartment is being completely renovated and there are many decisions to make. Making these decisions—type of flooring, wall color, trim color, wheelchair shower design, and furniture placement—leave me little time for writing.
Coping with these distractions is hard, but I’m doing it. “You’re entitled to be slow,” I keep telling myself. I divide writing projects into small steps. One day I start an article. The next day I add more copy. The day after that I finish the article and proofread it. I have a book in production and am in regular contact with my publisher.
When we moved into our current home, a wheelchair-friendly townhome I built for my husband, I signed an agreement with a caregiving agency. A paid caregiver came to our home each morning to get my husband up. Since I needed more help after surgery, I increased the caregiver’s working hours. As I find my way through this busy time, I can say with assurance, “I’m still a writer and proud of it.”