How Can a Writer Make Progress When They Can’t Write?

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Photo by Kat Stokes on Unsplash

I’m sick. Don’t worry, I’m self monitoring and so far I am very sure it is not COVID-19 (on the other hand, if I get it now, I don’t have to worry about that part any more).

Thankfully, I still have enough energy to write. (I actually have plenty of energy, it’s just that my sinuses are imitating Gullfoss into both my nose and my lungs).

But what do you do when writing is just beyond you, but you’re well enough to be out of bed?

Suggestions for Things that Help your Writing that Take No Energy

So, here are my suggestions for things which will help you be a better writer:

  1. Read. Yup, you all know that was going to be top of the list. Curling up with a good book can make you feel a lot better when you’re sick and we learn from every book we read. If you have eye strain, switch to audio.
  2. Watch scripted TV or a movie. Same note. We learn from that writing too; and there’s so much good scripted TV out there right now. So, if what you feel like doing is binge watching The Mandalorian, good news!
  3. Go down that research rabbit hole. You know, the one you dragged yourself away from because it wasn’t actually relevant to your WIP. Now’s a perfect time to read up on 14th century hygiene habits or whatever, and make notes that can be a little bit incoherent, as long as you understand them later.
  4. Doodle. By this I mean write stuff that you don’t intend to keep, that doesn’t matter. Just do stream of consciousness or whatever. Don’t even look at it when you’re better. Write it. Put it in a drawer. Make it absolutely not matter.

With all the sickness going around, some of us are going to be unable to write; and the most important thing is not to feel guilty about it.

Written by

Freelance writer, freelance editor, novelist and short story writer. Jack of many trades.

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