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5 Ways to Keep Writing When Your Migraines Get in the Way

5_ways_to_keep_writing_when_migrainesIf you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’d know one of the biggest obstacles in my life is my health. Like any good writer, I have daily (or weekly!) goals I aim for to make sure the novel in my head ends up as a fatty word document in my hand.

But how can you continue making progress on a novel and grow as a writer when migraines keep you clinging to ice packs and pain killers like a koala to a tree?

Here are 5 ways to keep writing and growing despite those migraines:

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Psalm 56 Rewritten for Migraines

Psalm_56_rewrittenMy sexy husband came back from a week-long retreat on Friday. Along with a backpack of sweaty man clothes and greasy hair, he returned with a poem. He had rewritten Psalm 56 for me in the framework of my chronic migraines.

I don’t talk much about what living with chronic pain looks like. Mainly because I’ve found most people tend to shrink away from the ugly parts of life. And pain is very ugly.

I understand.

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

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This quote is often attributed to Galileo but is actually the last two lines from Sarah Williams‘ poem “The Old Astronomer.” You can read the whole thing here if you want.

To me, the lines mean we don’t need to be afraid of the dark times in life.

The following is from Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle:

“Milton could have retreated into passive blindness and self-pity instead of trying the patience of his three dutiful daughters and any visiting friend by insisting that they write down what he dictated. Beethoven could have remained in the gloom of silence instead of forging the glorious sounds which he could never hear except in his artist’s imagination. Sometimes the very impetus of overcoming obstacles results in a surge of creativity.”

If Milton remained afraid of of his blindness and never faced it, we wouldn’t have Paradise Lost. If Beethoven cowered in response to his deafness, we wouldn’t have Symphony No. 9 in D minor. Instead, they embraced the stars so fierce night no longer had a hold on them.

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You are a Character in a Story

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Top 5 characters I want to meet:

1) Hermoine. She’s smart and nerdy and finally somebody to do work with me two weeks in advance.
2) Annabeth Chase. She’s smart and wise (I’m sensing a theme here).
3) Twilight Sparkle from My Little Ponies (I know, I know. Leave me alone). She lives in a library and is super talented and smart. And she’s a unicorn.
4) July Numah (from my own book, 12). Just to convince myself her faults aren’t really my faults.
5) Elder. Integrity. Leader. Hot. Too bad both of us are taken.

We love characters. We’re drawn to them; we root for them; we cry for them; we imagine them our friends. And we wonder why can’t we be more like them, sometimes even narrating life events like a famous character. (Okay…maybe it’s just me…)

But we are like them.

We are characters in a story. Our own story.

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