I have an important question this week.
Do you have a plan to cover your writing responsibilities in case of illness or accident?
The need for such a plan became very clear to me in the last three weeks. Barely recovered from a six-week struggle with severe back spasms, I fell and seriously hurt myself. No broken bones, but heavy bruising and the unexpected mental shock of being hurt took a toll on my writing and other work.
I’m not telling you this for sympathy. I’m recovering and easing back into my work. But I want you to understand that you never know how something like an accident or illness will impact your energy. And that will affect not only your ability to write, but every aspect of your life. It was a shock to discover that even after my immediate pain subsided, just moving from bed to chair exhausted me for the entire day. And that lack of energy lasted for more than two and a half weeks.
My preferred method of writing these blog posts is to focus on current events, or to comment about something in a book or manuscript I’ve just read or edited. So I tend not to have many posts pre-written. And that meant when I found myself unable to focus on writing, without the energy to sit at the keyboard, my blog sat empty of new posts.
Many writers depend on their ability to put words on the page for their income. And those with day jobs have even more need to make sure they have a plan in place.
In those past three weeks I’ve pondered the need to create an emergency plan for all areas of my life, not just for keeping up with my blog posts.
Just as we plan for winter snowstorms, spring tornados and hurricanes, we need to plan for health surprises.
You may find it impossible to define a set of actions right away. But at least I’ll have encouraged you to consider the possibility that a time might come when you are unable to write, or to meet other job requirements.
I’m still not clear on what my plan will look like. But it will include some form of pre-writing and scheduling for my blog posts, and a list of writing friends who may be interested in creating guest posts.
Here are a few questions you can ask your writer self:
- If something happens to my health, do I have a plan in place for covering any current writing jobs?
- How long can my writing career continue to produce an income if I can’t write?
- Do I have writing friends who could help me complete any job with an immediate deadline?
Did you have a writing emergency plan in place before you read this post? Share some of your tips in the comments.