I was planning on writing a long post about magic and military fantasy this week when reality intervened. I was recently put on medication for diabetes and my metabolism still seems to be adjusting to it. I’ve had to make some dietary changes as well which are not helping. A lot of the day I feel pretty slow, particularly just after I have taken the tablets in the morning. It’s not exactly conducive to writing either fiction or blog posts. Under the circumstances there is only one thing to do: learn, adapt and roll with the punches.
I’ve spent the past couple of weeks watching my body’s responses and I’ve reached a few conclusions. I am slowest in the morning, almost normal in the afternoon and early evening and then I slow down again when I take the second tablet of the day. It has taken me a while to spot this.
It has resulted in some awkwardness since I normally do most of my writing in the mid-morning and I am done by the mid-afternoon. Old habits die hard and I’ve spent some time struggling to work in the morning, throwing my hands in the air at my lack of ability and then knocking off at my usual time because, well, that’s what I have always done (or at least for the past few years.)
Having spent some time logging my responses, I now know that currently I am at my most capable just after the time I was giving up at. My new plan involves lounging around in the morning reading Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin novels and writing in the afternoon and early evening. It feels odd and difficult and I struggle to get as much done as I would with my old routine but at least I am getting something done. I work on the principle that I ought to be able to write 2000 words a day. If I can’t do that I should do 1000. If I can’t do 1000 words, I should do 500. If I can’t do 500 I should probably, as the great Jack Woodford suggests in Trial and Error, give up and go find another job. Obviously, practically speaking, you implement this plan in reverse, starting with 500 and working your way up through each milestone. At the moment, I am managing just under 1000 words a day. I intend to keep this up until either my body adapts to the medication or the new habit takes. Science points in the direction of this taking about 6 weeks.
This also means that I am writing a somewhat shorter blog post than usual. So it goes! You need to do what you can when you can. At least I am writing something, which is in accordance with my basic principles of getting something done. Hopefully next week, things will go a bit better.