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  • Writer's pictureFran Clark

5 Productivity Tips For Unwell Writers

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Unmade bed and work activities

Working from home can be a challenge in itself. Keeping focus, getting tasks done. Whether you're a full time writer or a part time one, the chances are the majority of your writing happens in your home office, kitchen, garden shed. You name it, we all have our writer cubby holes and mine is in the corner of the living room, where I not only write but teach singing lessons too.

Right now I'm coughing up a lung. We've tested negative for Covid but the two of us are hot and cold, achy and coughing as though we were in a coughing competition to see can have the sorest throat by the end of the day. Admittedly, I was good for nothing yesterday - or very little - but I wanted to get something done. I'm in the middle of editing Book 2 in the Island Secrets series and recording the audiobook of Book 1. Well the audiobook is a non starter but replying to emails and doing some of my edits is possible if I can write from bed and I can at least sit up.

So before you get industrious withing the sheets, here are a few tips that helped me get some writing done and not wipe me out completely.

Tip 1

Bring everything you'll need from your office up to the bedroom. And that means everything, so you don't have to go traipsing around the house or flat and give up on the writing task because all that traipsing around has worn you out.

Tip 2

Medical supplies. While you're doing the above (or better still, getting a willing soul to do it for you) have your tissues, tablets, glass of water handy for the runny noses, headaches etc you're likely to have if you're not feeling well.

Tip 3

Refreshments. The trusty person from Tip 2 might have to go out and let's face it, work makes you hungry. Have food and drink handy. Grab your lovely goodies, too because you're poorly and you're allowed to comfort eat and look sad if anyone judges you for taking the last piece of cake or if you decide to demolish the biscuit tin. Sugar helps you concentrate after all.

Tip 4

Take lots of breaks. Your concentration might be shot and it's probably best to work in short spurts and take it easy until you feel as though you're on top of the task again. Don't push through because you have a deadline. It'll go against you if you write a lot of rambling nonsense and have to start again from scratch the next day.

Tip 5

Don't beat yourself up. You're not well and you're allowed to have the rest if you need it. If you're like me and you have a big writing project on the go, you were bound to have set yourself deadlines and schedules. But, guess what? They can wait because if you're unwell and you're tired, lacking in concentration, then stop. Recover first. Most writers have notebooks by the bed or a voice recording device handy, so just note things down. And don't worry about when you can address these notes, you will, in time, and before you know it, you'll have recovered.

*Coughs, splutters, reaches for the tea and biscuits before putting her feet up*


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