Writing as a spoonie is sometimes an exercise in futility. I swear my brain likes to hit me with the most wonderful plot ideas just as I’m about to fall asleep, and anything I could possibly write with is out of reach. Of course, when I keep something nearby to write with, guess what happens? You got that right. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
Since being diagnosed in 2009, I have learned that I have to find ways to work with my chronic illness, rather than against it. Scheduling time has been touted to me as the best thing since Betty White, but with how unpredictable energy can be with fibromyalgia, it’s not always possible. For me that means a lot of technological bits and bobs, and writing an idea that can keep my interest for more than a day or two.
It also means that I can’t do something like National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) without knowing going in that I’ll fail. For my own purposes, I consider a “win” if I get myself writing daily.
You’re probably asking yourself right now what does this woman actually write? My primary genre is called rock fiction. When I was younger, I had a brief flirtation with working in music, and the love of it has never left me. Around the same time, I got hit with a creative idea that took over a decade to finally get into a written form.
The best advice I can give to anyone who is trying to write with a chronic illness or chronic pain is that you set your own schedule. Don’t let someone else call the shots. Do what you can handle, not what others tell you that you can handle, because you live in your body—they don’t.
The following is an excerpt from Amy M. Young’s rock fiction work-in-progress (WIP). You can read more of her writing on her Website. ~ Ed.
They were still doing a lot of covers, but Jon and Mike had written a few songs that they’d managed to pull together—they could use a bit of polishing, but they were original and showed promise.
The band was still without a name, and they were quickly coming up on their first live show at the campus pub. Various assorted names were tossed about—Boris Karloff’s Great Adventure, Vicars In Tutus (Chris’ suggestion, which was shot down inside of thirty seconds), Nucleon Number (yelled out in a fit of frustration by Mike), and UnAngelic (Lori). Finally there was silence.
“Can we just call ourselves Untitled? Make everything easier?” Mike wondered.
Everyone went silent again, thinking in their own little spaces.
“We want something catchy, something that describes us, something that describes our sound.” Jon mused.
“Well, what is your sound? Define it for me.” Lori, who was leaning up against him, questioned.
“Big, amazing, kind of ‘wow.” Just like you’ve been out walking and all of a sudden you’ve been hit by a torrential rainfall. Something big and surprising.”
“Well, why not that?”
Everyone looked at Lori with questioning looks on their faces.
“Jon, think of what you just said about the sound of the band, the bit about rain.”
“Torrential?” he perked. “Torrent! That’s fucking brilliant. Like a fucking torrent of sound just hit you!”
He leaned down and gave Lori a kiss. “Thanks love.”
She rested her head gently on his murmuring, “You can thank me later,” with a wink. Mike cleared his throat, breaking their reverie, bringing attention to the matter at hand.
“So, Torrent? Chris, you got any suggestions, objections or whatever?”
Chris straightened, as if stung by the allusion that he wouldn’t like the name. “Nope, I actually really like it.”
Jon smiled. “So. Torrent. Huh. We’ve been arguing over this for how long? And Chris . . . what the fuck is with Vicars in Tutus?”
Amy M. Young is a Canadian writer who lives in the National Capital Region. She primarily writes rock fiction and her work can be currently found on her Website. You can also follow Amy on Facebook and Twitter.