Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Health, Productivity, and Change

This is a post I've been thinking about writing for a while, but was really hoping I wouldn't need to. It might even be premature to post it now. I don't know. And maybe it's a little bit of oversharing, but I feel like it's better to overshare in this case than to cryptically vagueblog and make things sound worse than they are. So here it is.

I want to say upfront that I'm not burned out this time, and I'm not giving up writing. Y'all aren't getting rid of me that easily. I've promised some sequels in recent months, and those are still coming (including the two sequels to If The Seas Catch Fire, the F/F Anchor Point spinoff, and the sequel to The Master Will Appear, plus Cari Z and I are writing a sequel to Double or Nothing). There are several books in the finished-but-revising stage, and I am still writing.

Writing is still happening. I just foresee it slowing down a little. Maybe a lot.

To cut right to the chase, some medical issues are interfering with... well, basically everything in my life, but relevant to this blog post, my ability to read and write. If you're curious, the condition is Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension, aka Pseudotumor cerebri. Basically too much cerebrospinal fluid. It's not currently being treated because I'm technically still in a bit of a diagnostic holding pattern because seeing specialists while stationed overseas means coordinating with the military, off-base civilian facilities, and translators. And let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've had to have a conversation with a neurologist through a translator.

Anyway. They've ruled out the life-threatening stuff (like a not-so-pseudo tumor), which is a good thing. The less good thing is that as a result of all this floaty brain nonsense, I've been dealing with steadily worsening vision problems, near-constant headaches, and occasionally blacking out for no earthly reason. Good days mean my eyes getting really tired really fast, and annoying but bearable headaches. Bad days mean not quite having a migraine, but feeling like I will at any moment. 

So... you can imagine what this does to my ability to write. Reading for pleasure went out the window months ago (audiobooks are a lifesaver!!), and whether I like it or not, it's time to admit that writing is becoming a struggle. No matter how much I stubbornly insist it's not the case, my output is taking a hit. In fact, it needs to take a hit so I don't make myself extra miserable.

It may also start affecting my ability to attend conferences. RT and Euro Pride were the first cons I've attended since this weirdness started, and I could definitely feel a difference. They were a struggle in ways cons haven't been for me in the past. I'm still planning to attend the UK Meet and GRL, but after that, I'll have to play it by ear and see how I feel.

Hopefully I'll lock down a treatment plan soon (or at the very least once I'm stateside in 2019). Hopefully something will actually help. Hopefully this blog post is entirely moot and I get back to my normal life and my normal writing before anyone even notices I slowed down (and before the plot bunnies start chowing down on my skull).

But that's where it stands right now. I don't know if it will continue to get worse, or how much worse it'll get. I don't know if there will be drug side effects to contend with. Right now, today, all I know is that I finally need to admit to myself that I'm going to have to cut myself some slack when it comes to my writing and editing output, as well as my conference attendance. Again, I'm not stopping. Just slowing down. I'm working on using dictation software, but there's a learning curve there, so it's not quite happening yet.

So we'll see how things go. One day at a time, onward and upward. If you're waiting on something from me -- whether it's an email, a manuscript, or a release -- please be patient. I'm going a bit slower than usual, but I'm working on it! :)


  1. Be well, Lori. Keeping my fingers crossed for an effective treatment plan!

  2. You need to look after yourself first, we will still all be here waiting for your next book to come out - if that has to be delayed while you hopefully get this under control, so be it. As someone who is also dealing with chronic health issues I feel for you. It is frustrating when you want to get things done, but your body is not on board with that plan. Take care, and good luck dealing with the doctors etc, I hope you can as soon as possible find a way to manage this without too many side effects (as sometimes those can be just as bad as the original problem ((hugs))

  3. please take care of yourself!

  4. Sweet buttery Jesus, that's scary. :-( All the feels.

  5. Anxiously awaiting your arrival CONUS...

  6. Sending hugs and wishing the best outcome to you. Slowing down is a good idea right now. Take care.

  7. As much as I hold my breath for each and every one of your books, your health must absolutely come first! Take care of yourself. Be well and happy!