I know many of us here, both contributing authors and readers, have experienced difficulty writing when our health has deteriorated for one reason or another. I’ve recently experienced that in a new way, one that I’m still working through.
Back in November, I suffered a heart attack (my second, if we’re counting). Treatment was successful, and I recovered quickly. However, I’ve had to go onto anticoagulant medication for a year, to prevent any blood clots forming around the stent that was put into my heart. The cardiologist first prescribed Brilinta, which had absolutely horrendous side effects – severe shortness of breath, dizziness, and others. After a few weeks, I went back to see him and insisted on a change. He prescribed Plavix, which is working much better for me.
Unfortunately, I take a number of other medications to treat the results of a serious injury almost two decades ago, that left me with permanent nerve damage and other complications. Adding an anticoagulant to the mix appears to have sent my muse into a tailspin. I’m finding it very difficult to write fiction. The creative spark is muffled, to say the least, and sometimes extinguished altogether. I can still produce fiction, but its standard is generally not up to the mark I’ve set for myself. I suspect the problem will continue until I can get off the anticoagulant medication and back to my “regular” medications alone.
Of course, I’m still able to produce non-fiction. I write up to three blog articles every day, and one daily at weekends. I’m also working on a non-fiction book about preparing for problems and disasters, something where I’ve had a great deal of experience on two continents (for example, see “Lessons learned from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005“). I hope I’ll have it ready within two to three months. Nevertheless, the “fiction drought” is frustrating, and it’s certainly cutting into my income. I’m taking other steps to address that.
So, I thought I’d put the question to our readers here. Have you found that your state of health, and/or the medications you take or have taken, have affected your ability to write creatively? If so, please tell us about it in Comments, and also how you managed to overcome the problem (assuming you have). We can all learn from each other’s experiences, and perhaps be forewarned of potential issues before we start taking a new medication.