Thoughts on Books: Writing with Chronic Illness by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

It’s time again at Storybundle for the writing bundle and the 2019 collection is, again, a great choice of books (and a lecture). There was especially one book which caught my eye (and that was the first one that I ended up reading); Writing with Chronic Illness by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Writing with Chronic Illness by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

As most of you know by now, I struggle with some chronic stuff, most importantly Bipolar (and everything that comes with it), so this seemed like the perfect book for me. The only other (writing) book that I’ve really read so far that really addresses health and that you should do what you are capable of doing and not run yourself into the ground is Crank It Out! By C.S. Lakin. (Okay, I know there are probably many such books, I just haven’t found them or read them yet.) Anyway, Writing with Chronic Illness has really helped me a lot already.

Rusch has divided the book into two parts; the first a bit of history about her own chronic illness and struggles and the second how she has been so prolific while her health has been anything but good.

What I really liked about Writing with Chronic Illness is that it’s not only written earnestly, but also in a way that says “You can find something that works for you as well”. Rusch knows that chronic illness is not an easy subject to tackle because she lives it. She knows as well as anyone that it’s not a one-size-fits-all.

One of the first things I did learn from her book, was that I really need to keep to my routine a lot more than I do. It seems once I get lost in my own mind I tend to throw bedtimes out of the window and that soon catches up with me. It then takes a whole weekend to get back into gear; which sucks, honestly. Unfortunately, a routine is a must for me — and not only to make it easier to remember to take my meds at the same time every day.

It’s five stars for me

In the end I have to give this small volume five stars for the earnestness with which it is written, and also for the no-nonsense way in which Rusch gives her advice.

Writing with Chronic Illness contains many good takeaways and pointers that you can use in your own life without being preachy about them. It’s really the honesty of the book that really struck me.

If you have a loved one struggling with chronic illness, this can also be an eye opener for you as you see how people with these illnesses need to make a life by working around the worst of the symptoms, etc. in order to keep going. (Sometimes this may seem to be the same as “keeping up” with the rest of the world, and, sometimes it may look as if the whole body and mind just checks out. And you don’t always get a warning of when that is going to happen.)

Some more ramblings

I must say, I also realise that I am in a very privileged position in that I am able to work full-time and still work on my writing. But, a lot of the time, it does seem that the world is moving at a breakneck speed and I am unable to keep up with such a pace. However, Writing with Chronic Illness gives me hope that I will not only be able to (in the future) spend much more time writing fiction, but will also be able to better handle my own Chronic Stuff while doing this. 

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