When you have a limited amount of energy to spend (as I do) you must choose carefully which tasks to prioritize.
I have been thinking about this quite a bit lately, as I have not spent much time and energy on writing, at least not as much as I would like. Instead, it has been primarily work and sleep, with any extra strength spent on domestic tasks, such as laundry, food prep, and paying bills.
I have written a few poems throughout this long period of chronic illness, but not with the productivity of just a few years ago. I miss the days spent this way: a hot cup of chai, a pile of books, notebook, laptop. The process of completing a bigger project--such a a full manuscript--is really satisfying: the research, writing, assembly, editing, submitting.
It's been a while.
Returning to doing what you love can be a gradual thing, a slow awakening. It starts with the smallest of projects: a single poem, a single journal submission.
Today I have two poems in a lovely online journal: Masque & Spectacle.
I also have three poems up at one of my favorite online journals: Arsenic Lobster.
I am setting aside a bit of time, not every day--but a couple of days a week--as designated time for writing and submitting work. If I am unwell that day, I will reschedule, just as I might for any other appointment. I am making creative time a necessary aspect of self-care. Larger projects can wait. It's okay if I don't have a book manuscript. It's the regular participation in the act that matters. With time, I believe the bigger projects will emerge.
Measuring Up and Marching Towards Spring
1 day ago