Here are my top 5 tips for writers with chronic illness:
1. Learn to adapt.
Change your schedule, your work patterns, your ergonomics, whatever it takes.
2. Know that change will be continuous.
What works today might not work next month, so be flexible!
3. Hunt for ideal clients.
Eat Ramen for a few weeks if it means you hold out for a great client — one who pays you $1 per word and sends the check 15 days after you invoice. Don’t settle for those $.10 a word folks who pay on publication six months later, if at all. This is not impossible, but it takes work to find those clients. Do it, and it will pay dividends for years to come.
4. Work on acceptance.
If you don’t accept some limitations, you’ll be fighting your body; and you won’t win. I’m not talking about giving up. I’m talking about learning to love yourself as you are today.
5. Remember that as you learn to deal with disability and/or illness, you are strong.
Every small success matters. Keep a journal or a diary of your successes, so you can remind yourself of how terrific you are during hard times. And build a support network to help you, including other freelancers in your area. You can help each other with business tips and emotional support.
In 1997, at the age of 25, Jenni Prokopy was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Soon after came diagnoses of asthma, anxiety, Raynaud’s phenomenon and GERD. She created ChronicBabe.com in 2005, to provide an online community for younger women with chronic health issues who want to be at their best.