So often, it’s easy to feel like we can’t do anything when we’re chronically ill, right? That we’re stuck in bed, can’t pursue our dreams, or accomplish anything? That our whole point right now is to just get through? Sometimes it is all we can do just to hold on, but I hope you are encouraged today by an interview with a newly published author, Hailey Hudson! She is young and chronically ill, but that didn’t stop her. 🙂
Hi Hailey! Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
Hope is the Thing with Feathers, a play on Emily Dickinson’s well-known poem of the same name, is the story of a young girl looking for hope in the darkest of times. Amalie lives in Prague, but is taken to Terezin during the Holocaust, and participates in the famous children’s opera Brundibar that is shown to the Danish Red Cross.
It sounds great! What inspired you to write it?
I was partially inspired by the deadline, since it was originally a school assignment. 😉 But in all seriousness, I’ve been fascinated with the Holocaust for years. More than that, I felt a responsibility to share this (fictional) story and raise awareness about the Holocaust. As Elie Wiesel (writer and Holocaust survivor) said, “If we forget, we are guilty–we are accomplices.”
Would you mind sharing in what ways your chronic illness has affected your writing?
Since my chronic illness is primarily a fatigue illness, it’s really taken a toll on my writing. Being constantly drowsy affects my focus and means that I have to prioritize the most important activities to complete in the brief window when I’m most awake (mid-morning), and sometimes school is more important than writing or I have to be out of the house during that time. I also get headaches easily, and staring at the computer screen doesn’t help.
If you could share one piece of advice about writing in chronic illness, what would it be?
Give yourself grace and remember that you have plenty of time. There’s no rush–it’s not a race to get published. If you’re too tired or in too much pain to write, then don’t; it’s okay (which is something I’m still trying to learn). You’re not doing yourself any favors by pushing through when you’re exhausted, and the quality of your writing isn’t going to be the best if you feel horrible. Whenever you’re feeling decent, though, make writing–and reading–as much of a priority as possible!
Do you have any plans for more books in the near future?
Absolutely! I’m currently writing a middle-grade novel, I just finished editing a dystopian novella, and I have another middle-grade novel plotted that I plan to complete this fall–I hope to have all three of them ready to go by the end of 2017, and then we’ll see what happens from there. Thank you so much for the interview, Sara! I love your blog and I hope that this post shows other people with chronic illnesses that, in most cases, writing is still completely possible.
Thank you for the interview Hailey!
To buy Hailey’s book or learn more go here. You can also find her at her blog here.