This article was reposted with permission from author Leigh Goff from her Bewitching Hannah blog
I’m a wife, a mother, and an author of young adult fiction with type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed as an adult in 2001. My first novel was published in 2015, and my second novel, Bewitching Hannah, which is set in Annapolis, just released. I’m in the middle of a busy fall season full of book signing events that will challenge me to get out there and do my writer thing while keeping my blood sugar levels balanced and staying healthy.
On a daily basis, I’m home writing, which should be easy, but the challenge is staying vigilant when I get sucked into the writing zone because I lose track of not only time, but also my type 1 routine. Fortunately, my writing companion, a sweet Golden Retriever, lets me know when she’d like a walk, which is often—thank goodness! I also use a Medtronic insulin pump and a Dexcom CGM (continuous glucose monitor). The insulin pump has been a godsend, especially when I have to travel long distances for book events, and although I’m fairly new to the Dexcom CGM, it has already had a fabulous impact on my life and my blood sugar.
The bigger challenge as a writer with type 1 is when I attend these amazing book fairs or author events where I’m gleefully busy for hours at a time interacting with readers and other authors. I have to remind myself to check in on how I’m feeling, which is difficult when you’re gushing with fans over your favorite authors and books, right? At events like this, if I start to feel low or my CGM alerts me, I’ll take a break for a few minutes to take care of myself. I also bring bottled fruit juice with me, just in case.
In the past I’ve been asked to give advice to teens with type 1 who are interested in becoming writers. Here it is–most importantly, take care of yourself because a healthy writer’s mind requires a healthy body. Exercise in between writing sessions, make healthy food choices (as much as you can!), count carbs, and utilize technology to stay fit. The world needs all types of writers. Dream big and start writing about what you love. Take classes to hone your writing. There are lots of free writing tutorials online that anyone can take advantage of, if you can’t afford a writing class. And finally, join a community of teen writers or join/create a teen book club (local libraries are a great source for this). Then you can read a book by an author with type 1 and invite them to Skype into your book club! By the way, reading is just as important to your writing as writing is.
The next big thing I have planned, besides completing my third young adult novel, is getting my next A1C results. Since I’ve only had the Dexcom CGM for a short time, for the first time in sixteen years I can’t wait to see what a difference it has made.
To learn more about Leigh and her writing adventures, click here.