QWF Writes: Writing After a Concussion

Pearl Pirie (Headshot by Brian Pirie)

Pearl Pirie (Headshot by Brian Pirie)

This essay is excerpted from QWF Writes.

By Pearl Pirie

The first year after I had a concussion was a blur. I was dead to the world for three months, going in and out of sleep, exhausted. I had vertigo and difficulties with light, sound, and language. No reading. No computers. No writing. Definitely no multitasking. I had to rest for far more hours than seemed viable and consequently had to suddenly quit a few organizations I led, with no succession plan in place. I closed my small press, or as it turned out, put it on hiatus. I simply had no choice.

As with a stroke or cancer, a traumatic brain injury can be an opportunity to reexamine one’s life and priorities.

I had been heading towards burnout, and my concussion forced me to adopt a more balanced life, once I’d recovered enough. Now, when I overdo it, I go on concussion protocol: no screens, no concentration, less activity. The concussion encouraged me to do fewer things better, to slow down, to spend more time in nature and quiet and with friends. To go deeper, not further.

I stopped attending so many activities. I moved out of the city and started working on editing more, writing deeper. This concussion changed my capacities. I still can’t concentrate for those fourteen-hour editing and writing days like I used to. After one or two hours I need a full break. But I can go deeper because of the slowness and the focus needed to keep on a track.


Continue reading Pirie’s full piece at QWF Writes.