Trudi Canavan

bestselling author of The Black Magician Trilogy

2016 & Beyond

It’s been a rather testing year. At the beginning, the troubles I’ve had with my neck for nearly 20 years abruptly escalated to the point where I couldn’t write. Physiotherapy and an MRI later and it seems like the problem is both a worsening of muscular issues along with the new complication of a slightly compressed disc and nerve.

Writing is the main culprit. It’s easy to tell it is. I can still paint and draw, if I stand up. I can dig in the garden. But if I sit or extend both of my arms for more than an hour even the strongest over-the-counter pain killers can’t cut the pain. Sitting and extending is worse.

(I should add: I’ve tried dictation software before, and it doesn’t work with the way I write. Please don’t sent me emails suggesting it.)

Keeping away from the computer for all but an hour a day for eight months has helped. So has reducing tweeting to a minimum – mostly just reading and replying to notifications. But it hasn’t cured me, and it’s likely this is a long-term problem that will only go away completely if I never write again.

That’s no fun.

I figure that, since I managed to write the last half of Successor’s Promise in an hour a day over about seven months, then polishing over another month, producing books is still possible. They’ll happen a lot slower, but that does give me more planning and plotting time. But before I launch into the next book, I’m having a rest for a few months (if you call physio, pilates and other exercise-related treatment a ‘rest’) to see if that helps as well.

I hope you’ll find it worth the wait.

8 Responses »

  1. Hi Trudi – I found your books on Audible and they are brilliant. Thank you!

    I just saw your post from 12th October and wanted to comment that yes, please look after your body. (also sad face for that means longer time before future books)

    I wonder have you tried or considered voice recognition software like the Dragon Naturally Speaking – I haven’t but I should, as I find computers or indeed most things these days affect my shoulders and neck etc.

    You see I have 2 conditions – one inherited that has caused a twist in my spine and constant vigilance to counteract the associated neck and shoulder issues directly related to that, but also I have had neuropathy for the last 7 years and Doctors now believe I have Fibromyalgia so I can understand looking at treating your body with the Pilates Physio etc – I do a lot of self work with trigger point therapy, massage ball & rollers plus stretching everyday morning and night to gain some sort of life, and go to weekly massage therapist sessions. But I have been considering that perhaps I need to look into good voice recognition software to assist me so maybe you could look into that too?

    Any way thank you for being a An Aussie Fantasy writer who has brought a different magic system, rest up – and maybe even try record your next book notes to keep a hand in whilst you recuperate… need that to cope mentally too.. even by voice recording and having someone transcribe it 🙂



  2. Sorry to hear, have a look at the Erqoquest workstations, I have a friend that has benefited from them as a programmer that had ‘vulture neck’ problems

  3. I’m so sorry to hear of your issues Trudi, they sound like an absolute nightmare. But I am so glad you have found a work around and can still write 🙂 I’m not sure what I’d do without your novels! Perhaps you need to change into one of those posh authors who walk around the room rambling off your work to someone furiously typing away at the keyboard 😛 (that’s a joke!)

    I know you are doing physio but something which has helped my muscle problems is pilates 🙂

    I’m definitely sure Successor’s Promise will be worth the wait, and eagerly wait its release. Hey, if George RR Martin can make his fans wait years, what’s a few extra months for us 😉

  4. I’m so sorry this is happening to you – stay strong and hopefully the doctors will be able to figure out something that will help you soon.
    I am very much looking forward to the last part of Millennium’s Rule – I’m sure it will be worth the wait! Much love from the UK xXx

  5. Ms. Canavan, I can honestly say I am not happy at all to hear this! Unfortunately I had no knowledge that you suffered from any pain issues in the past and it is horrible to hear that it is being worsened by writing! However, I for one can easily say that I am more than willing to wait whatever time is required for your writing. I haven’t read all your novels yet, but what I have wonderfully delightful and I feel the world as a whole would be deprived should we lose your imagination!

  6. We have standing desks at our company which are high enough to stand and work at the same time (some of my colleagues put the keyboard near the edge of the table to prevent stretching the arms too much while keeping the height of the table high enough to comfortably reach the keyboard/mouse and writing equipment). Some do this the whole day (typing/project sketching/taking phone calls/etc.). I have just watched a fascinating documentary about a 3 stared sushi restaurant in Tokyo and they also stand and work the whole day (the sushi chef is 91 years old). I spent four hours at my office standing while working with the computer, it feels awesome. Later I realised that due to repetition, our subconscious connects writing/working with sitting, that’s probably why we want to sit most of the time when it comes to office work. I believe that you can train your subconscious mind to do anything you like/perceive such things as normal (a routine) – it is fantastic to begin such a new habit for writing/working. I did 🙂 I send you good health and best wishes for a healthy and happy life.

  7. Thank you for all of your Books. Please don’t wreck your body to write good books. We will wait.

  8. Thank you for wonderful books and I wish you a speedy recovery 🙂