Diseases get lots of airtime in the media. Horrible things, like leukiemia, Alzheimers, and what we call bread-and-butter problems like heart disease. But did you know your doctors also think about whether you can manage laundry?
The ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) and IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) are lists of thing you need to do in order to survive.
ADLs include bathing, brushing teeth, eating, dressing and undressing, going to the bathroom, and getting in and out of a chair.
IADLs are more complicated necessities of life: doing light housework, managing your money, grocery shopping, driving, taking meds, using the phone.
When patients accumulate enough medical problems, doctors start thinking about whether they can handle their ADLs and IADLs. If not, then things like nursing homes, home aides, getting more family help, etc start entering our minds.
How does this relate to writing?
On a character level, does your writing show your MC or others doing their ADLs too much?
Megan woke up, yawning. She shuffled into the bathroom, brushed her teeth and dutifully applied her zit-cream. After a quick trip to the toilet, noticing once again her little brother forgot to change the toilet paper...
I mean, does this stuff really further the story? I used to put ADL stuff in my writing, realizing I was boring my betas to death.
How does this relate to authors?
Just a word of advice. I'm sure you're all bathing and eating, but please don't forget to perform your IADLs when you're totally absorbed in writing! That brain fog can get really bad sometimes. Pay the bills! Make sure the milk doesn't go sour in the fridge! Or your doctor just might have to get you a home health aide.
Can you imagine?
"Hi, I'm Lydia. No, I'm not sick, it's just I need Lola the Home Health Aide because, well, I'm a writer."
Please keep in mind this post is for writing purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice!
If you've got a medical question, let me know! Post below or email me at
I will usually answer your question by email within a day or two, but post later so you don't have to wait a long time to get back to your WIP. All I ask in return is that you become a follower of my blog and post a link on your blog when I post. Easy peasy.
Also, don't forget to check out Mental Health Mondays at Laura's Blog!