Friday, August 10, 2012

On Not Writing

Ok, so I guess if I'm going to call myself a writer, I need to write. But there are so many other extenuating circumstances that seem to take me away from writing. I just recently endured 3 surgeries on one hand and 6 months of being in a splint. I didn't endure it well, as my doctor and physical therapist will most likely attest. I don't like being confined like that, and I expect this old carcass of a body to heal much faster, and much better, than it has. I am disgruntled with the whole thing.

So, once the splint came off, I got back to living. Now, when my doctor told me I could resume regular activity, I don't suppose he meant helping roll up tar paper from a roofing job. And I don't suppose he meant dragging big, heavy plastic tarps about. And I don't suppose he meant using weedwhacker, chainsaw and pruning shears and attacking a much overgrown yard. But these are the things that must be done.

To make the medical profession feel better, I did hire Mr Le and associate to do the whacking, pulling and hauling in the front yard. Ok, half of the front yard. I have a very big front yard! As a writer I don't make enough moolah to pay for more than half of the yard. And forget about the back yard, which is three times the size of the front yard.

So, I have been clearing out the debris, opening up the jungle, letting in light. And not just outside, but inside, as well. I shampooed the carpets - one room at a time. I rearranged the living room furniture since I was shampooing anyway. (Thank goodness for those silicone sliders. I can only move the couch and two chairs anyway. Everything else is way too heavy and will be in the same spot until we die. I'm guessing.)

But a weird thing is happening as I clear clutter, both inside and out. My mind is clearing. I find myself writing stories in my head. I haven't put anything down on paper yet, but there are fleeting moments of creativity whilst whacking the yard into submission. So, maybe all of this activity is a good thing. Maybe freeing my hand from the splint, the yard from the overgrowth, has freed my muse to once again be thinking of something other than 'how soon can I be free of this wretched splint'.

Hey, Muse, nice to have you back.


  1. JennaKay, sorry to hear about your hand being splinted for 6 months. That is a long time and I type hand clinic reports all day long every day (except when I have to do stat psychiatric hospital jobs or wonderfully long-winded psychologicial tests for the hospital in Nevada) and it's unusual to be splinted for that length of time. Even for carpal tunnel syndrome and releases, they don't keep them splinted more than a couple of weeks or so.

    As you are clearing your yard, house and mind, please remember that all the over activity can lead to more problems unless you have totally healed and most surgeries on the hands require quite a bit of time to heal.

    On the other hand, it is a good thing that you have cleared and cleaned and your muse has become decluttered and available for your writing but don't overdo the work and keep a notebook or something handy to record those fleeting thoughts of ideas so that you can get them down on paper at some point. E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of FINALLY HOME, a middle grade/YA mystery (written similar to a Nancy Drew mystery)

    1. It wasn't a solid six months - there were several weeks in there without a splint. See, I had wrist surgery at the end of Jan. But there was a sharp edge on the bone and it sliced through a tendon. They went back in at the end of March tried to fix that. But my tendons are shot, and it didn't work, plus there was excessive scar tissue. So, June 4, they went back in and put in a new joint and a donor tendon, and cleaned out the scar tissue. So, it wasn't really usable for 6 months. Except in short bursts of time. Now it's free and I am trying to get caught up. But there is more scar tissue and well, healing is being slowed by that. GRRR

  2. Nothing like an active mind to create those lovely stories. I hope you stay well. Our yard is mostly brown. It's been so hot and dry nothing will grow. The lakes are running low so water is rationed. Our pond is dry. We're having a nice rain at the moment. Hope it rains all night.

    I shampooed carpets last month for our son and family's visit. Once a year I get in a cleaning mood. The rest of the time, forget it.

    1. I live near Seattle and we haven't had but a few days of hot weather. Of course, here when the temps rise around 80, everyone starts falling over. LOL And the plants, who are so accustomed to so much water, are gasping like they haven't seen rain for a year instead of a few weeks.

  3. I'm glad your muse found you in the midst of your yard! Sounds like a lot of work, especially in this weather, but hopefully it just felt good to get out and do something with that hand. Like Elysabeth, I have spent some years typing up hand specialist notes and I agree: please don't overdo!

  4. Physical activity can be a very Zen thing. The mind wanders and works. Sometimes the best thing a writer can do is take a break from writing.