Feeling Good Enough to Write

Sailboat at sunset on Lake Michigan
Sailboat Moored on Lake Michigan

What a Month
I’ve had better days. Better weeks, actually.

Recently, my characters were quite active and my daily fiction writing seemed to flow with little effort. Ideas, situations and actions for my characters were coming out almost as fast as I could type. Then things suddenly slowed down … considerably.

It wasn’t writers block. It was pain.

For the past month I’ve had a pinched nerve in my upper back that’s been driving me crazy. There’s no comfortable position I can find; standing, sitting or lying down.

Sleep has become one of those words that I don’t bother to use … because lately I don’t do much of it. It doesn’t matter how many pain meds I take. They don’t help.

It hurts constantly.

It’s kind of like having an ice pick jammed into my back, just to the left of my right shoulder blade. I’ve blogged with it hurting, but my fiction writing slowed from the frenetic pace that saw me add 20,000 words to my Reichold Street sequel, to a crawl of less than a hundred words a day.

It finally stopped (the writing output, not the pain).

I went to my internist two weeks ago and he confirmed the pinched nerve diagnosis, but his remedies didn’t make a dent. I was going to make an appointment with a chiropractor last week, but couldn’t. Last week was a special gathering of old friends.

The Gathering
Seventeen gentlemen (I use the ‘gentlemen’ term loosely … but we’re all good friends and I’m sure they’d agree with me and forgive the slight) met in northern lower Michigan to celebrate an event that started way back in college, and continued for almost thirty years.

Most of the get-togethers were “ski” trips (we weren’t all skiers; we only called them that because they took place in winter). The fact this trip was in June didn’t change it much.

A little warmer. No snow.

We haven’t met now for more than 15 years (gosh, am I really that old?) but seventeen of the nineteen invitees made it to this one. I understand why.

This is a great group. Once in a lifetime friends. A little constant pain wasn’t going to stop me from being there.

I put off the chiropractor and dozed in a chair for a only a few hours the whole four days of the trip (it hurt so much I couldn’t lie down). But I’d do it all again and endure it for these guys. I wouldn’t have missed this trip for anything.

Someday I may even write a story about it.

I finally saw the chiropractor this morning (and made additional appointments for later in the week), and the relief is palpable. No, it hasn’t eliminated the pain, but I can at least raise my head again, and that’s a start.

I was beginning to feel like one of those really old men who always have their head down, as if they were looking for pennies or shiny little stones.

They’re not. Now I know why.

Today, I actually felt like writing again … and that’s a special thing. I’m not going to, since I spent the good “no pain” feeling of this afternoon writing this blog and I’m about ready for pain meds again, but it was nice to sit down in front of this lousy keyboard again.

One More Thing
I’m still trying to figure out how to use MailChimp to make my “Creating Believable Characters” pamphlet giveaway live, and I’m sure I’ll have it solved soon, or I’ll find another host (I’m having so much trouble with MailChimp I’m looking now at AWeber).

But … all that aside … the most important thing, as every writer (indie or not) surely knows, is feeling good enough to write again.

Thanks, Doc.

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12 Responses to “Feeling Good Enough to Write”

  1. Snyds Says:

    Hi Pincus, You can explain the saluatation. Glad you are feeling at least somewhat better. As one of the “Gang of Seventeen” at “The Gathering” let me echo the thought that it was a special time. And look on the bright side about sleeping in a chair – your sacrifice opened up a solo bed for another of the trippees. (To all you writers I know that trippees is not a legitimate word.) Is it okay if I forward this story to the other “Gatherers”? Last, I hope you do write a story about it – just change the names for obvious reasons! Snyds


    • Ron Herron Says:

      I think I’d rather let folks wonder about the salutation. Sometimes it’s better to let people guess. An air of mystery, and all that. It’s good to know there was a bright side to my pain. Big Bo … I know he was happy (I’m not going to explain that, either). It’s OK to forward this to other “Gatherers” — who knows, one of them might buy a book. 😉


  2. Marny Copal Says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling up to writing again. Good luck with the various remedies.


  3. karensdifferentcorners Says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better. Don’t ever let anyone tell you Writing is easy, because you and I and a lot of other writer’s know it’s hard work and hard on the body!


  4. M.S. Fowle Says:

    Sorry to hear, Ron. Have you sought out a physical therapist, instead of a chiropractor? They far more gentle and focus more on solving pain long-term, rather than a quick “adjustment” here and there. (I’m a bit biased, as my father is a PT.)

    Glad you’re feeling a bit better though. 🙂 Write away!


    • Ron Herron Says:

      I’ll probably do some PT along the way. My bride has said it’s what I need, right from the beginning. I used PT after I broke my elbow trying to prove I could still play football with 17-year-olds (bad idea), and again when I tore the rotator cuff in my shoulder.

      Saw the x-rays and it will be more than a few “adjustments.” But I can write again, so I’m smiling (a little bit).

      Thanks, Mel.


  5. T. W. Dittmer Says:

    Glad you’re doing better, Ron. Take care, man.


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