Hey. I totally meant to do a post over the weekend, but my body had other plans for me. Never ending pain and suffering. My upper right shoulder/neck/spine area has been taken over by the devil and is determined to break me down, but I refuse to succumb! I’ve been taking ibuprofen like it was Pez, I used heat, ice packs, limited the movement of my neck and head until I was reduced to muppet-like motions (much to the amusement of my friends and family). My roommate and coworkers have been treated to random, bizarre sounds of pain every time I go to sit, stand up, reach for something, attempt to look around, usually something like “Grraagh” or “Urrgghhihaateyou.” I finally saw the chiropractor today, got some x-rays done – oh man, the little hypochondriac in me was freaking out over that. What if it’s bursitis, or a slipped disk, what if they find irreparable nerve damage, what if I need surgery omgiamgoingtohavetolivewiththispaintherestofmylife – I mean, it was like this:
I had a minor adjustment. Dude, he wouldn’t even give my neck a proper adjustment, because apparently yanking on my neck in that manner would make me cry. I’m still in a world of hurt, but I have a little more range of movement then I did this morning. I get to hear the verdict of my predicament tomorrow.
It’s been a great five days, y’all.
So what does this have to do with writing? Not a thing. Physical pain isn’t very conducive for writing, at least not in my case. Mental pain, anguish, whatever – now that’s the stuff. I stand by the belief that writing is mentally therapeutic. I’ve worked off many a bad mood through writing terrifically violent scenes, or putting a character through sheer hell because someone is going to suffer after the day I’ve had – better it be an imaginary someone rather than a real person who could press charges.
Grief, too. I’m never too comfortable talking out potentially depressing issues, only to a few choice people, so it has nowhere to go but on the page. I lost my grandfather last year – more like a father figure to me – and it’s still too fresh to deal with properly. I channel all that sorrow and use it for a character or a specific scene that requires me to go to that place. It’s painful, don’t get me wrong, but I liken it to what actors do. They’re not in happy places when they’re acting out heart-wrenching scenes. Writing feels the same at times. I’m not saying you’re required to paint your bleeding arteries all over your work and it’s only ‘authentic’ when you’ve become the cliched tortured artist – I’m saying if life has kicked you in the face and you feel more comfortable channeling that hot mess into a story, run with it. I wrote a short story about my grandmother, that’s getting published in an anthology this November (courtesy of Weaving Dreams :), and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever written in my life. Immensely rewarding but – every time I go over it for edits, I have to walk away for a little while, and mentally distance myself from the subject matter.
Okay, got a little heavy there. No need for that. The gist: let’s keep on taking out all our frustrations on the page, where no one gets hurt but fictional people. I’d like to think I’m all the more reasonably mentally sound for it. Don’t let anyone who knows me tell you different. And let’s hope this wretched neck pain gives up by Thursday – I’ve got my first writer’s convention to go to!
Happy venting, people.