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Guilt, Inertia, and the Mind-Body Connection

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Vita Numinous, May 18, 2011.

  1. Vita Numinous

    Vita Numinous Scribe

    So, it's been a while since I've been around here. It is so awesome to see so many new faces. I took a hiatus for multiple reasons, but the main one was guilt. I wasn't writing at all. Checking into forums with all these nifty people talking about how much they're getting done, how they're doing it, what they're working on, made me feel scummy that I wasn't writing. Then it occurred to me that I was still working. A lot.

    I've been dealing with some odd inflammitory problem in my right shoulder blade. The pain likes to work it's way around my ribs, and I unconsciously kind of tighten up on the right side, which eventually actually shortens my right leg and causes my SI joint at the hip to dislocate. Crazy, right? Let me also mention that my "second" job while I write is as a massage therapist. I get the honest pleasure of helping lots of other people's backs... at the expense of my own. I got my chubby rear end a Y membership, started working out, got physical therapy, got into a routine of stretches and excercises at home, started eating better, and in general have been filling my time with trying to get the physical aspects of my life in order so that sitting at a desk to write didn't make me want to writhe in pain within half an hour. With my body yelling at me, and trying to bring all these things under control, I felt that I wasn't getting any time in to do real writing. Husband, son, work, life changes, and lots and lots of pain wasn't leaving me lots of time at the keyboard.

    I'm a d*mned writer, no matter what. Why did I come to this conclusion? I think it might have happened when I noticed the notebook of scrawled ideas and character notes that I managed to write while sprawled flat on my back on the couch. There are ideas for two new pieces in there, as well as world building, plot ideas, and character development for all my other works in progress. Not working? Of course I'm working! I'm working even when I'm sittng around staring into space, because I can't help but find myself going over my work in my head and trying to improve it, fill it out, just plain playing with it and letting it evolve. I'm calling my cowriter and going over details for the heck of it, roleplaying scenes and adjusting them until they work out in a way I like best (thank gods she likes this part of the work as much as I do, or I'd be pretty darned annoying). I'm editing the work from my writing group here at home, and going over their notes on my pieces. I can't help working on my stories, because I love it. It's fun, it's just what I do. I wouldn't change it if I was given the opportunity plus a million dollar handshake. Stories keep me going. I have never really understood the suffering writer stereotype; I'm too busy giggling that someone might actually pay me to have this much fun someday. In the meantime, I'm totally loving the journey, even when it looks more like couch surfing. The final revelation that got me out of my shy, self pitying, maybe-I'm-not-really-a-writer funk was that even though I was only spending fifteen minutes at a time at my laptop, I was still working away every second of that little period of time, and coming back to it as soon as I could walk across the room again without looking like Lurch from the Adams Family. It wasn't either of my two main projects (one cowritten book, one personal book), but I did get a short story almost ready to be sent out to try and get it published.

    Realizing all this business finally got me to where I felt comfortable rejoining the "writing community" as it were, instead of hiding here behind my computer screen or curled on the couch wondering if I should start taking classes in accounting. Okay, that really wouldn't happen, I'm a pitiful finger counter, but you know what I mean, I think.

    The lesson I managed to take from all this silliness is twofold. First, taking care of your body is just as important as all those annoying people tell you. Take a walk, do some yoga, do *something* you enjoy, but stay active. You will, I know from experience, reach a point where the problems you let your body collect gets in the way of the wonderful processes of the creative mind. And even if it's just a little stall, it'll drive you nuts. Heck, you can get a lot of brainstorming in while you're sweating away at an aerobics class or a good walk. (Hey, walk with a recorder. No one but you ever has to hear your out of breath, scrambled ideas.) Second, even when you feel like you are blocked, for whatever reason, you still have to keep following the things you love. Do it differently, try a new approach, but there is no reason to stifle who you are. I assume that most of the people here are writers, it is kind of the point of the forum. So, congratulations, you are a writer. Nothing can take that from you. Well, maybe death, but I'm kinda hoping for some sort of heavenly seaside property where I can keep doing what I love, in my secret aspirations. I don't see why some little inconvience like death should stop me.

    ~Vita Numinous
  2. Dwarven Gold

    Dwarven Gold Minstrel

    Hey there Vita,

    I was beginning to think that the Darkspawn had gotten you. Welcome back!

    Does walking to the pub and getting piss drunk count? ;)
  3. Aqua Buddha

    Aqua Buddha Scribe

    Welcome back Vita!
  4. Behelit

    Behelit Troubadour

    Hello again Vita

    You really need not explain yourself. With that said, it is nice you feel free to open up and give us some insight and pep. You're back and thats important! Feel free to come and go as you please, but don't forget to drop us a line every once in a while. :)
  5. Vita Numinous

    Vita Numinous Scribe

    It's good to be back. Nothing noisesome noshed me, I was just being all busy and stressed. <grin> Missed you guys.
  6. Vita Numinous

    Vita Numinous Scribe

    Hah! Well, perhaps if the pub is in a neighboring shire. Note; if you can still shout bawdy drinking songs, it's not exactly aerobic exercise. ; p
  7. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    We missed you too. Welcome back, Vita! :)
  8. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    Vita: bet you get pinched nerves in your underarm, too, right? For what it's worth (and assuming you haven't already figured this out on your own, which you may well have), it's probably the serratus anterior muscle that's the source the problem. It took me years to discover that three completely different symptoms in different locations (stabbing chest pains, pinched nerves, burning pain in a spot you can't reach because it's underneath the scapula) was the same damn muscle, all depending on where it wanted to bugger up that day. And I was the one who figured it out… while I was looking at a muscle diagram at my therapist. She didn't realize what it was, either–which is why I mention it, just in case.

    As to why it's doing it: again, you may already know… you don't actually say, and don't really give enough information for a guess. (That, plus I'm not a medical professional… nor do I think diagnosing over the internet would be all that good an idea anyway.) If you haven't, however: have you been checked for fibromyalgia? Because even the limited description you do give sounds awfully familiar.…
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  9. M.A.N.

    M.A.N. Scribe

    I'm with Ravana on this. Serratus anterior is a muscle often overlooked in back problems.

    And there's this little nifty thing I learned - and never thought of: working on your computer at your desk while walking, slowly, on a treadmill.
    A sure remedy for all couch potatoes.

    Take care,
  10. Vita Numinous

    Vita Numinous Scribe

    Thank you for the advice! Everything you mentioned will be looked into. I actually have an MRI today, and an appointment coming up in a couple weeks. We'll see how it goes.

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