>Ya know, it so amazes me how I manage to get that Pleasure Me title worked into a blog post, Facebook or Twitter comment. *grin* But I digress. Part of being a writer is that you have to sit in a chair somewhere to write. If you have a day job, the sedentary piece of this writing job can make it difficult to accomplish anything. In February, an old workman’s comp back injury flared up. The pain and all the muscle relaxants made me comatose, which made me late with my manuscript, Pleasure Me (there it is again, coming March 2011). So I had a cortisone shot in the spine in March, which took and I was getting back in the swing of things by doing my back exercises, walking on the treadmill and WRITING, when it happened. Some jerk (polite word here) at work decided to spill water in the Board room kitchen and NOT clean it up.
Guess what idiot didn’t see the water? Guess who slipped and in her efforts not to fall and break a bone on the hard floor pulled every muscle in her back? Guess whose back is now in worse shape than when she had a shot in her back last March. Yep! That’s this writer.
Now the back issue isn’t what I want to focus on here. What I want to talk about is that what happens when a writer gets sick or gets injury. It can blow your schedule clear out of the water. I’ve not been able to keep a steady regiment of writing like I have in the past. Pain has a way of obliterating well-intentioned plans to crawl out of bed at 5:30am in the morning. Pain meds make you sleep or make you loopy. The sleep is non-productive, although hallucinogenics can help you create some really INTERESTING scenes. Of course, mating pigs are not necessarily something one can fit into a romance. I have NO idea how that image wound up in my dreams! However, horrific dreams have a way of working their way into my writing. And THOSE I have to tone down.
It’s Rarely Pretty
But the worst thing being sick or injured can do is make you miss a deadline. Fortunately, I have an understanding editor. But I hate being late. Especially on my current book, because I was really looking forward to doing the baking and decorating I’ve missed out on for the past two years because I’ve been deep in the throes of writing or editing a book. I’m a very disciplined person, and not being able to do something well, on-time or ahead of schedule is almost worse than the pain or illness that keeps me from doing those things.
And if you think I’m whining or asking for sympathy, au contraire. I’m sharing this information as a way of telling everyone (this advice isn’t just for writers) exercise, diet and moderation in all things is NOT to be underestimated. Although these things might not prevent injuries or illness, they’ll go a hell of a lot further to ensuring a faster recovery or minimizing the damage to one’s body.
The End Results
Best of all, taking care of yourself means you won’t have to give up things you love, like rollercoaster rides, getting on the floor to wrestle with your big puppy, being forced to use inhalers because you stubbornly refused to go to the doctor for a little sinus infection that became pneumonia, not being able to hike for great distances like you used too and worst of all looking in the mirror and thinking OMG, when did I get so fat? But even worse than those things is the LARGE, often overwhelming, cost of medical care. In the past year, I’ve spent almost $2000 on deductibles. I don’t know how people without health insurance manage to pay for their healthcare.
ALL of the things I’ve mentioned and others that are personal to each individual can often be remedied with a small commitment of 20-30 minutes at least three to five days a week. EXERCISE and moderation in all things can lead to a much better life than I’m having at the moment. The exercise doesn’t have to be boring, dancing, walking, swimming can be fun. Walk your dog and you’ll keep him/her fit too. If time travel were possible, I’d go back and teach my younger self that exercise can be fun not boring. I HATED hearing that sit-ups were the best way to have a flat stomach. I’d settle for less stomach at this point.
Advice – Take It or Leave It
So if you’re young and reading this post, don’t shrug it off. Although if it were me, I probably would, because I did just that when I was younger. To that I say, ignore this advice and the picture I painted here, and you WILL BE just like me in a few years. And those years continue to pass more quickly as you age. If you’re as old as I am, and you’ve not maintained a fairly healthy lifestyle (there ARE times when too much alcohol isn’t a good thing) then I’ve a feeling you can really empathize with me on the health issue. Unless of course you have better genes than me, and then I will want to cry. So don’t tell me, okay?? Because I will then response with some childish remark like, Well yeah…well…well yeah, my ancestors would have survived the dark ages because our fat would have kept us alive while you would have starved to death. Of course said response really makes no sense when you think about it, because obviously some skinny people survived. *grin*
What a rambling post this is. Guess that’s what pain meds do. I’m SOOOO glad I’m getting that shot today.