Saturday, December 5, 2015

Rewriting Our Injuries, Distractions, Or Losses

The other day my left knee stiffened up on me and made me feel uncomfortable.  I realized it bothered me most when I tried to bend my knee.  When I tried to squat, it felt like my knee was swollen, sharing space with a basketball, leaving me to figure out how I hurt it and more importantly, how to heal it.  I’m 48 but sometimes arthritis shows itself in my back and my other knee, both of which have not thankfully acted up in a long time.  I know I can’t freak out over it, but it really as limiting my movements and activities.  It woke me up at three or four in the morning the past eight nights.  I want to get comfortable, then functional.

Whenever we suffer an injury or disability or emotional setback it can consume our thoughts.  I admit my mindshare dedicated to this balky knee has taken over my thoughts, but I know I need to move past it.  I simply want to push it to the side and keep it away from interfering with where my energy and focus should be – on writing.

Perhaps the best way I know how to deal with something is through my writing.  For me, writing is therapeutic and revealing.  It should inform its readers but most often it is informing the writer.  No matter what I experience – ecstatic pleasure or hellish pain – we, as writers, write about it, and use it in our books.  We write what we know, who we are, and what we feel and think.  I guess I am my knee, at least when it comes to writing.

The funny thing about trying to ignore something, like a weak knee, is that by intentionally avoiding it first puts a greater focus on the object of our non-desire.  Now all that I think about is how my body is falling apart, how it hurts to do the simplest movements, and how I can’t do what I normally do.  My routine is disrupted and I have to come to grips with the understanding that my potential experiences are limited or voided by this ailing body part.

I’m walking with an anchor.

But we must persevere and move beyond whatever problems we have.  Not only is this good advice for living, but certainly for writing.  We have to compartmentalize things when we write.  Put your life on hold, to the side, and live for a different one when you write.  Writing frees us up to be whatever we want to say, be, do, or feel.  It permits us to live in our minds as if it were real.  For many of us, writing is the real world – and living is something we do as a hobby.

Learning to overcome, to compensate for something, to do without, to be weaker or slower – all of this is presented in times like this when a knee goes missing.  It still hurts and limits my movements, but I can’t and won’t let it interfere with my writing life.

Ok, so I have to stop writing now to put some mineral ice on my wounded knee, but I’ll be back writing soon after. In my writing world, I’m jumping and sprinting.  Ah, I feel great!

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketing

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