We can share the “hard.”

I’m trying to recover from a writing injury. This is a slow process. At first, I didn’t realize what kind of injury I had sustained. I thought maybe I had hyperextended my creative muscle and sprained my imagination.

I tried healing my injury by feeding it rich nourishing stories, but I couldn’t get it back to a normal functioning level.

Then I thought, maybe I have just fractured my ability to use words. Perhaps, in the endless search for the correct combination of verbs and adjectives I had hit the grammar bank too hard. I was forced to limp along with only basic word usage. I had to walk my written thoughts forward instead of running them along.

Plus, I became over coached. I received too much advice about what was wrong with my form. I kept changing my writing gait until I was unable to move forward at all. In an effort to improve what I had already completed, I changed the essence of what I had created.

My story was killed.

My efforts were diminished.

My belief in my ability to produce was crushed.

At the same time, I’m also trying to recover from a running injury. Why, I wonder, are these two activities so firmly linked together for me? Perhaps, without the opportunity to push oxygenated blood through my brain via exercise, I don’t have the power to create original thought.

The running injury was a stress fracture that refused to heal for six months. For six months I couldn’t produce a run, and for the same amount of time I have been unable to produce words. I consulted with doctors about my leg. I was once again told that maybe, a woman of my age, should really be thinking about abandoning running for swimming.

There’s nothing wrong with swimming. Except for the water. Which makes you wet. Plus there’s the trauma of wearing a bathing suit. And pool hair. And chlorine.

Since I am apparently destined to continue to suffer from running injuries I’ve decided to design a tee shirt to wear at future doctor appointments. I have several ideas:

Don’t tell me to just swim” on the front, “And I won’t tell you to just relax” on the back.

Or maybe, “There is no scenery in swimming.”

Or possibly in an effort to be clear about my feelings, “Swimming…it’s NOT the same as running.

In September when I fractured my leg I thought it would recover in about six weeks – a reasonable time frame if I stayed off of it and was careful.

In October I went to New York to meet a series of literary agents and editors who were prepared to provide feedback on my recently completed manuscript.

I was excited. I bought new clothes. I got a haircut. I practiced my pitch in front of the mirror. I chose a pump up song. I was ready to rock and roll.

And I killed it! I did great! I sold myself, my story, my concept.

And I failed anyway. I did my best, but I sustained this writing injury.

Plus, a running injury.

I am finally recovering.

I can’t believe how hard it is to come back from this stuff. I can’t believe I haven’t learned this by now.

I’ve started out slowly running again. Slow, slow, slow. But the action of powering myself forward with my own legs, lungs and heart have once again proven to be the necessary stimulus to sit back down at my keyboard.

I can once again be found on the path across the street from my house. I lace up my running shoes, don my currently tight running clothes and propel myself along. I experience the freedom of moving myself through space.

And I can still be here. Sitting at my keyboard and sharing my thoughts.

Maybe it only matters to me, or maybe you can see parallels to your own story.

It is hard when you keep getting hurt. It is harder to get up each time. Harder to heal those fractures. Harder to take those filaments of story and try to reweave them once again into a better story.

It is just hard.

Right now there is a lot of hard .

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