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Thursday, December 13, 2007


Pain-Free Blog

I used to be a disciplined writer. No, let me rephrase that. I was becoming a disciplined writer. A novice, I decided to seriously pursue a writing career only earlier this year and struggled with carving out writing time in the beginning.

By the end of summer, I'd finally found my rhythm. Each morning, I put my oldest child on the school bus, grabbed a steaming cup of hot cocoa, pressed pen to paper, and wrote until my two year old woke from his dreams. I learned to set my own deadlines and hold myself accountable for reaching them. I even mastered my remote control by turning the television off so that I could maximize my writing time. As a matter of fact, by September, I'd carved out three "writing sessions" a day and was juggling multiple manuscripts. And to top it all off, I sent off three manuscripts by the end of October.

So what happened, you ask?

A sneeze.

Yeah that's right--well, sort of. You see it wasn't just one sneeze that took my highly disciplined and well run writing routine away. It was a series of violent, malicious sneezes that conspired together to wreak havoc on a bulging disc in my back. That bulging disc sent sharp pains into both my legs. Within a week after they began their violent attacks, I was laying flat on my bed on pain killers and Ibuprofen, surrounded by ice packs.

Two weeks and one MRI later, I tried to return to my writing but could not because of the constant pain in my lower back. Writing became a painful chore that I started to avoid. Of all the things I thought would get in the way of my writing (such as my nice warm bed, watching Law and Order reruns, or mopping the kitchen floor), I had never imagined that my own body would betray me. It robbed me of my energy, my patience, and most painfully, my creativity.

Now, one month and one heck-of-a good chiropractor later, I sit here, typing this blog, pain-free and extremely grateful. My injury taught me that the privilege of being able to do what we love the most--in my case, writing--should not be taken for granted. Though I'm finding it difficult to fall into my old routine again, I'm determined to take it all in stride. No longer am I focused on how many manuscripts I can complete per month. Instead, I'm committed to enjoying the journey of becoming a better writer and reigniting my urge to be creative.

By Kesha L. Grant

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Blogger del said...

What a story. I'm so glad your back is better because it can be very hard to focus on something when you're in pain. I'm sure your routine will fall into place in no time.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Angela said...


I can sooooo totally relate. A few years back I was in a really bad car accident, which left me with two herniated disks in my neck. But the worst part was that I didn't even know I had them until I got an MRI. I just thought my pain stemmed from some kind of weird aftershock of the accident (a car T-boned us in an intersection and we flipped through a Pizza Hut window on the corner!) but, just finding out what the actual problem was, helped me deal with it.

At first, I downed all the pain killers my doctor allowed me to have: Ibuprofen, Vicodin, OxyContin (Anna Nicole Smith's drug of choice -- mine too), and even morphine tablets. Yikes!

That stuff can be "painfully" addicting (in a different way) and mind-numbing. It can zap the creativity right out of you and make you sit like a couch potato. No ambition, and stuck in perma-bake la-la land. Not good!

For a while I was afraid to drive a car, get in a car, and afraid of what life would be like without medication. But I knew the only things in life that I was any good at were lost: my art, my writing, my creativity. So, which was more painful?

I forced myself to not listen to the doctors, not to get the surgery they suggested (a 50-50 disk transfusion operation), and to rehabilitate myself.

It took me six months, but after that I never refilled another prescription for pain medication and decided to rebuild my neck's muscle strength to compensate for my broken disks. I also decided that nothing was more important than my goals... without them, all seemed to be lost and not matter.

And you know what? Soon after that I was not only back driving in my little sports car, but I decided to take a motorcycle class, get a real class CM1 license, buy that beautiful Moto Guzzi I always dreamed of, and hit the pavement, stronger than ever. And, I got back to the creativity, which I sorely missed.

Kesha, I'm soooo glad you took things in stride, and didn't get buried for too long. Welcome back, my dear. You are on a great road.

I can hear the ignition, or re-ignition!



12:33 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I hope you are doing better Kesha.
I want to commend you for your strength in returning to what you loved to do.

I actually can relate to the pain as well, it was a year ago that I ended up injuring my knee severely, it kept me from work, spending time with my children and writing as well. All I wanted to do was sleep away the pain. After about 3 months of letting the pain run my life, I had to have surgery, come to find out I had damaged the cartlidge in my knee. After the surgery, I took a month and a half off to recover. During that time, a light went off I realized what was missing, my writing, something that I loved to do. Here I had the perfect opportunity to work on my writing, but instead I was feeling sorry for myself, thinking about all the pain I had been going through.
I sat down started to do a little research, when I was brought here to WOW! If it weren't for Angela and all of the wonderful women that I have met here at WOW! and the support that everyone has given me, I probably wouldn't be back in full force with my writing. It would probably still be sitting on the back burner while I let everything else continue to control what I was doing.


I am so glad that you were able to recover from your injuries as well. I want to commend you. You have been such an inspiration to me and now, I have another bit to look up to you for. Your strength.

Both of you are incredible women and I am happy that I was brought to WOW! to meet you.

Happy Writing!

1:23 PM  

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