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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


  1. Anonymous8:51 AM

    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.

  2. Kesha,

    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!



  3. Anonymous1:23 PM

    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!


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