When the Work is Done?


I don’t think the work is ever done for a writer.  In four days, I cranked out 20,000 words, give or take a few.  Another story is off to the editor.  Time to give it some more pizzazz and fix all my spelling and grammar errors.

However, as one book comes to an end, others loom in front of me.  One, two, three, four… Deep breaths.  Just joking.  I find nothing about writing stressful or overwhelming.  I always look forward to the next book.  My brain loves it.  Writing is like a drug and I’m a full on junkie.  Every word that flows from me soothes my frantic mind and instills a bit of calm in me.

But my body rebels.  Such effort and devotion, such speed and frenzy… My fingers hate it.  I type roughly 100 words per minute.  Maybe more, it’s been a long time since I was took a typing test and I have no desire to actually find out.  My brain works slightly faster than whatever I type, causing me to miss words or insert words that shouldn’t be there.

That isn’t the rebellion though.  After four days of constant computer use, I’m digging out the Aspercreme.  My hands and fingers ache, they feel swollen.  This is why I gave up playing the cello.

I played for several years, loved it.  The music that floated from the instrument at the touch of my fingers was incredible.  But after several years of drawing the bow and manipulating the strings, I began to have problems with my hands.  They would ache after I played for only a few minutes.  By the time an hour session was over, just moving them caused me agony.  This was in the 1990’s.  The doctors couldn’t really say what caused it.

Now days, it is much the same.  They don’t know why the pain and swelling exist.  I have no signs of arthritis.  They call it generalized inflammation due to overuse.  They recommend Aspercreme and Advil.  Both help, neither takes away the pain.

So today, I will abandon my craft.  I will ignore my books as much as possible.  Instead, I will watch reruns of something on my laptop and use stress balls to un-inflame my hands.  Tomorrow, I will sit down and the process will start over again.  Another book dying to be released onto the pages in front of me and I will diligently type until my fingers ache and swell.

I loved the cello, but I live to write.  I refuse to give it up for something as silly as a little pain and swelling…

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