When Your Writing Needs A Shot of Something by Chris Kincaid

Two years ago in April, a co-worker thought we should run in a 5K on the Fourth of July. I had never run before in my life, but for some odd reason, I decided to add that to my bucket list. I bought a pair of shoes and took off running down my road each evening after work. Within a few weeks my left ankle was burning. I looked it up on-line and diagnosed myself with Achilles tendinitis. I bought some heel orthotics for my shoes, started doing some stretches and the pain settled down.


I took a year off, but as soon as I started running this past spring, that Achilles tendon started aching again. I bought not only new orthotics, but new shoes. That offered no relief. I asked a doctor who had a few more suggestions but I still got no relief. I kept running though; the ankle didn’t hurt when I was on it only when I tried to sleep at night.


Then one morning a month and a half ago, my right hip locked up on me. I could barely walk on it, much less run. I got some more exercises and started icing it. No relief. I talked to the doctor again as well as the physical therapist. I did what they said but still got no relief.


Do I accept my body telling me that I will never run again and that much of the time it will hurt just to walk? Or do I continue to fight it?


What do you do when you have writer’s block? Or no publishers will even look at your work? Or all you get is bad reviews? Or your computer crashes and you lose all of your work?


You take a break. You find a writing partner. You sign up for a course. You read something for fun. You write something for you and no one else. You invest in a new computer. You remember to back everything up when you are done for the day. You don’t quit.


The only thing I haven’t tried for the bursitis in my hip is a steroid injection. I’m not afraid of needles. I just don’t want to bother my doctor about this anymore. I don’t want to take that five minutes out of my work day. I want to give it just a little more time.


What about you and your writing? Have you really tried everything to give it a boast? Does it need a shot of something? Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t be afraid to turn to the professionals.


Maybe today is the day I ask for help from the professionals.


Chris Kincaid


One comment

  1. I enjoyed the way you draw lessons about writing from challenges faced with that darn hip. Sometimes perseverance brings us closer to our goals. Sometimes we need to let go. Your essay suggests way to accept both dreams and limitations.

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