Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Art of Excuses

Since I was diagnosed with RA several years ago, I have found the pace of my life slowing to almost a standstill.

I began writing this entry by explaining all of the things I have a hard time with now, but immediately erased it.  You don't need to wallow in my self-pity.  Instead, let me confess that there are times when I just give up.

Writing seems to be one of the things I had given up on for the past few years.  I gave myself the excuses that I was too fingers hurt...I didn't have time because I go to bed so early nowadays...I didn't feel well...on and on and on I went.

Well, all that is hogwash.

I am not wheelchair-bound.  My joints aren't deformed.  I can stay awake to play Words With Friends every night or to read endless posts on Facebook.  I just don't make the time to do what I love.

And that, my friends, is simply one more part of my nutty personality. 

Do I get worn out easily?  Do my joints hurt?  Yes, and yes.  But that's no excuse for ignoring what I really want to do.  (On the other hand, those are EXCELLENT excuses for not cleaning the house.)

As an example, let me show you Lene Andersen.  She has every excuse in the book (so to speak), but writes anyway.  Lene was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatiod Arthritis (JRA) at an early age.  She's confined to a wheelchair and needs assistance to complete the daily business of living.  Her joints are misshapen due to the disease, yet she still writes articles for web pages and a blog and photographs with amazing skill.

Not only that, but she's written a book.

Her blog entry today was one that struck home in a big way.  It is entitled Chronic Pain and Writing Practice, and it quite literally rose up and slapped me in the face while shouting "HALLELUJAH!!!" at the same time.

From her blog:
"The point is not how you write or how much you write. The point is making writing a habit. Creating the discipline ... every day to click into the place in your head where writing happens is the key. Even if you can only write 400 words a day, doing so for four months will give you a 48,000 words. That’s a good first draft of a book."
I do believe I had a "come-to-Jesus meeting" with her in my head. 
Instead of making excuses, I need to take her advice:
"... The second was spending time writing, following the wonderful saying attributed to Dorothy Parker: "writing is the art of applying ass to seat." I read about Stephen King writing from 9 to 1 every day, someone else always writing 10 pages, another person never left their computer until they'd done 3000 words..."
Yeah, that ten pages or 3000 words?  That writing for four hours a day? 


But a blog post?  Yeah, I could do that.

We'll see how it goes.


Linds said...

I for one, am absolutely delighted you are writing again - it is a part of you, and I have missed reading your ponderings and adventures. Keep going, girl. I am reading!

Anonymous said...

Alright, lady, you go!! I always check your blog and am thrilled to see that you have written!