Bits of Wisdom During a Crazy Week

I got my MRI results  about my back.  In the grand scheme of things it’s not tragic I have to give up running.  I said ‘not tragic’ I didn’t mean ‘it was really easy.’ I have disk narrowing between the L4 and L5, causing some disk bulging and accompanying annular tears.  Think of the disc like a jelly doughnut.  On occasion the jelly spills out, pinching the nerve running down my leg.  Now I have to make sure:

  1. It doesn’t get worse and require surgery
  2. My back has another flare up like the last one
  3. To try not to sit for long periods of time

There’s a reason Margaret Atwood advised writers to mind the following:

 Do back exercises. Pain is distracting

It’s part of many pieces of writer’s advice I like to collect going forward.  The one I quoted comes from The Guardian and inspired by Elmore Leonard‘s 10 bits of advice for writers.  Remember it’s advice not gospel, and any writer will tell you there are rules and exceptions to those rules.  The back exercises advice has no exceptions.  I can walk, do yoga, and now I search out advice on the best core stability exercises.

I did come across a great Atlantic article distilled from their By Heart series this year.  My only complaint about the piece comes from not enough genre writer’s imparting some advice.  For those not keen on the ‘literary’ crowd, give some of their advice a chance.  The one I take with me into the new year comes from a writer whose books I have not read Khaled Hoseini, author of The Kite Runner:

You write because you have an idea in your mind that feels so genuine, so important, so true. And yet, by the time this idea passes through the different filters of your mind, and into your hand, and onto the page or computer screen—it becomes distorted, and it’s been diminished. The writing you end up with is an approximation, if you’re lucky, of whatever it was you really wanted.

2014 now brings a new challenge as my writing group will put together a chapbook based on a theme.  I can’t tell you about the theme in case I jinx myself and my group mates.  I have a short story to write, 2000 words, and compared to what I went through with NaNo it looks ‘easy’ by comparison.

As we know even the simple things don’t come easily.

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