IWSG: “Surprised Yourself with Writing” Sept. 6, 2017

It’s the first Wednesday of the month and that means Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG). The once IWSG Badge-smper month blog fest invented by Alex J. Cavanaugh. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

The awesome co-hosts for the Sept 6 posting of the IWSG are Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant, and Beverly Stowe McClure!

Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?
Answer: I’m surprised how incredibly difficult it is to sit my butt in the chair, put pen to paper, and start writing.

I have a serious case of avoidance. I completely underestimated the power of inertia.

Our life-altering events started during our dream vacation to France. Two weeks into our stay, Rick’s sciatic nerve became pinched and he could barely walk. Doctors gave him cortisone injections and prescribed pain killers. This allowed Rick to travel; but blunted his thinking.

I had to think for both of us. We were in a foreign country and I don’t speak French. I bought morphine; bought all our groceries; prepared our meals; packed our belongings; arranged train transportation; booked flights; reserved hotels; rented cars; and insured handicap accommodations where possible. The buck stopped with me.

Our life became more complicated when we stopped in the US for three spine surgeries. The first one resulted in Rick loosing feeling in his right leg. He walked into the hospital. But he needed a leg brace and walker to get out. During the second surgery, the doctor became ill and was rushed to an emergency hospital. They sewed Rick back up and brought him back to his room.

After living in limbo for three days, Rick was operated on for the third time and his spinal fusion surgery completed. By now, Rick’s been in the hospital 10 days and developed a bright red rash all over his back.

Dr. Mumbles managed his in-hospital care. I don’t know why, but whenever he came to see Rick he mumbled to himself the entire visit. He appeared incapable of normal conversation.

There was something wrong with my glasses. I have a rare eye condition and need a new prescription. Even with my vision challenged, I’m our chauffeur, too. I hadn’t driven in 10 years. Instantly, I’m driving in commuter traffic, in the rain, and around detours.

I started on San Diego freeways, graduated to four-hour round trips to Los Angeles for my eye appointments, and kept going on the pot-hole riddled roads in Mexico. White knuckles gripped the wheel every mile.

We returned to Mexico in January. It was wonderful to be back home, on our sailboat, La Vita. I continued to pull double-duty and manage our lives. Rick continued physical therapy three times a week. He’s regained 80% use of his right leg and tossed his leg brace and walker months ago. Pain remains his constant companion.

He’s determined to walk without the aid of a cane. He fuels my courage and will power to keep fighting, too. We lean on each other for strength and encouragement.

I faced many fears to safely shepherd us across three countries (France, US, and MX). Mean while my writing gears rusted.

I admit to being traumatized by this series of shocking events. I’m guilty of allowing insurance claims to mount. I wonder how many years do I have left to write?

In order to write, I must change gears and open inner doors to sensations in my mind. To tell my story, it is necessary to recall these nightmares. Can I let go and relax my fixation on Rick’s recovery? A scary concept.

By some miracle I’ve managed to regain enough energy and confidence to get up early and face my fears. My butt is nestled in comfy pillows, the aroma of fresh coffee fills the air, computer balances on my thighs, and Scrivener is open.

I’m shocked as my thoughts sabotage my desire to put these stories on paper. Here’s a typical early morning conversation: “It will take only a second or two… to send this email… scroll through Facebook…read this political update.” Before I know it, an hour or two has melted away; never to be recovered.

What do you do to stop chasing distractions and start writing?

P.S.
The September IWSG blog hop created a safe opportunity for me to peek into my past. Writing this post released a slew of scary memories. I’ve been preoccupied with mental rewrites; words and phrases to improve this writing. It’s taking a bit of re-learning to harness my imagination as the gears are fine-tuned and the words spill forth.

Thank you, Alex and staff, for creating a safe space to express my insecurities.

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