Writer’s Block and Chronic Pain

For the past three weeks, I have been writing and revising a book. During this time the book was all I cared about. I didn’t eat or sleep – I could even ignore pain. Did I hurt like hell? Yes I did. But I put in 12 hour days working on my book in search of the holy grail of literary perfection.

I even hired an editor, who I start with in a week or so. But now the creative flow has ended, and my pain has hit me like a drunken bus driver with a load full of bricks. The stop sign was open, but he kept on driving straight into my measly Honda.


There’s nerves about the book. This time around I’m seeking to be professionally published. I want to know I can do it and there’s no guarantees. This is the bus full of bricks.

I also want my medical leave to be successful and I can go back to school when it’s appropriate – that is, when I have more answers and can manage my pain better – and also write this book to its polished shininess. AAAND this is the bus full of bricks slamming my Honda.

But if there’s one thing Disney movies have taught me is I can have it all, I just have to align the pieces in the balance of life. I don’t doubt Disney, y’all.

Graduate School Tubthumping – I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a Ph.D. in English. This past year part of that dream came true as I began my degree in Technical Communication in the department of English at my local university.

My degree program quickly became my happy part of my day, and consequently, my year. As my body deteriorated my brain was polished squeaky clean and I was learning. I earned As in my classes and for the first time in forever, I felt like I had something to show for myself.

I have always been a nerd and the bookish schoolgirl. Academia was the goal and I knew this was where I belonged, what I was meant to do.

However, my body was a medical mystery. Doctors became more perplexed as time went by over winter break and I was bed bound or horizontal couch bound most of the time after my honeymoon. Most of my writing on this blog was done on my smartphone because I can’t sit upright in a chair for more than 30 minutes.

Can you see where I’m going?

School started, and I had a 3 hour long debate and lecture class. Not to mention my incompletes I needed to make up, and a 3 hour long lecture class every morning, four days a week. I was in too much pain. I couldn’t work on anything. I would go to class and not say a word, giving me a zero in the class for that day despite doing all the reading.

Distressed, I forlornly considered withdrawing. It seemed like the world came up to swallow me. Before I did, I called my academic advisor who was sympathetic to the fact that I had a problem sitting upright. (I often excused myself and laid down somewhere for 30 minutes.) She guided me in how to take a medical leave of absence and that my incompletes could be turned to W’s with her help with a doctor’s note.

I am extremely thankful for her kindness and willingness to help me.

Through being open about my struggles, I was able to get help. And I’m down, but not out. As the wise Chumbawamba say, “I get knocked down, but I get up again.”