What Plantar Fasciitis is Teaching Me about Writing

I have plantar fasciitis, a condition in my foot that is extremely painful. It’s an inflammation of the plantar fascia (a band of tissue) that runs underneath your foot and basically feels like someone is stabbing you repeatedly with a really hot machete. A lot of people have this condition, especially runners.

My usual way of dealing with health issues involves a lot of crying, whining and then ignoring the problem altogether. However, when I trip getting out of bed because my damn foot is so sore, even I have to admit it’s time to deal.

Interestingly, I’m finding I have similar stubbornness where my writing is concerned. What’s that? My first pass at a manuscript is NOT perfect as is? It won’t win any awards? WHAT! Break out the crying, whining and procrastination. Luckily, I have figured out some ways to deal with both my foot issue and manuscript woes.

Show a Little TLC

As my BFF likes to say, I’m very hard on myself. Perhaps I just see my own potential, but I feel that if I don’t push myself, who will! Well, apparently when you push yourself to continue working out when you have an injury you can actually do more damage.

Guess what? Same can be said of writing. It’s okay to take a break. In fact, a little breather here and there can be a good thing. Get some perspective, be kind to yourself. After all, writers can be real Sensitive Sally’s. Take a walk, take a vacation or start writing something completely different. Unless you’re using some kind of magic quill, your other manuscript will still be there.

Change is Okay

That whole “runner’s high” is a real thing. And when you can’t run, you freaking miss it! But while I stare longingly at the treadmills at the gym, my trainer has pointed out all of this other equipment available to use … pain free. The bike, the elliptical, the rowing machine, all of these things  still give me a good cardio workout, sans the stabbing pain in my foot.

My current WIP is good. But I want it to be great! So I had to admit that it needed some big changes. Revising is a part of the writing process. I may not like it but I want to improve my story, just like I want to improve my body. So while I’m on the damn elliptical, might as well start brainstorming new conflicts and scenes. Surprise, sometimes you end up liking the new stuff even more.

Learn from this Situation

A chiropractor is working on my foot, doing some wonderful massage therapy that’s really helping. He told me that I will be able to run again (HALLELUJAH!) but that I will probably always have to deal with this condition in some way (TOTAL BUMMER). So I just need to learn what works now and apply it in the future: which stretches work best, how to use a foam roller or the bliss of wearing insoles.

In writing, I consider myself a pantser. But what I’m learning from my current revisions is that an outline can be a good thing. It doesn’t have to be insane, whatever works for you. Because 77,000 words is kinda a lot to go through when you’re trying to figure out where you put that one scene.

Happier Times

 

So in conclusion, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t like this foot situation and I really hate revising my writing. But in the end, I want to be able to walk on the stage to except my writing award. And don’t think for one second I’m not going to wear heels when I do it.