Confessions of a Recovering Writer
So I just passed the two week mark on my recovery from surgery on my right foot. Officially I’m a third of the way through the recovery process. The stitches are out, and I can now ‘heel walk’ which means I can’t put pressure on the front of my foot, which also prevents me from driving any distance.
I’ve been out of the house three times in the past 14 days. Once to get a haircut. Once to go to the dentist. And once to go the the doctor to get the stitches out, followed by a trip in to my office. What can I say? I lead a wild life. Surprisingly, I have not yet gone stir-crazy. I have Twitter to make it feel like I have friends. My wife is also working from home, so I’m not completely alone all day long. And my kids keep me entertained in the early morning and evenings.
I had a very similar surgery on my left foot last spring, so I kind of knew what to expect this time around. This one actually went a lot better than the last time, partially helped by the fact that I didn’t push as hard to get back up and around in the first few days. I basically parked my kiester on the couch for the first 5 days. The indentation is still there.
Last time, while recovering, I barely did any writing at all for the entire six weeks. I felt extremely guilty about that by the time I was recovered, so this time, I vowed to get back to it as soon as my head was clear of pain killers. By the first part of last week, I was getting up early and spending anywhere from 30-55 minutes every morning writing. I’m currently editing my novel ‘Labeled’, so my goal was to edit one chapter a day if there were no major structural changes. I’m now into the chapters that need a complete rewrite, so that’s taking a bit longer, but it is coming along. I’ve set no time goals on this pass. It will take what it takes. If the words aren’t there, I go back a bit and try to figure out why. It’s usually a good indication that the line the plot was taking was off just a bit.
When not writing, I’ve been chewing through my NetFlix queues, which appeases my need to cross things off a list. I have been a bit ruthless to the queue though. If the movie was just so-so, I was able to stop watching pretty quickly. Such was the case with the mini-series ‘The Stand’ which I saw years ago, and always wanted to re-watch. The novel The Stand by Stephen King is one of the most influential books in my writing career. I got a few minutes into the third episode of the mini-series, and just couldn’t watch anymore. Click.
Other than that, I have been working my way through the backlog on my reading shelf, playing a lot of cards with my kids, and while it was on, I watched two rounds of the baseball playoffs (until my Detroit Tigers were ousted rather unceremoniously). My home office also got a rather thorough organizing, which was long overdue. I have played a couple hours of video games, but sitting in front of the computer in the evenings is a lot harder to do when you’ve been parked in front of it working from home all day long.
Now I have four weeks of relative inactivity left, and in that time, I have pretty much the same plan. Keep writing / editing. Read my way through the books on my shelf so that maybe I can pick up my Kindle before Christmas. Reduce down the NetFlix queue some more. Spend more time with my kids. Watch / listen to more Detroit Lions games. Write some short fiction.
Come late November, when I’m finally able to be mobile again, it’ll be time to get back into shape, to do the next edit on ‘Nowhere Wild’, to put up the Christmas lights, and to run all the errands I’ve been putting off. Until then, I’m trying to be ‘productive’, even when that means just sitting around and healing.