Most of you who read this blog know that I am coming off the giant creative effort of writing The Writer’s Workout, now slated at 120,000 words. Naturally I could not be more thrilled about the book’s forthcoming publication, but as I expressed to one of my editors the other day at Writer’s Digest, writing a book of this length can really compromise a writer’s health if she is not careful.
I have a couple of bum disks in my neck, and they are spiky with arthritis. No doubt they aged prematurely from sports injuries when I was younger. I played so many sports back in the day, it’s impossible to know which particular injury may have been the culprit, but suffice it to say: my neck kinda hurts. Meanwhile I am working on editing 120,000 pages.
Naturally, I’d so much rather have 120,000 pages to edit than 120,000 pages to write. The hardest part is over. I’m over the hump. I’m enjoying editing. Editing is fun. My book is fun. My book kicks butt.
And my physical therapist is going to kick my butt when I see her in a couple of weeks.
It’s okay. I need my butt kicked by her to keep me on the straight and narrow. And then, when I’m done getting my butt kicked by her, I’ll probably turn in my manuscript, and get my butt kicked by my copy editor.
But I’m looking forward to this butt-kicking, too. Because it all helps keep me on track. And the long term gains are worth any short-term inconveniences.
People often come to me for some gentle butt-kicking in their writing careers—to stretch themselves, to develop material they might not otherwise develop, and to cover all their writing bases—and in regular life I either go to people or get sent to people, who can do the same for me.
Butt-kicking is a good thing. I don’t know where I’d be without it. In fact, I think I can use a whole lot more, so I’m scheduling myself up a physical recovery storm.
How about you? Need your butt kicked? Who is just the person to do the deed? Make it happen. Delaying may only make things worse.