An Arthroscopic View of Writing by Debra H. Goldstein

An Arthroscopic View of Writing by Debra H. Goldstein

Life often gets in the way of planned obligations.  Normally, I write a blog every two weeks, but somehow arthroscopic knee surgery dropped the blog to the bottom of my “to do” list.  It actually turned out to be a nice break.

Not only did being laid up give me the time to sit back and prioritize what I needed to do for recovery, family, and work, but also it made me think why writing is important to me.  The most simplistic reason is that I love the feeling I get when my ability to string words together, like in my earlier blogs “Maybe I Should Hug You” or “My Daughter is in Love,” articulate emotions and thoughts that my readers resonate with.  I like hearing that I’ve expressed exactly what they feel, but haven’t been able to say.  There also is satisfaction in embellishing a funny moment or memory into a short story or novel.

In some ways, my writing is exactly like arthroscopic surgery.  For example, the surgeon made some small incisions in my knee and then inserted a small camera so as to get a clear view of the extent of the damage.  I take an idea and zero on it until I get a clear view of what in the idea would make a good article or story.  After getting the entire picture of my knee, the surgeon inserted another tool to hold, remove and shave the damaged medial and lateral meniscus tears.  Once I know my general theme, I use paragraphs to build my thoughts in an orderly manner from a topic sentence to the concluding point I want to make.  The surgeon did a last check for rough edges and then removed the tools and bandaged my knee.  I take the written piece I create and proofread it for glaring errors.  Then, I read it aloud to see if the words flow smoothly.  Based upon my observations, I make my final corrections and save the piece.  My surgeon sent me home with a walker, pain pills, instructions to tether myself to an ice machine, and a prescription for physical therapy.  I wait a day or two and read the piece again.  If it needs a little support, I make the changes to strengthen it.  Two weeks later, my surgeon assures me my knee is healing well and I soon will be back to my normal routine.  I submit or post the article or story not knowing whether it will be published or how readers will react to my work.

The only thing I know for sure is that after a few days of rest, I will have to write again.  The act of writing has become a part of my soul and very being.

0 thoughts on “An Arthroscopic View of Writing by Debra H. Goldstein”

  1. Debra: Love this comparison! So sorry to hear that you needed surgery, though. I hope it wasn’t due to a fall, or a skiing accident! Rest up, have some chicken soup, and follow the doctor’s order. Although healing, like revising a manuscript, seems to take for-ever, with patience, they both come to fruition.

    1. Gail: Thanks for your comment. I wish I had an interesting claim to the injury that necessitated the surgery, but the reality is – as the doctor explained…after a certain age, things thin…. I asked him if it couldn’t have been one of my triple chins or another part of my anatomy. Happily, I’m healing well because patience and not over-booking, as you well know, isn’t one of my strong suits. Happy chanukah.

  2. Judith Schulman Miller

    The difference between your writing and surgery is that when I read your descriptions of your surgery I want to throw up, when I read the descriptions what you write about under normal circumstances I savor them. No more blood and guts please Sent from my iPhone

    1. Debra H. Goldstein

      Glad my writing evoked an emotion…..even if it wasn’t pleasurable. Hopefully future pieces will appeal to you more.

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