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.