Manic Monday: Butt Pain and Lessons Learned
Due to this post from Roni Loren (thank you for the warning, Roni) I’ve decided to remove most photos.
I have a pain in the butt. Literally. I don’t know what I’ve done, but in the last couple of months, I’ve had a lot of pain in my tail bone. Sitting for very long periods in the car or certain chairs results in intense pain when I stand.
Why am I telling you about my butt pain? Because yesterday my husband surprised me with a new bicycle. Since Grace learned to ride without training wheels, they’ve been riding while I walk along far behind them. So the hubs decided I needed a bike, too. I was shocked and really touched. He wanted us all to go as a family and knew I would enjoy the exercise.
I haven’t ridden a bike since I was seventeen-exactly half a lifetime ago. So I was nervous and wobbly, terrified I was going to fall and make a fool out of myself. But guess what? The old saying is true – you don’t forget. Within a few blocks, it all came back to me, and I was sailing along.
We rode again before supper. I relaxed and enjoyed the exercise (although my butt was killing me). And then it happened. I rounded the corner, the back wheel dropped into some kind of divot, and the impact went right to my aching tail bone. It hurt so badly I froze up, so when the bike got caught on the edge of the sidewalk, I couldn’t react. Down I went, landing on my left side. Behind me, poor Grace fell off her bike from the shock. Hubby said it was like dominos (all while trying not to laugh, of course).
I felt like an idiot. We were about five houses down from our own, and I’m sure the neighbors saw. My pride forced me off the pavement and onto the bike, insisting that I was all right. And I was. A bit of road rash, but no bumps. Just lots of fodder for teasing.
My fall made me realize two things. First, I’ve got to get my butt looked at. It caused the problem. Second, I really am able to pick myself up and get going again. We’ve all had our bumps and bruises on our writing journeys: bad critiques, rejections, self-doubt, self-loathing, etc. Sometimes the depression and frustration those injuries cause can halt our writing for weeks, even months. Some may give up for good.
But we don’t have to. We can pick ourselves up, dust off, and keep pressing forward. We have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. If a critique partner or editor gives you a lot of red marks, don’t get angry and blast them or your ability. Take a deep breath and consider their concerns. They’re only trying to help. The rejections will happen. Steel yourself and accept that, yet look for a pattern. Are agents and editors pointing out a specific issue every time? Take the ‘no’ as an opportunity to learn and make your work even better.
Don’t let the self-doubt get you down. Fear of failure is one of the worst evils, and it will destroy you if you allow it. The next time that nasty voice creeps into your head, ask yourself this: if I stop writing, if I choose not to follow this dream, will I be happy? Or will I regret it for the rest of my life?
I think we all know the answer to that.
What about you? What do you do when you get down? Do you have any inspiration to add?
27 comments on… “Manic Monday: Butt Pain and Lessons Learned”
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when I'm down I watch my fav movies and I read. 🙂
Thanks, Laura. I read a lot when I'm down as well.
I've known two people who have broken their tail bones. Not fun. You should get that checked.I'm feeling down right now. Every time I think, "the manuscript is ready," I read something that has me doubting its entire merit (when really I should only be thinking about one piece). I don't know what I'll do about it. Watching Castle has been my go-to this summer.
AngelaI just can't figure out why I'm in pain. I haven't fallen (until yesterday, lol) or done anything to warrant it. I'm sorry you're feeling down. I do the same thing when I read other stuff. Do you have a critique partner or someone you could trust that would read it?
Great post, Stacy! More than anything, negative people bring me down. I've got no problem with challenges, critiques, etc., but people who are just negative all the time (even when there is so much that is positive around them) bring me down, so I avoid them. Life's too short to spend it focusing on all the bad parts. I hope your tailbone feels better soon. 🙂
This is great. When I get down, the most important thing for me to remember is that this state is transitory. Just like the state of euphoria I get sometimes, the feeling of sadness won't last forever, either. It's also important to reach out. As soon as I say what's bothering me out loud, it has this magical power to reduce the pain. This might be a good metaphor for you getting help with your tailbone. Nothing says we have to do this living thing on our own…
JenniferAbsolutely. Negativism is a contagious disease. It just spreads and festers – I've learned that the hard way. Thanks so much:)KarioThanks! That's a really good point. This state is transitory. It won't last forever – nothing does. That's SO true about reaching out. Just talking to someone makes an enormous difference. Not feeling so alone in your frustration has positive effects.Thanks for commenting!
Stacy, I had a critique group read it a couple months ago, and they never commented on this issue. I'm not even sure it is an issue, because it's not something that personally bothers me in other books. I also know I can't please everyone all the time.
Thank you for the inspiring post. Owie about your tailbone, though. 🙁 When I was a teenager, I fell while rollerskating and landed on my tailbone on the skate of the person behind me. I tried not to cry while I, as you did, picked myself up in spite of my humiliation and pain and kept skating. Since yours isn't from a fall, I agree with Angela, you might want to get that looked at to see what's up.Whenever I get down, which seems, unfortunately, to be fairly frequently, I listen to music really loudly. Sometimes I'll write out how I'm feeling since I rarely talk to anyone about that sort of thing. If I'm down about freezing up with a WIP, I'll berate myself in writing as well. After awhile, I'll pull myself up and get back to work.
AngelaWhat is the issue, exactly? And no, you can't. Do you think maybe you're just hiding behind a (possibly) made up issue because you're afraid to send it off?TressaEvery time I see your name I have a moment of confusion, because my mom's name is spelled Tresa Green. She can't even check her email, let alone my blog, lol. Anyway, you're welcome. I'm going to make a doctor's appointment. I just keep putting it off.Journaling is a really good way to sort out your thoughts. I've been doing that a lot more since I started writing again. I hope you have more up moments!Thanks:)
I used to do long distance running. Running for more than a mile is something in which the misery sets in and you learn to deal with it, to do creative things with it. Writing is not quite as miserable, but it's something you have "do" for a long time to see any results. Lately, I've been hitting a wall. I don't know what to do to take that next step of improvement. It's frustrating. However, I've been there before with running. It's like you are in haze of pain and exhaustion, and you think you can't go another step…but you can. Your words are well taken. 😀
I usually read a good book. It reminds me of my goals and makes me push harder.
Jessica R. Patch
I shouldn't be laughing, but I am! "I gotta get my butt looked at it." Okay, but seriously, because I can so relate to injuring myself while riding a bike, I'm sorry. :)When I feel like crap, I tweet or call a friend. Or I read. Or I yell at my husband. lol
JessicaIt's okay to laugh – I wanted to make you guys smile. I'm a total klutz, so the accident didn't really surprise me. Ooh, yelling at the hubs, that's a good one.KellyI read too. I just have to be careful that I don't fall into the trap of comparing myself. I do that a lot. CatieI've never been a runner. I'm just getting into exercise now that I'm not so heavy and can actual do things. I agree – you do have to work at writing, and it's a gradual process. That's part of the joy and the frustration.Thanks!
Do you think it could be sciatica, Stacy? Try icing the area and taking a pain killer for inflamation. Or you might, like me, have tight hips if you sit a lot. My physical therapist has me stretch the front of my hip and quadriceps to keep the butt pain at bay.As for the bike accident, when I go over the handlebars I wear those bruises proudly because I certainly can't get them sitting around watching a Law&Order; rerun while eating chocolate chip cookie dough.
Oh gosh, this made me giggle, but I do hope that you get the pain checked out, Stacy. However, you make an excellent point. Self-doubt and crippling fear are my kryptonite. I'm a perfectionist, I always want things to be amazing and wonderful, and when they're not, well… I can slide into the Depths of Despair and become a very mopey person. I've noticed that I'm more likely to doubt myself when I'm tired. For some reason, I become much more negative (about everything).When it happens, I've learned that I need to walk away from the WIP, or the thesis, or whatever else is giving me trouble, and focus on something else. I go to the beach. I take a nap. I lay out on the deck in the sun, or make a cocktail, or visit friends. Usually when I'm done, I find myself in much better spirits, ready to dust myself off and try again.
I hope you find a cure for the pain! My sister deals with a similar pain, it's no fun.At least a good post came out of it. 🙂
I simply wait it out, knowing it will pass eventually, however long it takes.
JulieI never thought of sciatica. Dang. It all started after I lost weight. I honestly thought my butt wasn't used to being without cushion and it would stop, but it's just gotten worse. Have a doc appt for the 8th. Stretching is a good idea. I'm going to try that as well. Very true about the bruises. I'm proud that I'm in shape enough to even attempt it. Thanks!
Thanks, Jamila. I completely understand about sliding into the depths of despair. They can be a terrible place. It doesn't surprise me that you're more negative when you're tired – stress and lack of rest have a big effect on our bodies. Thanks! And I wish I had a beach to go to …Thanks, Amber. Hopefully the doc appointment will yield some results. Tired of dealing with it.Good for you, Elizabeth. You've got the right mindset.Thanks for commenting, ladies!
Ouch! I'm sorry about your tail-bone. Definitely go to the doctor!When I'm down, I try not to just push the feelings away. Sometimes we have to sit and recognize that we're hurt/angry/tired, but no wallowing allowed!
Thanks, Jill. I broke down and made an appointment for the 8th. That's a good point. We can acknowledge the feelings without letting them overrun us.Thanks for commenting!
I'm with Jill…you can easily bruise your tailbone. Take it easy!I have been blessed with parents that taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to. That doesn't mean that I'm not scared of failure, I hate the idea of not being perfect. But, what do I do – I keep going. No matter what. Somehow, I take criticism really well and I welcome it. Anything anyone can say to make my writing better – bring it! However, there are those who just want to make you feel like a failure…and well I flick my thumb at them.
TiffanyI'm not sure which would be worse. My best friend has the same issue (fear of not being perfect), and it's rough for her. It's good that you can take criticism well. I do too, as long as it's about writing. Other things, not so much, lol. Thanks for commenting!
Maybe you have sciatica (not sure of spelling). It affects your lower back right above your butt. When I'm down (which is a lot lately because I keep getting rejection letters) I like to watch funny movies or read humorous books (Janet Evanovich).
Heya Stacy, really sorry to hear about your tailbone (I fell down some stairs years ago -fortunately, nothing was broken, but my rear end was very sore and bruised for a good few weeks -it literally was a pain in the butt!), I hope the docs find out the cause and provides a remedy.When I have low moments with my work, I tend to either hunt down my sister and go over it and brainstorm what I am doing wrong, or I take a step back and concentrate on other creative avenues until I feel like facing my novel. Having said that, I have just noticed (I collated a progress-to-date ROW80 page), I have focused my attention to blog posts more than my novel -I wonder if subconsciously I am avoiding it… hmmm… Thanks for a great post Stacy 🙂
DebThanks for commenting. I'm sorry to hear about the rejection letters. I'm sure that's rough. You just have to keep plowing through!YikiciThanks. I have no idea what's going on since I haven't fallen. Taking a break from the work for a day or two can make a big difference. You may be avoiding it. That's easy to do when you're blogging. You're welcome. Thanks for commenting!