WORKING THROUGH THE TOUGH PARTS

The occupational therapist spread a cold gel over my forearm’s achy muscles. While she glided the ultrasound wand from my wrist to my elbow, we chatted…about how she became an OT, why I retired from teaching, and the fact that both of us write…she professionally, me because I like to.

The occupational therapist spread a cold gel over my forearm’s achy muscles. While she glided the ultrasound wand from my wrist to my elbow, we chatted…about how she became an OT, why I retired from teaching, and the fact that both of us write…she professionally, me because I like to.

I asked her what she found to be the biggest writing challenge. I thought for sure that I’d hear something about the disciplines inherent in writing for medical and professional journals, maybe the demands of writing on a deadline. But without hesitation, she answered, “Getting started. Ideas, even full paragraphs, get written in my head. But sitting at the keyboard? Uh uh; don’t want to go there. And the more I write, the tougher it becomes.”

I raised my eyebrows in surprise.

“That was my biggest challenge when I was painting,” I said, “and it’s still a hurdle when I write. What do you suppose is going on here?”

She took a couple of moments to towel dry the gel from my arm before she answered.

“I think it’s because we know from experience just how much work the writing will be. It’s like exercising. Getting to the gym is the challenge; once I’m there, I’m all in.”

I’ve read a lot about procrastination, but this conversation resonated with me in ways no other bit of advice has.

So yes, the trick…at least for me…is to face the fact that while I really do hate hard work, it’s the idea of it more than the work itself.

Now if I can only conquer the problem of why my iPad won’t recognize my remote keyboard….

Author: Judy Westergard

Retired English teacher, self-taught painter, inveterate reader and still lovin' my Kindle!

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