Back Pain And Book Writing

Ready for some stream of consciousness, free writing babble?  Good…me too…

My focus was to shift, once the girls went back to school, to more book writing and exercising. The latter was an instant success.  I was immediately working out every weekday, until I pushed it a wee bit too hard early last week and wrecked my back again. It is in my makeup, doing this kind of thing.  I am super competitive even when not competing with anyone other than myself and my own personal bests in times/weights/reps etc.  I’ve been struggling to stand upright since that flare up of stupid, let alone walk/run any distance farther than bedroom to bathroom to kitchen to car.

I decided to stop using the soreness as an excuse today and went to the gym for a 15 minute walk, a slow one, slower than I ever thought my long legs could go.  It was the most boring .77 miles of my life to date, but I did it and sometimes the doing and the trying is more important than the result.  A couple of hours later, once my favorite daily sports podcasts hit my iPhone, I mowed the back yard.  According to the nifty pedometer app installed on said phone, it was 1.5 miles in something like 34 minutes. Yep, I’m a Slowski. But the lawn looks darling. And I feel more limber than lardo.  A plus, that.


The lack of progress on the many book ideas I have stored on ye olde hard drive can only be blamed on a complete and total lack of anything resembling drive. I’ve been in a mental malaise for weeks it seems and just last night finally started to edit the draft of the first book of the one chapter book series I’ve begun to pen.

But it is difficult for me to focus on a task with no clear finish line. I can create a playlist, record my bits, and publish a podcast. I can pitch a story, write it, email it over to an editor, and see it in print. I can kick out the laundry like no one you’ve ever met.  I can listen to an album, write down my thoughts, and post them here on OWTK. Same goes for some musings on this parenthood racket. But a book (let alone many, many books)…that just seems so far fetched. Yes, I could simply write one. I have, in fact, a couple, to be specific, some drafts and revisions anyway. But then what? An agent? I haven’t a clue how. Self-publish and promote? Not really interested in that.  I’m horrible at talking about what I do or have done. I don’t even tell people I write, this site or anything.  ‘Dad’ is usually my retort to the very American “what do you do” question at dinner parties and social gatherings.  Dinner parties?  When in the hell do I attend dinner parties?  Don’t worry about it.

It isn’t a payday. I don’t care ’bout that one bit. For reals. When I visualize a book of mine being published or me signing a publishing deal of some variety, and I do, often, money doesn’t make an appearance (this is likely a thoroughly un-ironic part of my vision, from writers I know), but I’m serious when I say that I really do not care about how much I would potentially make writing children’s books. It is more about the adventure of doing it and going through the process of having it done once it leaves my hands and that is precisely where my confusion begins, and exactly why this is a challenge to proceed with. I don’t often tread in murky waters.

I also want to start a new podcast, or reboot the other one I had begun but with a new agenda, to examine and to document the process.  I’m infatuated with that word and all that is behind it from an artistic sense.  I want to talk to others about the nuance of their process in creating whatever it is they are attempting to create — a painting, a song, a book, a joke, or a film, it doesn’t matter to me what it is, just how they go about bringing it to life.  Part of the reason why, I think, is because I want to co-opt their process, to make a collage of them all to use as my own, this in the absence of having my own.  I don’t know how to work on something artistic over an extended period of time with nothing but a dark void staring back at me for my efforts.  It is scary. And I am scared by it.

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