It’s amazing what a hospitalization can do for your blog traffic. My post detailing my boxing adventure and aftermath received the highest views so far for The Late Bloomer. While the numbers would be low for other bloggers, I was excited to break a new high. Thank you to everyone who read the post and offered well wishes and prayers for my healing.
I got released on Wednesday morning and have been making steady progress every day. While I’ve been recuperating, I’ve given thought to what I’ve gained from my stay at the hospital. I’ve, hopefully, gained some perspective on the importance of being gentle to oneself, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for nurses, but I’ve also gained life experience.
And that can get translated into writing!
This realization came to me before I was admitted to the hospital, last Saturday evening. When I woke up the Friday before with swollen, stiff, and somewhat unmovable arms, I hopped into the tub for an Epsom salt bath to get some relief.
There’s something about water that helps one think.
While I soaked, the memories of boot camp style boxing class twirled around my mind. I relished in the intensity of the workout and berated myself some for not being fit enough to keep up. But what I really landed on was the teacher.
He was amazing. He was very tough, but he really cared, both about the students and the sport.
As I thought about the whole experience, I remembered something a beta-reader had said to me about Chrysalis. Chrysalis is my first completed (but still not finished) novel that follows Joyel, a young girl who is kidnapped and trained to be a soldier, and her journey in recovering from the trauma, bitterness, and confusion she experiences along the way.
My beta-reader suggested that I include at least one scene describing her training. It was one of those comments that you know you should follow but don’t really want to because you aren’t sure how to pull it off.
Well, as I sat in the tub, I realized I had the inspiration I needed from my boxing class.
All I had to do was imagine what that experience would be like if I had been forced to be there and if my instructor had been cruel and uncaring. The exercises he had us perform and the way he motivated us will now get twisted and exaggerated to the extreme until it becomes the perfect scene to depict the horror that Joyel lived in.
Additionally, I also got a good sense of what it really feels like when your muscles have been pushed beyond their limit, so my description of her pain afterward will be more realistic too.
The point of all this is that as writers and artists inspiration for our projects is all around us, in the joys and sorrows and pleasures and pains of life. That must be why I have run across a consistent strain of advice to take a notepad with you where ever you go so you can make sketches or jot words to remember for future use.
So be on the lookout as you go through your days! Not only do we get to live life, we get to take our experiences, both good and bad, and write them into something transcendent.
Here’s to inspiration! And here’s hoping it doesn’t aways come from injuries!