Monday, November 23, 2009

Know When to Let Go

I sat down at my keyboard, closed my eyes, and traveled back in time twelve years. As I recorded my initial symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) for my friend Kelly's RAWarrior blog, little "oh!" moments kept popping up. Now, as I've mentioned here before, I am a minimalist at heart, and I usually struggle to get enough words on the page. This time, however, words gushed forth. My typing couldn't keep up with my memories. My friend had asked for two pages; I ended up with five.

I read and revised and cleaned up my contribution and sent the email flying through cyberspace. I apologized to my friend for the excessive length and told her I'd be happy to cut. She said, "No, no! It's fine as is."

A couple days later, Kelly questioned something I'd said about a particular medication. When I adjusted that section, I corrected a few other things and added an entire statement about a symptom I'd forgotten. I then sent her Version 2.0. A day or so later, I realized I hadn't attached my photo, so off it went. Today it dawned on me I'd forgotten to mention an RA related health issue I experienced in high school, and I hadn't even touched on stressors and triggers.

Writing is intimidating. As a writer, I expose my very soul when I put words on a page. I offer my most personal thoughts and expressions up for the judgment of strangers. I want the best of my best presented to minimize negative response, so I could edit and revise my work to infinity. There must be a point at which I say, "The End," and release it from my grasp, though.

As I have had to come to terms with my ailments and release what control I thought I had over this body, I also, as a writer, must let my words go. I can write and edit and rewrite many times over, but when each piece is ready, I must set my words free to accomplish their own work.

My RA onset story is indeed complete. Though I am tempted to continue revisions, it is out of my hands. I've released it and set it free to do its own good work. It is finished. The End. I pray that my experience, posted here (scroll down to second story), will benefit others who are blessed with chronic illness, and I pray that the lessons I've learned as a writer may benefit those who read this blog.

1 comments:

Kelly said...

Jodi,
I loved reading your story and getting to see a little more of you. It is good how it is, but if you ever want to add to it, let me know... Haha - I don't mean to tempt you. Good post. ;D Good points.
Love,
Kelly

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