Why is EVERYTHING a frickin’ metaphor for writing?


My physical therapist handed me a sheet of exercises that are supposed to help strengthen my knee. I laughed, mentally of course.

“Now, make sure you do those twice each day. And schedule your next appointment on your way out.”

I smiled politely and took the stack of papers from her cold, thin fingers. My eyes stayed in their place, not rolling as I read the directions: “Flex your quad ten times, twice a day.”

Flexing my quad is supposed to make my knee better? Right.

I threw the papers on the passenger seat, wishing I’d tossed them in the recycle bin on my way out of the building.

“What a waste of time and money.” My dashboard didn’t respond, but my cell phone began ringing.

It was my mother. “Hi honey. How was physical therapy?”

“A big fat waste.” I detailed the exercises I’d been given.

“Well, everyone has to start somewhere. Here, talk you your brother.” She handed the phone to Joel, aka the Voice of Reason.

“Do the physical therapy.” He commanded like a dictator. Joel is the self-proclaimed master of physical therapy; he’s broken more bones than I care to remember and spent hundreds of hours rehabbing after those injuries. “The exercises will get harder each week. Right now it may seem stupid to flex or stretch, but in six weeks you’ll feel the difference. And if you don’t do the little things now, your knees will still hurt, then your hips will start to hurt, and your back, and…”

“I get it!” I interrupted rudely.

“If you want to jump, or run, or dance again, you’ll do these little exercises now.”


Now for the metaphor I promised in the title…

I just read a blog entry from one of my favorite authors, Hilari Bell. She’s not tremendously popular because her work isn’t sexy – literally there is no sex and very little that hints at it. And that’s exactly the reason I own half of her nineteen published novels.

Note: I said, “published novels.” Her fifth full-length novel was the first that she sold. Bell was working on her thirteenth manuscript at the time (by the way, neither her seventh nor eighth novel ever sold. Ever).

Bell spent a lot of time flexing her writing muscles before she jumped into the category of published author.

So as I stretch my calf (because somehow it’s supposed to make my knee better), I’ll be looking forward to the day I can dance around because someone wants to publish my manuscript.


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