An Arthroscopic View of Writing by Debra H. Goldstein

An Arthroscopic View of Writing by Debra H. Goldstein

Life often gets in the way of planned obligations.  Normally, I write a blog every two weeks, but somehow arthroscopic knee surgery dropped the blog to the bottom of my “to do” list.  It actually turned out to be a nice break.

Not only did being laid up give me the time to sit back and prioritize what I needed to do for recovery, family, and work, but also it made me think why writing is important to me.  The most simplistic reason is that I love the feeling I get when my ability to string words together, like in my earlier blogs “Maybe I Should Hug You” or “My Daughter is in Love,” articulate emotions and thoughts that my readers resonate with.  I like hearing that I’ve expressed exactly what they feel, but haven’t been able to say.  There also is satisfaction in embellishing a funny moment or memory into a short story or novel.

In some ways, my writing is exactly like arthroscopic surgery.  For example, the surgeon made some small incisions in my knee and then inserted a small camera so as to get a clear view of the extent of the damage.  I take an idea and zero on it until I get a clear view of what in the idea would make a good article or story.  After getting the entire picture of my knee, the surgeon inserted another tool to hold, remove and shave the damaged medial and lateral meniscus tears.  Once I know my general theme, I use paragraphs to build my thoughts in an orderly manner from a topic sentence to the concluding point I want to make.  The surgeon did a last check for rough edges and then removed the tools and bandaged my knee.  I take the written piece I create and proofread it for glaring errors.  Then, I read it aloud to see if the words flow smoothly.  Based upon my observations, I make my final corrections and save the piece.  My surgeon sent me home with a walker, pain pills, instructions to tether myself to an ice machine, and a prescription for physical therapy.  I wait a day or two and read the piece again.  If it needs a little support, I make the changes to strengthen it.  Two weeks later, my surgeon assures me my knee is healing well and I soon will be back to my normal routine.  I submit or post the article or story not knowing whether it will be published or how readers will react to my work.

The only thing I know for sure is that after a few days of rest, I will have to write again.  The act of writing has become a part of my soul and very being.

  1. Judith Schulman Miller
    December 13, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    The difference between your writing and surgery is that when I read your descriptions of your surgery I want to throw up, when I read the descriptions what you write about under normal circumstances I savor them. No more blood and guts please Sent from my iPhone

    • Debra H. Goldstein
      December 14, 2012 at 6:43 am

      Glad my writing evoked an emotion…..even if it wasn’t pleasurable. Hopefully future pieces will appeal to you more.

  2. Gail Handler
    December 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Debra: Love this comparison! So sorry to hear that you needed surgery, though. I hope it wasn’t due to a fall, or a skiing accident! Rest up, have some chicken soup, and follow the doctor’s order. Although healing, like revising a manuscript, seems to take for-ever, with patience, they both come to fruition.

    • December 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Gail: Thanks for your comment. I wish I had an interesting claim to the injury that necessitated the surgery, but the reality is – as the doctor explained…after a certain age, things thin…. I asked him if it couldn’t have been one of my triple chins or another part of my anatomy. Happily, I’m healing well because patience and not over-booking, as you well know, isn’t one of my strong suits. Happy chanukah.

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