About pain and writing.

They say writing can be painfully hard. I agree. And I will add: Especially if you have gout. Ouch! πŸ™‚ !
I’m right handed. My right hand hurts from writing and gout related inflammation. Is all swollen.
So I google: “Painful writing” and found some uplifting info.
First of all – they say that most of the writers have some pain in their hand and wrist from writing, even if they are healthy. So I’m feeling little bit better. I’m not suffering alone.
And there is some more:
Roger Angell, writer and editor for “The New Yorker” said: “Writing is hard even for authors who do it all the time”.
Well, I thought that only I have a problem. Thank you Roger!
And Elmore Leonard, American novelist said: “I try to leave out the parts that people skip”.
I think this is brilliant! Thanks Elmore! This can save me lots of pain. πŸ™‚ !!!
And what about a writers block?
My favorite poet and writer Oscar Wilde said it best: “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back in again.
I love it!
To save my time I didn’t put any punctuation marks in my 4 poems… πŸ™‚ !!!
And there is a different kind of writers pain – writing about painful memories…
Yes, memory of pain hurts.
So I’m shedding a tear or two and I’m thinking: It is all going with the wind…
Or as French will say it: It is PASSE COMPOSE = an action completed in the past.
And life goes on.

Thank you all for visiting.
God bless you all.

200 thoughts on “About pain and writing.

  1. That’s really brilliant… do you know what parts people skip? All between “hi” and “bye”? :o)
    I had this pain while writing too, thought it’s just a “mouse hand” or “mouse fingers” sadly the dogtor said that’s a rheumatoid arthritis… hope he is wrong :o(

  2. I’ve been a writer for much of my life and it feels like writing actually gets more painful as life goes on.

  3. your battle with gout is surely exhausting. i hope that you find your way back to wellness soon.

    thanks for the quotes; it’s always nice to be reminded that even ‘the best’ confess to their struggles toward excellence. the most important part is to show up and to move forward, then at the end of each day look back and see where we made progress.

    yesterday i wrestled with palm thatch and made a covered entrance over the gates to my house. as the sun set and the darkness approached, i was on a ladder while mosquitoes attacked my legs, but i was determined to secure the final section of the roof. returning inside, i was covered with dirt and debris from the dried thatch. my muscles ached from wrestling the panels to the top, and my hands hurt from twisting the wires to hold everything in place. but i felt alive and i was surely proud of what i’d done with the day! i was almost too tired to eat or drink and just wanted to get clean and collapse…. ah, but i felt alive!!!

    writing can be a catharsis, and at times we question those tears, but later we realize that purging them was important to moving forward.

    thanks for keeping us informed on what’s happening in your life. i hope that your gout pain ends soon.


  4. I have rheumatoid arthritis and holding a writing instrument is extremely painful. Fortunately, I am a fast typist and the constant movement across the keyboard is a form of exercise that keeps my fingers from locking. Yet, writing is hard, not the physical pain, but the emotional pain of not feeling good enough even though you have a strong desire to write your own story. I enjoy following your blog.

  5. I enjoyed reading this — thought I’d say so since your LIKE button won’t appear. I have gout in my thumbs, so had to give up knitting, but can still type with no problem.
    Thanks for visiting my blogs and for the Like on my poem.

  6. writing is tough wrists pain while writing, mind flicks in different directions while thinking but the joy of finishing writing is always great. loved your different writings.

  7. I really enjoyed reading this post! The pain of writing in it’s many forms are both physical and mental, however the rewards are tenfold, especially for your readers who benefit from your admirable humour in the face of adversity!

  8. Sorry about the gout. I’ve had a few run ins with it so I sympathize. Thanks for the tips on the pain of writing. I think it does help to know we’re not floundering about on our own. Many thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate it.

  9. Thank you for all of your words. You constantly remind me of the things I should be thinking of, and to release the rest. I’ll say a prayer for your physical pain, I know you will handle the rest with grace.

  10. I think it was Abraham Lincoln that said “Anyone can write a three-hour speech. But it takes a skilled writer to keep a speech down to three minutes.”

    Thanks for sharing,


  11. It really is interesting how pain and writing, or any form of art for that matter, are so connected. It does not matter if it is physical or emotional, pain is tough, but like you said, you are not suffering alone. That idea makes me feel kind of okay when thinking about anxiety or panic, knowing that others go through it as well. Great read πŸ™‚

  12. Love this post! Right on point. Yes, I’m feeling pain not only in my wrists, but just about everywhere! Ah yes, I try to write mostly without punctuation. That helps a lot!

  13. I have chronic pain from cancer treatment 11years ago still, but writing has become a way to forget the pain for a while. My wrist hurts a lot from time but I brought a simple wrist brace and it help with the pain I feel from time to time.

    hugs, Crystal

  14. I have just been doing a little research on what foods to eat to relieve joint pain, and I noticed Celery and celery seed and also, parsley, as a pain reliever for gout and joint pain. In addition, something I didn’t really comprehend before is that sugar causes inflammation and will make your joints painful. So, I am on a mission to cut down on sugar, even fruit …putting less fruit in my juices.
    I also have pain from typing, sitting, walking, just about everything… so I feel your pain, so to speak. I hope you get a handle on it, but the good news is that changes in diet have definitely been shown to make gout manageable.
    Good luck

    1. I am a writer and had lots of pain in my wrists until I started taking B6, a vitamin. Haven’t had pain since. Don’t know if it will work for you, but it has worked for me for a long time.

  15. Oh, I remembered reading in your ABOUT (I do believe it was there that I read it)…you wrote how you felt like people would “laugh” at your voice…did you ever think maybe that they ENJOY your sense of humor? That you make them happy and that is WHY they are laughing? They probably are NOT laughing AT you at all! Just reading your blog entries has made me SMILE much…and I bet that it is your HUMOR that brings out the smile in them! Do you know WHY I know this??? Because I always thought the same as you about this matter and about myself. Now I realize I am funny! and it is OKAY….YOU are such a charming person! I suppose you live in some faraway kingdom like San Francisco or New York, and I live in the countryside of Wisconsin. IF you lived near, I would invite you over for tea/coffee and we could laugh and talk some moments away!

  16. Thanks for the enlightenment. Whenever I can’t find the ‘right’ or exact words to express my emotions, I feel like I’m going dumb… But after reading your article, I feel so much better. πŸ™‚

  17. I started to get RSI so trained myself to be semi-ambidextrous. I use my left hand for the mouse and right hand for handwriting. It’s a nice balance. Voice recognition has also come a long way although it doesn’t work when you’re drunk due to slurring (I’ve tested it).

  18. I agree with the person above that your encouragement by liking other posts is appreciated. To me, it is an indication that a person may have some similar ideas. Since much of my writing is to try to find that connection, I follow it back and take a look. I am glad I did. I choose to comment on this post because it contains some writing thoughts I am going to share with a writing group I am in. So many times we get discouraged by the “pain” in whatever form it takes that keeps us from writing. We all find a little more healing when we relate in honesty with each other.

  19. This is wonderful. I too have trouble with my hands sometimes. I’m a writer as well. When I was working and sometimes (rarely; I made sure of that) after 10 hours the palm of my hand would cramp like an alarm clock going off. With Fibromyalgia, sometimes my hands shake so hard that it’s difficult to type. Sometimes I even have to hunt and peck with my index finger. Bother. But we’re alive, and we’re writing!

  20. i got a ‘widow’s hump’ from bending over and writing my first novel too fast and constant… i did end up with rheumatoid arthritis in my hands but a water fast cured that, joel furhman has a book on the subject, it was 8 days long and i’ll never do that again, but i’m glad i did it πŸ™‚

  21. Hi, Anna. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I really enjoyed this one on pain and writing, especially the bit on Wilde and the comma. Soooo incredibly true!

    I wrote a post not too long ago on dealing with pain via golden milk. It’s made with turmeric, and my friend, S, was virtually cured of pain by drinking it daily. Maybe it would work for you. Here’s the link: http://stilllifewithtortillas.com/2014/01/02/the-radical-rebirth-of-s/

    All the best!

  22. I am greatly honored to have you follow me! As a newbie blogger, I was so excited to see I had 4 comments and a follower. I was so encouraged I wrote my second blog last night and posted it this morning. I read some of yours and I certainly understand mental and physical pain and have struggled with both. My mental health is much better than physical. I too have arthritis and hand pain. I find an iPad is easy on the joints and have been able to use it without aggravation. I have written and journaled for years as a way to survive anxiety and stress .Writing is such a catharsis, it is good to be starting this new journey. Thanks again for following!

    1. Welcome aboard newbie. I too am fairly new in the blogging field and write a lot. It is my way of healing myself from the inside out. Sometimes you will feel as though no one can hear your words and will want to stop, but keep writing. If for no one other than yourself. Every word will be well worth the time and effort you take to place it for others to enjoy.

  23. I am a cancer survivor, so I certainly understand the concerns of someone facing the problem and the choices. I am also an arthritis sufferer–or at least I was for over 35 years. the pain had gotten bad enough to add a mild pain med–gabapentin a couple years ago. But 15 months ago I discovered a new diet that has pretty much eliminated my arthritis pain–I no longer need to take any NSAIDs or the gabapentin. The success of the diet inspired me to write a book–The Oil-Change Diet. The book is part diet book, part cookbook and explains the biochemistry behind the diet. I promise you this diet does reduce pain.

  24. Thank you so much for liking my blog and allowing me to find this. Your optimism is inspiring, and I love your sense of humor. Good luck!

  25. I so understand. I have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands, and we do so many creative things with these precious instruments. But we always find a way πŸ™‚

  26. Thank you for liking HORSE LATITUDES! I really appreciate it. I am a cancer survivor of 2 1/2 years and have pain issues as well – arthritis. I’m a writer as well and understand completely about moving through things that work to keep us still. Peace.

  27. Couldn’t agree more. Especially about the comma. Meanwhile: Try celery seed tea, and cherry juice (if you can get some without petroleum distillates in it) for the gout. They help the system get rid of the acids. Cheerio!

  28. Good God you’re a star. My father had massive radical colo-rectal cancer surgically removed, but the Essiac and other cures had reduced the size of his tumor, and made it such a loose gelatin-like thing that another three weeks would have probably seen it pass. Anyway, he’s 87 and had surgery at age 65. Hated his colostomy bag at first, loves being alive today though.

  29. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, I really valued reading your words. Thanks for your own courageous shadings; I hope to hear more from you in the future

  30. I have trigger finger (yup that’s what it’s called) and it’s not related to guns at all. I have it in 3 fingers and both my thumbs. I use a speech recognition program that came with Windows 8. At first, using the speech recognition program was more painful than the trigger finger, but now it’s okay though I still only use it for writing long documents.

  31. I see from the many comments you received that this piece resonates with many. I am also a writer coming to terms with the added challenge of writing with a chronic inflammatory condition. Thank you for the insights and, when things get hard, take solace in not being alone with this problem!

  32. I enjoyed this and definitely related to the pain on all levels. ..the physical part is thanks to having survived 70 years. I’d heard that story about Wilde before but didn’t know where it came from. Ah, the pain of editing.

  33. Great post! I have had joint problems, suffer chronic pain for years and since I am writing I wake up mornings with such pain in my fingers and wrists…but since i lvoe writing somuch, I am trying to stretch, put cold compresses or heat…pay more attention to this cos I love to write. Great to know that published authors still do and write despite this;)

  34. I love the Oscar Wilde quote, I always heard it told, “Poetry is the art of spending all morning agonizing over taking out one comma and the entire afternoon putting the comma back in.”

    It always makes me want to keep writing, or at least attempting. Glad you haven’t given up!

  35. Another quote about writing: a lady in waiting at the court of Louis XVIII at Versailles writes to her mother in the country, and in a PS she says, “sorry this letter is so long, but I didn’t have the time to make it shorter”. Kind of sums up the writer’s job; like, the first draft is addressed to oneself, the second to your readers (and you better know who they are). That job, of revision for readers, requires a lot of concentration, and it’s marvellous how focusing your attention on it enables you to withstand chronic pain.

  36. I loved the quotes and the insights. I understand and sympathize with the daily battle with unrelenting aches and pains, and I wish you all the best with each and every one that you face. If leaving out a single comma works, who needs punctuation, and if any words at all get to be too much, don’t forget the microphone and the recording programs that are so common these days. I’m just one of many people who at every age have retained our love for being read to. Some may laugh, but if it gets you through a bad day…

  37. Pain is a ‘healthy’ sign of life, although if one has a choice, would prefer to do without it. If a person cannot feel any physical pain at all it is unhealthy medical condition, ‘Painless’ life means others must see injuries or bleeding they are unaware of, to step in to treat them. Mild or severe pain signals alertness to slow down for body MOT. So indicates take time out, rest, have a break or deal with a health issue that needs addressing. In addition, if one completely avoids use of hands, feet, mouth, voice, to type or write due to pain, joints stiffen so is more difficult.’Enduring’ pain for writing for such a fruitful purpose helps to ‘exercise’ to prevent total stiffness. Thanks for turning pain into humour to encourage us to keep writing. Thanks for following God’shotspot.wordpress.com.

  38. Thank you for liking my blog post (Unspeakable). I hope you will continue to read and enjoy my poetry.

    In peace,

    Exposed Loving

  39. Oneanna65,

    Thank you for liking my blog post (Unspeakable). I hope you will continue to read and enjoy my poetry.

    In peace,

    Exposed Loving

  40. I personally don’t suffer from gout but, I do have severe eczema on my hands which causes them to be severely inflammed and burn. The swelling that occurs makes it hard to type or text for long periods of time. So, I can relate to this pain.

  41. I have back pain which can make writing very uncomfortable. While I can’t relate the hand pain specifically, I certainly can empathize with the challenge of balancing pain and our need to express through writing. Happy writing to you, and thank you for sharing the inspiration you have found!

  42. My problem with writing was that I was too slow because I couldn’t type, so I solved that problem by getting a dictating program. I guess that would also help you with the writing part, but unfortunately, you would still have the pain from the gout. I really wish I had some kind of magic formula that would help you, but it’s times like this that I realize just how smart I am not. Well I hope you or maybe your doctor can come up with something that helps, and in the meantime I hope it doesn’t get any worse on you. Here’s hoping you have a really good New Year, and something good comes along to help you out.

  43. I’ve heard that the spice in curry, turmeric, can be good for inflammation. You can take it in pill form as well. I think you have to take it daily for quite a while before it starts working.

  44. Thank you so much for all your ‘likes’ on my blog. Please consider writing with your ‘other’ or left hand, especially since your right hand is so painful. I’ve had amazing results with alternate handwriting and have seen this practice bring so much relief to so many others.

  45. Thank you for checking out my blog and the crazy cat lady stuff I write. I have been recently diagnosed with a chronic pain condition. Looking for answers and finding them! A journey worth the pain.

  46. Atlanta

    Buckhead offers twelve-dollar sandwiches,
    Parents lunching their children on Saturday:
    Straight from Beemer to deli to Emory to evening
    Wedding to Benz to kids at lunch on Peachtree.

    North Peachtree, where you can’t quite see the smog
    Thanks to trees and art and tacky bars. Southern
    Culture on the skids, but not outside this deli, where
    Leaves tumble with Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda cans.

    All I can think of is you: hamburgers and organic
    Bananas, juices, never soda, and a complete
    Satisfaction. Money doesn’t earn these deli-dippers
    The satisfaction you have. Inner peace even.

    You cook after volunteering, after the kids are
    Down for the night. You go there and back then home
    To ride your bike to work. Teach me how to calm
    Myself won’t you? One point at five points:

    There is no chemistry to teach the zen you have.
    Perfect weather makes yellow leaves stand out.
    Small winds coerce more travel. Sharp shadows
    Waver. One beacon lures me home to paint autumn.

  47. Thanks for visiting https://thiabasilialicona.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/a-simple-dialog-with-my-father/. Even so, this was posted way back on the 14th, why on earth I have not checked you until now? Beats me! I found your awesome and I clicked your https://cancerkillingrecipe.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/about-pain-and-writing/ and WOW! What have I missed? I like, like and like your style & content! Now, question, Why do you like or find my post awesome? Love to hear about it! Keep in touch! πŸ™‚

  48. With three blogs to take care of and various sites I write for writing has become my world and I love it. My poetry takes me to places I would otherwise never get to. Yes, when I finish for the day my left wrist is painful and often times I place my hand carefully when falling asleep so that it will be ready to go the next day. i don’t complain though because other people have worse pain and things they are going through but since you mentioned that kind of pain I guess mine could be called “writer’s pain”.

  49. A little late to this party but I can see I am in good company. Wrote all day yesterday and my hand was killing me last night. I found that massaging it with my other hand seemed to help a little bit. I really enjoyed this entry on a lot of levels!

  50. I liked all your thoughtful, concise musings on writer’s pain. Yes, even the greats agonize over commas. As for physical pain, sitting and typing on this little machine is bound to add insult to injury, or pain on top of the usual, gout, or other mentioned pains. So all we can do is stay present and get up and away as needed.

  51. I like writing, I enjoy it, however punctuation does not like me, I do try to put some in somewhere now and then. Good article
    WSI. (writers strain injury), instead of RSI perhaps

  52. Thanks for visiting my blog. After reading this post I can relate, so just had to follow you. I have MS, so pain and I are good friends now. FYI, sour cherries help with the pain for gout, as well as the pain for almost anything. I feel much better since I started eating them and drinking the juice. I love the taste, so that makes it easier for me to stay on the regimen, but just knowing how much different I feel when I run out of cans of cherries is enough to ensure I never run out.
    I’ve tried to take time off blogging to rest several times, but always seem to come back after only a day, because even if I have nothing of importance to say, writing is in my blood. It doesn’t matter to me if anyone reads it or not, as long as I write it down I feel better. I hope you try the cherries, and I hope they work for you.


  53. I like what you wrote about memory and writing. And my Hands hurt too. Especially my thumbs, not just from writing, but drawing, painting, and retail. Sometimes I can’t open jars. It’s scary when you rely on a body part so much and fear it won’t last your lifetime. I feel your pain.

  54. Reblogged this on moodyrobin and commented:
    Happy National Poetry Month πŸ™‚ Your poem inspired my poem written this morning. I hope you don’t mind. I’m re-blogging this to give you credit for my inspiration today. I’m still relatively new at blogging. So many talented people! Thanks for sharing!

  55. Enjoyed your post. Thanks for reading my first. πŸ™‚ I have golfers elbow instead of tennis elbow but I don’t play golf. It should be called “mouse” elbow. I know better than to have to reach for my mouse, yet I find myself pushing it back & to the side as my desk gets cluttered.

  56. I don’t want to see anyone in pain, but wrote so much online in the last years, have carpal tunnel in my right hand, and am starting to feel it in the left. I need surgery on the right hand this year. But I love to write, I can’t stop!

  57. Yes. U R RIGHT.That is why our of my thirty five books so far,more than twenty ,I Did NotWrite;but strightaway keyed in my Computer = my refuge !!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. I am 63 years old and finding that my right middle finger is quite tender in the middle joint. You are not suffering alone. We writers are known for our suffering. lol. I love your sense of humor!! Thank you.

  59. This post was a true gem. Judging from how long it took me to get to the bottom of the comments you struck a chord on both pain and writing. i am glad you liked my posts. “Warm and Cozy” is a personal favorite. I had terrible fibromyalgia pain and alleviated it with dietary changes. The osteoarthritis is a little more stubborn but tai chi is helping that. Also, maintaining a good sense of humor. You set a wonderful example.

  60. I enjoyed our post. I’m reading Elmore Leonard right now, Rum Punch, and he does move the book along quickly. I also love Roger Angell’s writing.


  61. I do wrist and finger mobility exercises when too much computer time causes tenderness or pain. As for the emotional pain of writing and what it brings up – Dr. Pennebaker has done research over many years that shows that the very act of writing is a healing process. What is important in the writing style, though, is to write down both the observable facts of an event/process and the emotions triggered by it. It combines both left and right brain writing that seems to be at the core of the healing of emotions.

  62. Made this writer smile. Been there, done that. The thing is that when it goes well, as when you’re in a great conversation, you forget the pain for a while. And then you think, “Writer’s block? What’s that? I’m freaking brilliant.”

  63. Oh yes. Memory can indeed be painful, especially to write about. Distancing yourself from the pain to get the words down without sounding overly sentimental & trite is an arduous task!
    Great post.
    Now I want to write. Ha!

  64. Reblogged this on Yarnsomniac with Coffee and commented:
    I found this post to be extremely encouraging. It really resonated with me. Especially the mentioning of writing through painful memories; when I write, I can feel every word I compose. Writing about loss or pain can be difficult, but the tears sometimes bring healing. Or an interesting reflection pool. πŸ™‚

  65. Hmmmm, leaving out all the things that people skip? I may have to try doing something that is only punctuation. πŸ™‚ A writer’s version of Victor Borge.

    I have wrist pain and numbness, but wearing wrist braces at night relieves it.

    I find one of the best perks of old age is that I laugh a whole lot more than I did when young.
    Of course, a lot of it is at myself when home alone.
    I have a post you might enjoy, “If Old Age Is Better than the Alternative, We Are All in Deep Doggie Doo.”

  66. Yep, pain happens to me too. I used to have to finish projects with painkillers to meet the deadlines and not be distracted but it got worse over the years. In 2011/2012, I overdid it and ended up with left arm frozen from shoulder to fingers and extremely painful and right arm affected as well. I didn’t seek medical advice but followed my own wisdom. It took me 6 months but I did succeed. Phew!

    In the process I learned that being on a painkiller regime made me oversensitive to sunlight. πŸ™‚

    Hormones can play a role too. I know someone who always developed problems when she was pregnant and had to limit work for that reason.

  67. Here are a few useful tips for those this applies to. (Many physical therapists are not aware of this yet and tend to work on muscles when the problem is nerve-related.)
    These very simple exercises can make a world of difference!

  68. I feel some of your pain only mine is in every other joint in my body. –smile– Oscar was talking to me too. lol It’s good to see you “need” to write. it’s makes me feel better about my hours staring at a computer screen.

  69. Reblogged this on Sandi Martinez and commented:
    I liked this post so much Oneanna65, I just had to reblog it. One of the main reasons, is that though my hands and wrists are fairly healthy, I am rewriting the way I write. I writing the second installment to a trilogy I have just started; the fist installment has been published. Alas, I can no longer write the second installment in the way I wrote the first one. So yes, perhaps I am experiencing some writing pain — growing pain perhaps? Keep up the good writing, and I love how you continue to be yourself. Don’t ever stop, it’s such a wonderful gift!

  70. Thanks for visiting my site, I hope you feel better. Personally I look forward to the pain when writing. I can’t remember the last time I wrote so much my wrist started to hurt, those were the productive days. Writer’s block is a far worse torment for me. :p

  71. Like music and painting, writing is an art form. Artmaking often requires pain, ask a dancer. Thing is, we keep doing it. Shows pleasure and pain are not far from each other. Thanks for liking my blog, and keep writing.

  72. I guess I am like you and many others who suffer joint pain for whatever reason. Writing may exacerbate it at times but it doesn’t stop us. I enjoy your humour ‘in spite of’ so keep it up and thank you for liking my post.

  73. I’m writing with painful arthritis in shoulder and arm. There may be some muscle loss as well, but I refuse to not stop writing-I just don’t write as long as I once did. Between failing vision and joint-pain, I’m a mess, but I’ll keep going until I can write no more. Life is too short to give up on the things we love to do. When I can’t do it any more, I’ll install Dragon and just speak clearly. πŸ™‚

  74. Writing is fantastic, therapeutic , soul stirring. After writing one piece, the mind does not rest, and it thinks of others. I have always wonder why write and the answer I have found was just write. If I am not able to write, I would be dead. Loved Oscar Wilde’s comma LOL. Anand Bose

  75. Oh, what a heartwarming post! And I can so relate to the “comma” thing. I, too, am a writer and spend much time inserting commas in my manuscripts only to go back and remove them later. However, writing is fun, and I really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing another inspiring post! πŸ™‚

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