Day 24 — Yesterday was another good day for the List! I got everything done that needed to be addressed by about 3pm, and had a guilt-free relaxing evening. Made some progress on the rewrite, plugged away for another bunch of pages as I retype the draft into the computer. I’ve found that retyping can really help me in the revision process–it’s something I’ve done for “Hope City” and for “Shepherd”–in that it makes me re-evaluate every sentence once by one, and in addition helps me to incorporate changes smoothly without really butchering the flow (which seems to happen when I just insert something that was previously missing).

Also made good reading progress on THE CHILD THIEF by Brom, which has been a delight to read so far. I love his reinterpretation of the character of “The Captain” as an honorable man caught in a very bad situation, spawned by misunderstanding on both sides. His revulsion for what his own men are becoming–while likewise despising the magical world that has trapped them–is just another layer that makes him a riveting character to read about. Love it!

Day 25 — Today has been a training day in the art of non-striving. Last week I had this sharp pain in my left hip which frankly kind of freaked me out (it was really, just, yowch bad). I wasn’t sure what it was, but it was quick and it went away pretty fast, with no real lingering pain save some tight muscles in my back and side. Week proceeds, and it doesn’t come back and there seem to be no other complications. In fact, I’ve been feeling pretty good. This morning? Tried to roll over and YOWCH again. This time, at least, it didn’t surprise me as much so I think I managed to handle the sudden spike of pain better, but still…not so pleasant. I had just read in one of my pregnancy books about stretching ligaments, so decided that since it’s happened twice now, I’d call my doc and see if it was worth going in to have it checked out.

Turns out, these nasty twinges are actually quite normal during the second trimester of pregnancy. It’s called Round Ligament Pain, and it *will* stop happening eventually, once the ligaments around the uterus stretch enough to accommodate the additional weight and strain being put on them. I must have been twisting in just the wrong way this morning and that time last week, and the ligaments just weren’t having it. Closest I can describe it (besides the rubber-band snapping, mentioned in the WebMD link, except imagine that being a really BIG rubber-band and also electrified), it’s like when you’re walking and the tendon on the bottom of your foot suddenly clenches down. It’s not like a Charlie Horse so much as real nasty twang. Quite unpleasant. Thankfully, the nurse assured me that this will pass eventually and is perfectly normal, which does help. At least now if it happens again, I’ll know what the flip it is and not worry that I’ve ruptured something or whatever my occasionally hypochondriac brain can come up with (OH EM GEE, IS IT CANCER?!).

Needless to say, however, my back and left side have been tensed up like crazy since I got up this morning. After a gingerly eating breakfast and taking the dog out, I got my reading done and finished THE CHILD THIEF, and even got a bit of rewriting in there–though not too much. Otherwise, I’ve forgone worrying about not accomplishing things today, and just tried to relax and let the body calm down a bit. It’s been interesting, because it does make me realize how desperately I cling to productivity to measure the worth of my day. If I’m not actively moving towards the completion of some goal I’ve set, I get very antsy and irritable, but most of all, I end up feeling very self-judgmental. All those reedy little Critic thoughts pop into my head and start asking (even politely, helpfully) if maybe I’m just not cut out for this whole writing thing, because obviously, if a bit of a sore back and hip pain can take me out for a whole day, am I really as dedicated as I’d need to be to have any shot of a career doing this? I mean, there are people out there who write 8 hours a day, or a minimum of 4 at least, so really, if even an hour is too much for me some days, should I really be tormenting myself by even trying?

Obviously, I’ll ignore the Critic, because–as I like to remind myself–I’ve heard it all before. But the conflict between cutting myself some slack now and then and that insidious inner Critic is sometimes quite a challenge to navigate. Today, I rested, because I needed it, and because I know that at the start of next week, I’ll get right back up and start working on The List again, because it *works* and I’ve loved using it so far. It’s helped me get so much more done in three days than I feel like I’ve gotten done in months, and I can tell I’m on the right track. But for today, I can put my feet up and take it easy, listen to my body, and not push it. Because pushing it too hard right now could very well make it worse, and I really *don’t* need to strain a ligament just to slow down a bit.

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