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  • Writer's pictureJudy

June 30, 2024: Rules of Physical Therapy (and Writing)

This has been a very unusual summer for me. As I recover from my second knee-replacement surgery in 6 months, I am very limited in what I can do at this point.  I am very much house-bound, and my days are filled with things like walking, reading, ice, elevation, writing,… and lots and lots of physical therapy.


         I have some phenomenal physical therapists with which I am currently working, and they continue to amaze me with their expertise, their insight, and their support and encouragement.  They know when to push, when to let up, and when to have that heart-to-heart talk. They see us at our most vulnerable and stressed, and give us hope.  During my PT sessions this summer, I have laughed, and I have cried. Literally- tears streaming down my face in that ugly-cry we all hate to do in public.


         And I have had some wisdom bestowed on me. My therapist gave me 4 Rules of PT to remember:


-       Do a little bit each day

-       Remember the big picture

-       Accept the ups and downs

-       Every recovery is different and unique


As I jotted these in my journal and thought about them, I realized how applicable they are to us as writers as well.


-       Do a little bit each day

o   All writers struggle with the progress and pace of their writing, whether it is working on an article, a blog post, or a full-length novel.  Making sure to do just a little bit each day can help to keep us moving forward, even when those periods of doubt or writer’s block surface.

-       Remember the Big Picture

o   As writers, when we are “in the trenches” and struggling with dialogue or plot points, it is helpful to remember the big picture.  Take a step back and spend some time thinking about the ultimate goal of the piece we are working on.

-       Accept the ups and downs

o   I have learned that physical recovery is not a straight line from point A to point B, but rather it is like a series of peaks and valleys that hopefully are moving in the right direction.  This is important to remember so that those inevitable drops do not make us so discouraged that we lose sight of the progress we have made. This is so true of our writing. Regardless of the failures, rejections, or challenges, it is important to not lose sight of the progress that has been made.  Give ourselves grace and move on.

-       Remember every recovery is different and unique.

o   Having had my first knee-replacement surgery in December, I went into this one convinced that I knew exactly how everything would go. Silly me.  Substitute “writing project” for recover, and this rule can help us understand how one story, novel, or article might be a roaring success, while the next one cannot get off the ground. Each is truly unique and different and should be treated that way.



I think in addition to physical recovery and writing, these rules may very well be applicable to how we approach life!

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