Alt text: A photograph of an immense amount of yellow rubber duckies.

Alt text: A photograph of an immense amount of yellow rubber duckies. Image via Laura Collins Britton,

Note to readers: This post is part of a series of letters between me and my friend and author Katie Rose Guest Pryal. I publish our letters here on my blog, and she also publishes our letters on her blog. You can read all of our letters here. Check out Chasing Chaos, Katie’s newest book in the Entanglement series. 


Dear Lauren,

Last week, I either broke my ankle or sprained it badly enough that it makes no difference whether it’s broken. I’ve been chair-bound, nearly homebound, and I’m going stir-crazy. I tossed aside the crutches after a couple of days because HONESTLY, how do you get anything done on crutches. I have one of those big boot things orthopedists give you in lieu of casts these days, and I have follow-ups and MRIs and blarg this is so annoying.

Everything takes 3x longer that it used to. Getting the kids places. Getting the stuff that the kids forgot when I need to take them places. Getting the stuff that I forgot when I need to take my kids places. And on and on. And all the the time there’s me, limping around, making my foot worse.

Plus I’m so embarrassed that I did this to myself that all I’m wearing are maxi dresses to hide the stupid boot.

And YOU know that when I need to think, I walk. It’s how I write. I have a dang walking desk that my husband built for me. I don’t know if I can do this writing thing sitting on my butt. But I have to. That’s the thing about taking a nose-dive into writing for a living. You have to do it even when you don’t want to. Even when you think you can’t.

And right now it really feels like I can’t.

I did write a piece recently on how I don’t buy into the (terrible) advice that you have to “write every day.” I don’t think you do have to. I think sometimes the best thing you can do is NOT write.

Sometimes you can’t write. Taking care of yourself means putting the pen down.

But I’m going to be in this boot for at least a couple of weeks, and I can’t take a couple of weeks off from writing. That doesn’t make any sense. I’m going to have to find a way through this problem.

What would you do? You’d probably sit on your porch on your mountaintop and put your foot up, and presto you’d be in a really gorgeous spot, so gorgeous that you’d forget your foot was throbbing and write, write, write.

Me, I’m sitting in an uncomfortable recliner listening to fake coffeeshop sounds through my headphones. I’ve been ranting on Twitter and posting too much on Instagram. I’ve been mourning the closing of THE TOAST. There are only many things I can do from my a seated position.

But today, sometime today, I will get my comments back from my beta readers for my next novel. And you know what that means. This treading water that I’ve been doing? It’s over. It’s time to move forward. I have polish this next novel up, messed up foot or no.

Because that’s what you and I do. We push through. We always have.

Thanks for listening to me whine. I promise I’m done.