Thursday, 2 December 2010

The Danger of Making Assumptions

I am writing this without wrist supports for the first time in ages. I am writing without wrist pain for the first time in ages. Yippedy-doo-dah! I am also writing this in the awareness that my quickness in making assumptions has led to me suffering wrist pain for ages, so it should be more Twittedy-doo-dah.

When I started getting pain in my wrists I assumed it was RSI from all the typing I did. Every other writer I know gets some RSI; why should I be any different? So I downloaded a few exercises for hands and wrists, bought some wrist supports and carried on. Some times the pain was not so bad, sometimes bad but nothing I couldn't live with.

Then I finished the first rough draft of the WIP and was having a major rethink about the structure which meant no writing. My wrists got worse, to the point of finding driving difficult, which was odd given I wasn't straining them by typing. Finally I went to the doctor who diagnosed....arthritis. Cue what feels like vast quantities of ibuprofen, cue pain free wrists. Cue also feeling a bit older than I did before, and a darn sight more stupid for making assumptions.

We make assumptions all the time. A writes faster than us, B writes better. C is more successful, D is making lots of money. It's all too easy to compare ourselves with others - but it's usually only what we assume is true of others. A boasts of a massive word count on Monday, and we assume it's true of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and beat ourselves up because we don't write that fast. But maybe A is pleased because they've been blocked for the past couple of weeks. We don't know.

Comparisons are dangerous because many - most? all? - of them are based on assumptions. Like my wrists, we'd save ourselves a lot of pain and grief if we didn't make them.


Fiona Faith Maddock said...

I'm sorry to hear about your joint pains and I sympathise because I've got painful fingers. The doc advises that glucosamine helps to delay the progress of it but you have to take lots of it and regularly. I find that pure cod liver oil (urrrgh!) in orange juice helps and I take that every morning in winter when the pain is worse.

Sarah Duncan said...

Ooh I don't like the sound of cod liver oil in orange juice, sounds horrible. I've started taking glucosamine, but have been told it takes time for that to kick in. Fell I'm rattling at the moment!