Tips to Relieving Wrist Pain…

spvhcbuki6e-william-ivenI finally hit a wall a few weeks ago.

The pain in my wrists had been getting worse for months. My pinkies started going numb if I was at the computer too long. I was already sleeping in wrist braces and chomping on ibuprofen probably a bit too much. I needed to get help, but I wasn’t doing anything to fix it.

Why was I doing this to myself, you might ask?

Because I knew when I went to the chiropractor it wasn’t going to be good news (I mean, numb pinkies can’t be a great sign).

And it wasn’t. When I finally got my crap together and went to the chiropractor last week,  X-rays revealed severe degeneration in my neck as well as cubital tunnel syndrome—so at least we know now why I’ve been in chronic pain for years. It was actually really weird to find that although I have a lot of pain in my wrists, in my particular case, it was actually my elbows that needed the most work on stretching muscles and easing the ulnar nerve.

So I’m in PT three times a week for the next month. Fun, fun!

 

So what are some tips you can do if you—like me—suffer from writer’s wrist pain?

  1. Go to the chiropractor or physical therapy before going to a regular doctor. The chiropractor or PT can actually start you on a path to healing versus just giving you pain meds (though pain meds can be nice, ammarite?)
  2. Sleep in wrist braces. They are pretty uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it.
  3. Rub Biofreeze on your forearms and wrists. An unexpected side effect is the clearing out of your sinuses because man does that stuff stink!
  4. Do some stretches (you can find some here). My chiropractor does these stretches with me and I have to admit, it hurts like SOOOOO much! But it’s worth it… I think. Maybe the jury is still out there.
  5. Don’t sleep on your stomach (this helps more for your neck, but a lot of wrist pain actually originates in your neck).
  6. Set up an ergonomic friendly workspace. This is really important as if we don’t fix how we work, the pain will just get worse.
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  7. Ice, ice, baby! Putting ice on it (wrapped in a towel) a few times a day helps with the inflammation.
  8. Pop some pills. I take ibuprofen when the pain gets too much that’s getting distracting.

Hopefully some of things things that help me can help you as well! Happy writing 🙂

Change Can Start with One Voice…

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With so much injustice happening around us, it’s more important than ever to speak out. For some of us, that’s using our place of privilege to speak out against things we see that are not right—even if they don’t affect us one bit.

I’ve called my representatives many times over the past few months to use my voice to speak out. It’s our right, so don’t be silent when we see things happening that make us uncomfortable. Change can start with one voice.

Find out who represents you.

January TBR:

I’m in the middle of a revision (I even took a Twitter hiatus to focus—shocking!) so I probably won’t be reading as much as I would prefer, but here are the four books on my TBR for January:

  1. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

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2. The Bridge by Jill Cox

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3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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4. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

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Books 2-4 may get pushed to February as I may HAVE to finish the Falling Kingdom series, but this is the goal at least!

Happy reading everyone!

2017 Resolutions

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I heard Dr. Henry Cloud speak last night and he said something I really appreciated:

If you want your life to be different, it’s a good idea to sit down and figure out what you want that different to look like. You need vision.

Such a simple statement, but I think this is something that can easily be forgotten at the beginning of the year when we’re all setting our resolutions. It has to be more than just, “I want to have x accomplished,” it’s about clarifying your ultimate goals and then identifying the small/attainable steps you can make in the short, medium, and long term to get there. To use an example: Losing weight can’t be the goal—that’s a step toward an ultimate goal of something else and you need to be able to identify what that ultimate goal is or you’ll lose motivation.

And so that’s why goal casting is always a really big deal to me. I don’t just randomly make goals and throw them into the air hoping something sticks. I’m purposeful about what I want, what I need, and realistically what I can accomplish in a given set of time. So that being said, I have 7 goals this year:

  1. Hike 5 Texas State Parks with my family
  2. Finish revising TSBTS
  3. Draft/Revise historical adventure
  4. Write “Lyric’s story” (a MG novella for my daughter)
  5. Read one published book a week
  6. Finish getting out of debt (so close!)
  7. At least 4 family meals around the table a week

Things that aren’t goals, but are lifestyle changes I would like to see happen include becoming more disciplined about my writing time and drinking more water.

Things that I am putting into the universe that I would LOVE to have happen (but of which I have no control): selling a manuscript (or more!) and getting a promotion at work.

Let’s do this 2017!

Looking Back at 2016…

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Another year has passed.

Can you believe it? Another year has passed.

I know I echo a lot of “year-end reviews” when I say this has been a tough year for a lot of people. In my own life, I dealt with a lot of disappointments that I had to learn to accept, but with that and the election and some personal goals that didn’t get met, the last several months of the year felt like a dark hole of suck.

And within that dark hole of suck, creativity has a hard time taking root.

I also stretched myself too thin in too many different areas and as a result, lost a lot of focus.

And focus is kind of a big deal when you wear as many hats as I do.

But all in all, I like to think that I learned a lot about myself in 2016.

Looking back, my word for 2016 is: boundaries.

I spent much of the last year discovering, setting, and testing out boundaries, then readjusting those boundaries and testing them again.

It was a year of leaning in to discomfort and discovering things about myself I wouldn’t have admitted were there a year ago.

It’s also been a year of putting my writing out there in a way I never have before and I’m proud of myself for that.

So in honor of focusing on the good, here are things I’m most proud of in 2016:

  • I became a Pitch Wars Mentor to two awesome ladies
  • Both of those ladies got literary agents within the first week of querying/agent showcase
  • Started a fun Texas State Park bucket list with my family we are checking off
  • Had some incredible wins at my day job and got a nice raise
  • Enjoyed several “me only” writers retreats in Tyler and Austin
  • Went to an invite-only social media summit that took place at DISNEY WORLD! (so much fun!)
  • Left a house that was falling apart around us and moved to the city I’ve been wanting to live in since we moved back to Texas from Europe 3 years ago
  • Finished the first draft of a new book
  • Outlined the ideas for two new books
  • Revised ALLIANCE again in September/October and love it more than ever
  • My kid trilogy is THRIVING! They are seriously the most hilarious, talented, fantastic kids on the planet
  • Celebrated 11 years of marriage with my Belgian waffle and we went on a grown-up vacation with our best friends to Cancun!
  • Bought a new couch (I know that seems weird to add here, but I’ve been wanting this couch for probably 10 years!)
  • Was asked to help coordinate the teen volunteers for the North Texas Teen Book Festival
  • Realized I’m living my best life.

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Yup, you heard me on that last one. I’m living my best life. Some time this summer, I was hit with this realization that I am—right now—living my best life. I’m not aiming toward living my best life… it’s happening right now and just realizing and then accepting that has really changed my perspective.

There is nothing important in my life that I am not passionately pursuing.

I am passionately pursuing being a published author.

I am passionately pursing being the best in my niche field within digital marketing/social media.

I am passionately pursuing being the best wife/mom/sister/daughter/aunt/friend I can be.

I am passionately pursuing knowledge and understanding how to use my privilege for good.

I am passionately pursuing generosity and giving of my money and time to worthy causes.

I am passionately pursuing my spiritual walk and finding peace within my boundaries.

Living your best life doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished all your goals or everything is going right. Living your best life means that you are in a passionate pursuit of life and choose to grasp hold of each day, each accomplishment, each failure and say, “I don’t care what I feel right now, I’m choosing to acknowledge that I am living my best life.”

It’s in that acknowledgment that true happiness digs its roots deep into your soul.

So here’s to 2017 and living our best life.