Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's not all about exercise

It occurred to me that since many of my postings have been about exercise, it might sound like that's all I do.

In my long, slow recovery, I needed to wake my body up so my mind could follow. Obviously they're not mutually exclusive: I didn't tuck my mind in bed and say, "I'll wake you up when I'm better shape." But to get to another level mentally, I had to work hardest on physical fitness and getting back to the activities that I love and that make me feel like me, i.e. tennis, walking, running and yoga.

Looking back just to this past summer, it wasn't even about hitting good shots on the tennis court. It was about just plain standing upright. Regaining my balance and my strength was my "job."

Now that I've perked up, I'm trying to devote at least a couple of hours a day to pursuing freelance writing or editing work. As I mentioned in another post, I wrote an article for the spring edition of Dana-Farber's Paths of Progress magazine and am working on another story for a different publication of theirs. I'm also doing a couple of stories for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's upcoming on-line orthopedics section. And I'm looking for other freelance work.

Due to downsizing in the newspaper industry, many of us find ourselves marketing our wares for the first time. We were spoiled by the job we had, where we did our work without worrying about selling it. Now we have to learn how to market ourselves, too. (Not that we're alone in this economy.)

With check-ups every three or four weeks in Boston, I can't look for a full-time job, and although I feel pretty good, I don't have the stamina to work all day. Also as a recipient of Social Security Disability, I am only allowed a certain amount of income. That's no problem. I'm not going to get rich from freelance writing, although a little extra cash helps. It's more about sharpening my skills and getting my name back out there.

Meanwhile, the blog has been a way to exercise my mind like I did when writing for the newspaper. When possible, I try to tell a little story with a good beginning and end, often but not always connecting to my leukemia journey.

If something sounds cliched (or stupid!) or verbose or whatever other sin I wouldn't commit when writing for the paper, I listen for a correction from my internal editor.

On some days, I don't feel up to the highest standards. That's when being your own editor comes in handy. The "editor" won't let me write gibberish, but I'm allowed to say "that's good enough for now."

That said, I'm going off to exercise. I see people jogging outside, but it's still too cold for me (a little below freezing). I used to layer up and go in colder conditions. But times have changed, so I'm going to the Y.


Elayne said...

Hey Ronni!
I enjoy reading your posts and can often identify with them. This last one in particular reminded me that I had been meaning to ask you for advice about writing. I do not see an e-mail for you on your blog. I believe mine is linked to my blog or perhaps we can connect through facebook.
Hope to talk soon~ Elayne

Ronni Gordon said...



I just updated my profile and added it.

pam said...

Dear Ronni, the Reporter,

remember when you stopped by the AP before you went to Grad School?

You are a great journalist, although i do prefer the term, 'reporter,' --

i admire your craftsmanship...

PJ said...

That's great you're getting back into writing for $. The blog is good for warms-ups, and you can always snag some of the material, leukemia-related or otherwise.