Root canals and the misbehaving Muse

Monday was an interesting day, not at all what I had anticipated.

As the day got closer I became more anxious. My root canal was scheduled for the morning at 11:30. To say I was nervous would be a slight exaggeration. I tried to be calm; I took a 400 mg Advil suggested for the jaw pain I get during dental appointments; I prayed to be calm.

Soon I remembered the herbal remedy I occasionally used years ago when I was singing in a group. My jangled nerves would mess me up so my voice teacher recommended Rescue Remedy, which worked amazingly well. A quick dash to the health food store and I had a new little 10 ml bottle of stress relief. A few drops on my tongue, and before I arrived at the dental office I felt much more relaxed.

I had been experiencing tooth pain for a few weeks, but tolerated the discomfort since I had a regularly scheduled dental appointment anyway. When the appointment came around in late March, it was determined a root canal may be needed. Oh dread! My dentist sent me on to the specialist who does only root canals, and who – I was told – is very good, won’t do anything not required, and is gentle and careful. Okay, that sounded acceptable, so I went along to him a week later. After x-rays and checking the problem, he set up an appointment for me to have a root canal three weeks later, April 23. Also, because of my likely jaw pain he could divide the procedure into two parts if it were to become too difficult for me during the usual 1.5 hours to completion.

I arrived for the procedure but this time he found no reason to do the root canal! He said somehow everything had settled down and he suggested we wait to see if the problem flares up again. Imagine that!

I m a g i n e   that.

I’m thanking the Lord for this turn of events. If I do end up having to go through the procedure later, the time will be right.

Now, you may be asking .. what does all this have to do with writing?  Nothing.  (Doesn’t everyone enjoy stories about root canals, especially the non-occurring ones?) Nothing, unless I can think up an allegory to fit. hmmm

Nope. Nothing.

Unless you think that trying to write when nothing is forming in your mind is like a toothache nagging at you and nagging at you. You need a rescue. You need to go down deep and find the words, the source of the irritation. You need to tunnel into those deeply hidden, elusive thoughts and permit your true ‘writerly’ genius to excel. You need  … a mental root canal!

Too over-the-top?     Sorry.     Let me try that again.

How about this?   When–

  • something hurts, write;
  • anger surges, write;
  • lifted up by joy, write;
  • events sadden, write;
  • there seems to be nothing at all … write.

WRITE to discover what is concealed there.  Write more and continue to write.

Gee, I wish I’d said that … oh, I did! Now to take my own advice – advice given to me, and which I am now passing on to you.


What is your best advice for that absence of creativity, or for the seemingly wordless Muse that won’t quit nagging?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

PS: The original version of this post (with a different message) can be found on my Scarlet Thread Musings blog on blogspot.

6 responses to “Root canals and the misbehaving Muse

  1. Uhhh. I don’t know what to say (other than “I don’t know what to say”) Uhhh. Hmmmmm. Uhhh. Now, I will go find out what a root canal is… 😉


  2. I am so glad you didn’t have to have the dreaded root canal done! Just Write is a perfect slogan! (may have to borrow it)


    • Thanks, Darlene, so am I! I’m being careful …

      As for the slogan, I really must post a large sign that says JUST WRITE!, near my computer in both places. I need the motivational reminder.


  3. I think I need a different sign – one that says, “Just FOCUS!” Between work deadlines and this and that, there’s just too much going on. I tend to think about everything else I “need” to be doing when I sit down to write. I need mental blinders, like a horse!


I look forward to reading your greatly appreciated comments. Thanks for making my day! :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.