Writing is pain, Gentle Reader, and in more ways than one.
I had a
dear friend (who saw me through some tough medical times back in 2008)
ask me about coping with the repetitive stress and physical pain of
writing. With NaNoWriMo in full swing, it occurred to me that many out
there are suddenly typing a great deal more than they were a few weeks
ago. I thought I might share some of my strategies.
I have to
preface this by saying I am not a doctor and I am not qualified to give
medical advice. I can only relate my own findings after having
experimented on myself (not a scientifically valid sample size).
Everyone's body is different. I am not going to share my 2008 story
(which involves multiple doctor visits, nerve studies, x-rays and scans,
diet changes, alternative medicine, and pretty much every other
possible action you can imagine).
Nor do I claim I have all the
answers. My hip is in a constant state of seemingly imaginary agony (if
you ask any doctor) and if I don't watch it my arms will start to "go"
again. But here, for your edification, are some of the things I do to
keep myself writing everyday all day.
1. Standing desk
invested in CB2's mini-bar, which happens to be the right height for
me. My laptop lives on a raised up platform at eye height. I require
myself to stand to do all "fun" internet work, plus email business,
blogging, and any social media standing. Which means at least 60% of my
day. I have a full size external keyboard, mouse, and a Wellness Mat
(which is a foot cushion of loveliness) and worth every darn penny. I
find when I stand to type, I move around a great deal more which keeps
the stiffness at bay and, hopefully, my rear from spreading.
2. Avoid trackpad/touchpad
I NEVER use the trackpad on my laptop. I have a Logitech M305 Wireless
tiny portable mouse that travels with me everywhere when I am writing
on the go. It's better than the trackpad. Anything is better than the
sleep most every night in wrist braces. I use a Royce brand, which are
no longer made. I dread having to hunt for new ones. Braces are a matter
of taste and I had to experiment with various different types before I
found the ones that I found comfortable. None are going to be fun to
sleep in, but it's worth it to me not to be in pain or numb the next
day. This is the single most effective tool I found to handle the
repercussions of full time writing. I hate the all-plastic ones like Exolite
. These seem to be the closest I've found to my Royce, Ossur Exoform 8"
but they're too long. I prefer something about 4" in length, all it has
to do is keep me from curling as I sleep or type. If my wrists are bad,
like now, at the end of a project, I wear them to type as well. When I
was first dealing with RSS I wore braces 24/7, even to excavate, and it
was as annoying as you can imagine.
When I'm good, I break every 30 minutes, but it's usually more like every hour to do a small set of stretches like these 12 desk stretches
I also recommend the following specific stretch highly: I put my hand
against the wall as pictured, then with my other hand gently pull back
on each finger one at a time.
I use a scheduler Alarm Clock
to make certain I break at least 4 times a day (but often that's more
to remind me to eat). I try to stretch my whole body in the mornings for
a half hour (I like Classical Stretch
because of its dance component) and try to get a 20 minutes or more
bike ride or something cardio in, as well as the occasional evening yoga
5. No Couch Writing
I have a little set up with a vintage leather Desk Pad
for my lap and my portable mouse for when I'm ill, but that really is
only for emergencies. I find, for me, I slouch too much and I hurt if I
write on the couch for any length of time. Even my sitting activities,
like reading, researching, and copy edits have to be done at a table or
desk as ergonomic
PROJECT ROUND UP
~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First:
Release date Fall 2013. Writing rough draft. Almost there!
Curtsies & Conspiracies
~ The Finishing School Book the Second:
Title changed. Copy edits arrived must finish Prudence
Etiquette & Espionage
~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013.
Working promo schemes to begin September.
~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless
) Reviewing chapter by chapter, each drops on YenPlus
by subscription. Print release tentatively
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