When we talk about writing, we talk about the agony of getting bad reviews or not finding a new publisher or figuring out that crucial scene. What is every bit as real as the physical agony we sometimes go through ... I'm talking about literal pain. Our hands, our bums, our backs . . . spending so much time at a computer isn't easy.
I've been in a couple of car accidents that make writing even trickier because of the various injuries I sustained, so I feel a bit qualified to speak on this subject. Let me share with you some of the things I do to cope with the physical stresses of being a writer in the hopes that they'll help you.
1. Finding the best way to sit. For quite a while, I used a yoga ball chair. This took a lot of pressure off the various different hurty spots in my back. This was a fantastic option for me until the car accident of 2010, which did a lot of damage to my stomach muscles and makes it hard for me to sit up straight for long periods of time. Now I do my writing on a laptop in a recliner which fits my body well.
2. Moving around enough. When I'm in the groove, I can forget everything around me and stay in one spot until I'm so stiff, it's hard to move at all. But when I'm a good girl and remember to stand up and walk around for a few minutes every so often, it keeps that stiffness worked out.
3. Nourishing my hands and wrists. If you've hung around me longer than five minutes, you've heard me talk about flax seed oil. This stuff is what keeps me going. Take a minute to read this blog - you've got nothing to lose for trying it.
4. Taking care of myself structurally. I've seen a chiropractor regularly for years, but I've recently added a monthly massage, and it's made all the difference. My massage therapist works out of my chiropractor's office and is fully trained, and she has done wonders for my arms, neck, and shoulders, which is where I keep my stress. And I have to tell you, if you've never had a hand massage, you don't know what heaven is. If you write a lot, getting this kind of care is an excellent investment.
Everyone's different, and everyone's bodies will have different strengths and weaknesses. Maybe something I've shared here will help you narrow down what might be the most useful to you. Take care of yourself so you can continue to write for many years to come!