Wednesday, October 17, 2012

10/17/2012 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone and welcome back. I'm working "abroad" today and by that I mean that I'm currently in the waiting room of my local dealership while they make my car work better than it already does. There's nothing wrong with it, mechanically, it just needs a tune-up, and I want to take care of my little car!

As I mentioned before I'm getting myself mentally ready for NANOWRIMO, and while I've been slacking off in regards to writing lately I know that is likely for the best. I've had too many bad experiences to know that pacing myself, no matter how frustrating it can be at times, is something that I need to do or I will be in a world of hurt.

Taking a step back from what I usually do, I did want to briefly talk about what you should watch out for while you're writing. I don't mean like wild badgers sneaking into your house and trying to steal your soul while you focus on your work (though if that is an epidemic in your area, try to keep your doors locked) I'm more looking at physical things that you might not notice until it's too late. The last thing I want is for my readers to find themselves in some trouble.

This is kind of a talk about ergonomics in that the people who make it their job to make sure everything is positioned perfectly at a work desk are sometimes onto something. The first thing to say I suppose is, throughout the course of your writing, if you feel pain anywhere, take a break. I know that part you're writing is super involved and you've mentally and emotionally invested yourself in it, but you are also having that pain for a reason and you need to catch it before it gets worse.

If you're at a desk, the possible problems are going to be with your wrists and back. A lot of people have those little foam things at the bottom of their keyboard to give their wrists lift so that your hands aren't as bent while you're typing. Those things are awesome, but that doesn't change the fact that writing is a metric ton of repetitive motion. If you feel your knuckles and hands starting to feel stiff, or a sort of burning in your wrists, pause what you're doing and try and stretch your joints a little. Give it a little bit and if the "burning" continues or turns more into an "agonizing pain" wrap the wrist in a damp cloth (warm if the actual pain hasn't started, ice cold if it has), take some advil or tylenol and call it a day. If you feel a similar sensation in your back, it will likely be in the lower back, and is happening because you've started leaning forward or slouching without your realizing it. Adjust how you're sitting and try to stretch your back, walk around for a bit and maybe lay down on something flat and hard, like the floor, just to give your back some rest.

Laptops cause their own set of problems, not only do you have the wrist issues that are far more abundant because you don't really have the option to put something below the keyboard to make it more comfortable for you, and a lot of people use them as their name suggests, and it's very hard to keep your hands flat and even when you're keeping them bent so you can use it while sitting on the couch. There's still the risk of back problems too, but also because you tend to be looking down while using a laptop rather than straight ahead it can cause strain to your shoulders. You can try and keep everything straight while you work, but let's admit it, that's not comfortable at all, not to mention it's really hard to work on a laptop that's resting on your knees while staring forward.

The most important thing to remember, especially while you're getting ready to work on NANOWRIMO, is to pay attention to what your body is telling you. Yes, your mind is working 1000 miles a second and you want to meet that word quota and be awesome, but if your hands and back are screaming at you to stop for at least a few minutes, listen to it or risk causing damage you'll have to live with for the rest of your life. Being in constant pain is not worth any book you write, because when you think about it once it's done, you won't think about how proud you are to have accomplished it, or how many people you made happy by writing it, or even how enjoyable the experience was to write it. The only thing you'll remember is how much pain you are in right now and that is when it started.

Thanks everyone for stopping by today. I hope the week is treating you all well so far. I'll be back on Friday with my normal review. I'm still waiting for the new edition of "The Light Rises" to show up on Barnes and Noble and the other retailers. If you see it somewhere and the overview has the words ***New Edition Available*** that is the new one. If for some reason they don't update those, the file itself will have the list of other titles to come. That is the new edition! Please tell everyone you know and love! I'll see you all on Friday!

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