Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Pitfalls (And Perks) of Writing All Day


Monday was a writing day. All day. Not just for a few hours here and there, but all day.

Part of me loved it. The part of me that didn't love it so much was my back. I guess that's my own fault for sitting in a chair all day. I did get up quite a few times to check on the kids, make lunch, and feed myself, but there were pretty long stretches when I just sat. And sat.

After the normal work day ended, I had to finish writing my article for the eycylopedia which, incidently, is on American espionage. The article did is on MI5 and its relationship to the United States. An interesting subject, but a complicated one.

I have a rather weird writing style when I write nonfiction and I'm not sure it's the best. I like to research as I write. This probably takes me longer than it should instead of me sitting down and taking lots of notes, and then transposing it onto the page. To me, I get everything done at once - research and writing. It's a system that has worked so far.

After yesterday, though, I think I need to change my style. At the end of the day, my back was kiling me (mostly from me sitting in my computer chair cross-legged with a book on my lap) and I was exhausted. I know better than this. I know the proper posture needed to sit at a computer, I have an ergonomic keyboard to keep my carpal tunnel at bay, and I even had my dog laying at my feet to keep me warm (since my office is in the basement, it's COLD).

On the positive side, I wrote all day. I finished up the article around 10 p.m. (nope, not kidding) . And boy, was I relieved. While I enjoy doing these articles, I find that I'd much rather work on my novel. :-) And that's on tap for tonight. I can't wait to get back to it.

But it just emphasized to me what it's like to have deadlines. I had to get this article done yesterday, no excuses. And someday, that will be what it's like when I have a deadline for an editor. My body will undoubtedly go through the same sorry routine of aches and pains. I guess that's why I have a reminder on my email program at work that tells me when to take stretching breaks. I need to put that on my email program at home.

12 comments:

  1. Wow you wrote all day? I'm jealous! It's so hard for me to do that...

    Of course I'm all alone right now (so rare, so rare) and I'm blog hopping instead of writing. Oh well.

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  2. My office is on the bottom floor too and it's c-c-cold if I haven't had a fire going the night before.

    I use one of those magic bags around my neck. I don't heat it up (it's covered in duct tape--don't ask) but just setting it on my neck for some reason makes me hold my proper posture so I don't get a sore neck and back.

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  3. God, yes! I have this...crick in my right shoulder that will NOT go away! I feel your pain!

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  4. I used to have a bad back, but I think it is better since I changed my chair (touch wood). Congratulations having a writing day :)

    Commiserations on the old. Hard to concentrate on words unless you are toasty!

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  5. My office is in the basement, too, but there are individual radiant heaters in those rooms that keep them toasty! (Meanwhile, I'm writing in my drafty bedroom, under the covers with my feet on a heating pad...)

    I hope never to have to write on a deadline. It seems like it really blocks me up until the last possible moment and then I'm scrambling.

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  6. I'm so stealing the reminders to take breaks--genius!

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  7. I'm so stealing the reminders to take breaks--genius!

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  8. Good idea to have your email remind you about taking a break.
    Actually, I don't need one, though, because I take all too many breaks. *rueful grin*

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  9. Wow, all day? You go girl!

    Sorry about the back. For me, and I'm serious, its my butt that ends up hurting. And no, cushions don't help - I'm one of those weird people with arthritis in that area. Go figure.

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  10. I know what you mean about an aching back, but congrats on finishing the article :-) Am glad my new office will be upstairs - Sean's claimed the basement of our new place for himself *g*. And that's fine with me.

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  11. Fantastic! I'm so proud of you.

    Great fixes for an aching back:

    The Cobra Pose
    The Bow Pose
    The Bridge Pose
    The Posture Clasp

    They uncurl and unfurl your hunchiness.

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  12. maria7:48 AM

    Try sitting on an exercise ball! When your back gets stiff you can simply lean back and stretch and roll. Feels great - I use them for chairs in my classroom! Works well until kids with horizontal striped shirts get to bouncing....and I begin to feel dizzy watching them!

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