The Hazards of Writing


Can writing be bad for your health with hazards of all sorts to contend with? Yes it can. As I walk the twenty minute journey to work I often make up conversations in my head between the characters in whatever book I am writing at the time. This can be quite dangerous and distracting if I get too engrossed in what they are saying, I am likely to step out onto the road without being as careful as I should. Sometimes they talk so much I can’t get a word in myself. Lately I have realized that my lips are often moving as I am mentally playing out a scene so I sometimes hold a phone to my ear, to fool passersby into thinking that I am actually speaking to a real person. My children are threatening to buy me a bluetooth earpiece, just for effect. At least that way I will look like I am making a phone call, instead of muttering to myself.

Did you know that e is the most used letter of the alphabet on your keyboard? This has led to me suffering from an unusual complaint. I found this out the ‘hard’ way. A callous has formed on the top of the middle finger on my left hand. No, it’s not the consequence of using any kind of rude gestures. I have been doing a lot of typing over the past three months, more than usual and I searched online to see if the letter e was my problem – and it was. The solution has been to stick a soft pad on that particular key and hope it will alleviate the problem. Has this ever happened to you? I wonder if this is common among writers/typists, however, it is not listed among the ailments that computer use can cause, some of which are:

  • Pain in the neck and shoulders. Also problems with the upper back, arms, elbows and hands.
  • Pins and needles sensation in the arms and hands, which may include muscle spasms or twitching.
  • Stiffness or swelling of the hands or forearms and locking of the fingers.

Those are just the upper body problems. Restless legs, stiff hips and an aching lower back can also be added to the list. Not to mention the eye strain. Writing must be among some of the most physically unhealthiest occupations out there. That is, if you let it. Tiredness can also be mistaken for aching and mild pain. Often this goes away while you sleep and rest, but if you ignore the warning signs things can become progressively worse and you could end up with Repetitive Strain Injuries.

Read what to do about it here on Jean Reinhardt’s Blog


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