Injuries from writing?

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ErroAstra
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Injuries from writing?

Post by ErroAstra » December 17th, 2009, 2:19 pm

As far as I can tell, this seems to be exclusive for me. I have a 9-5 (as I'm sure most people here do), so I did the majority of my writings on the weekend, marathon-style, 8-12 hours each day. I started having problems with my arm and shoulder while writing my second draft, and had to quit the third draft when it really became a problem. Eight months later, I've been diagnosed with a an injury to my shoulder, and after going through PT twice, I'm starting yoga in hopes that that will help. It the meantime, I'm trying to work on short stories. I bought a dictation program, which I loathe (try it, you'll understand why), and recently decided to try and hand-write (frustrating, since I'm a typer). I'm barely producing anything. I try not to think about the novel I was working on (or the other novel ideas floating in my head), because knowing I can't work on it is infuriating and sends me into a bout of depression.

I guess I was just wondering if anyone has/had a similar experience? Misery loves company, right?

Thanks.

benjdutton
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by benjdutton » December 17th, 2009, 2:38 pm

The only similiar thing I have is that if I type for too long my fingers ache - I'm always cracking them - and I have to stop. Consequently I can't type for long periods. But then I prefer to write by hand first so I only deal with the pain some of the time. Too much of one activity is always going to cause injury.

Ezzie
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by Ezzie » December 17th, 2009, 2:44 pm

I had problems for awhile with my arms and shoulders aching, but I quickly realized it was from sitting too low at the desk. I fixed the problem, and it immediately cleared up.

Otherwise no. Sorry you're having such a rough time. :-(

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CharleeVale
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by CharleeVale » December 17th, 2009, 3:26 pm

Sorry about that!

I'm a hand-writer and get major cramps in my hand and arm. (Since I have a tendency to death grip my writing instrument when I'm writing something that excites me) But other than that, and having not the greatest posture in the world, I've never sustained any serious injuries.

CV

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Crystal
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by Crystal » December 17th, 2009, 3:30 pm

I find that if I type to long that my fingers become stiff icicles. Other then that I think I am ok...for now.
Working my very first attempt at a mystery novel. 1st draft

Nick
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by Nick » December 17th, 2009, 5:06 pm

Only injury I've really ever gotten from writing is a bit of a sore wrist from writing extensive passages down by hand, and since my typewriter is very old and well used, the period key broke off about two days after my grandparents gave it to me. I almost always have a scar on my right index finger because when I go to put in a period, I have to slam down on it like you would for any other key, but with the key gone it's just a metal bar. By the end of four or five pages my finger is usually bleeding *shrug* You learn to ignore the pain and keep writing though. I like the view the little scar as a badge of honor, of sorts.

r louis scott
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by r louis scott » December 17th, 2009, 6:13 pm

A broken heart and a badly bruised ego. I'm told that time will heal both afflictions but some days I'm not so sure.

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shadow
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by shadow » December 17th, 2009, 8:15 pm

wow, that is horrible. Sounds like writing is a tough sport lol. I never got injured from writing really. In fact I only got injured a couple times while I was playing competitive sports. Happy writing!
~shadow~
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Kaitlyne
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by Kaitlyne » December 17th, 2009, 10:31 pm

I had a friend who had carpal tunnel syndrome from typing too much, though thankfully haven't faced that one yet myself.

I'm wondering if it's more to do with posture or the type of chair you have than anything. Have you looked into trying to find a good ergonomic writing set-up? Your physical therapist could possibly recommend something.

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Hillsy
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by Hillsy » December 18th, 2009, 5:02 am

My keyboard got so annoyed with my typing it punched me in the mouth. Split me lip and my nose is off at a different angle to what it was. It wouldn't have been so bad except my keyboard was in cahoots with my mouse. Reeling from shock, a natural reaction I feel to having a bit of plastic hurl itself into your face because you've typed -ign instead of -ing at the end of a word for the bazillionth time, I stumbled backwards only to find the mouse had entangled it's cable round my legs. I feel, into the printer (which had moved suspiciously closer if you ask me!), and broke my arm. I have since bought a wireless mouse to avoid such a recurrence. The monitor, obviously seizing upon my situation, lying prone and weeping on the floor, took the opportunity to hurl itself from the desk onto me. It wasn't even one of the new, slimline flat screens either, it was a 17" old school one that could withstand a direct hit from a tactical missile. Broke three ribs.

So don't give me your Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or RSI.

Disclaimer: None of this happened

ErroAstra
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by ErroAstra » December 18th, 2009, 10:09 am

Thank you all for you responses. Reading them did make me feel a bit less alone and hopeless. That is the thing about writers, I think few people realize. We have to be competative, but it doesn't stop us from supporting each other. It's wonderful to be part of a group like that. :)

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dios4vida
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by dios4vida » May 18th, 2010, 8:05 pm

I know this is an old thread but I have to chime in here. I have gotten several injuries from writing (well, sort of)!!

I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Basically my body can't make collagen properly, it's very weak and breaks super easily. (Everything in my body that involves soft tissue is very delicate and injured to some extent just from the wear-and-tear of everyday living. It's a very painful and disabling condition for me.)

Writing is incredibly difficult because I've had three wrist surgeries so my hands don't work like they used to. I have a dictation progam as well and I hate it too. I just can't write the way I can with my fingers on the keys. Sitting at a computer is really hard and gives me headaches. Writing in general is such a pain in the butt (and back, and shoulders, and hands...).

Of course, I can never stop writing. The times I've tried to quit I've gotten all skittish and emotional like a drug addict. I can't not write. It's who I am and what I do. And you know, at the end of the day, it's worth the pain. :)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Holly
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by Holly » May 18th, 2010, 9:32 pm

dios4vida wrote: I have a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.... Of course, I can never stop writing. The times I've tried to quit I've gotten all skittish and emotional like a drug addict. I can't not write. It's who I am and what I do. And you know, at the end of the day, it's worth the pain. :)
That's terrible. We can always hope that somebody somewhere will come up with a technological solution.

In the past month I've developed pains that I jokingly call "Novel Neck." Still, my problem is nothing compared to your burden. Good luck.

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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by addie » May 19th, 2010, 6:38 pm

I worry about future arthritis. The joints you use the most are the ones prone to it.
~an aspiring writer and archaeologist

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Ishta
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Re: Injuries from writing?

Post by Ishta » May 19th, 2010, 11:58 pm

ErroAstra: May I suggest that you look into the Alexander Technique? It's a way of addressing chronic issues like pain that result from the repetition of a certain activity (like typing, for example). It's most often used by actors, dancers, and athletes, but I know a couple of physical therapists who studied it as well in order to incorporate it into their PT practice. If you live in North America, Alexander Technique International (otherwise known as ATI) is a professional body (much like SCBWI for children's writers) that can probably supply you with a local listing of teachers. If you are in the UK, you can get such a list from STAT, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. After I spent a year on a teacher training course, the frequency of my migraines declined by 75%.

Best of luck. Living with pain can be very difficult.

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