One of the unexpected side effects of being a writer – for me – has been the toll it takes on my back and legs!
I was all set to battle the notorious writers’ block, to try to find peace and quiet in my home office, to overcome doubts and anxiety when it came to my plot and characters, but I was not prepared for the most vexing interruption of all: my legs screaming for me to move.
This means that I can be midway through writing a rapid fire dialogue, with sentences flowing easily, or having a lot of fun setting up a scene that I can clearly visualise, but I have to abandon that because I can’t sit down any longer.
So I’ve tried typing while standing at my kitchen bench or standing at an outdoor table (where the sun plays havoc on my laptop screen). I do quick stretches, and also sit at various chairs around the house, ranging from stools through to a lower-slung IKEA chair by a window. I’ve even written while sitting cross-legged on my bed (surprisingly, that’s very conducive to creative writing. Unsurprisingly, it’s numbing for the legs).
I’ve chatted about this issue with fellow writers and received some wonderful advice, most of that revolving around different types of standing desks. Some writers have even set up their keyboards on a treadmill! I’ve seen images that are amazing and quirky and alarming and hilarious.
Above all, it’s been a reminder that I’m not alone in this experience. My writing community has also reiterated some very sensible advice: if your body wants to move, then move it, dammit.