I never expected that the hardest part of writing would be sitting.
It’s not that plotting is easy; it isn’t. Characterization? I spend hours tweaking voices and mannerisms to get that charming conniver to come alive on the page. I agonize over scenery descriptions. Yet, after a writing session, my back, legs, and joints ache, not my brain, and this is destroying my word count. My sore body finds every excuse to avoid the next day’s scheduled torture, which is why my closets are less cluttered than they’ve been in years, but my novel still needs revisions.
Searching for Solutions
There had to be something I could do, I thought, so I started experimenting. I set a timer to remind myself to take breaks. I walk outside (almost) daily. I move my laptop from place to place. I’ve tried sitting on an exercise ball. I alternate which chair I use. I’ve improvised a standing desk. All have helped, but none solved the issue. And my word count continues to drop.
The obvious solution, buying a new chair, was harder than it sounds. A diligent search of office stores suggested that only the wealthy or the 6-foot plus persons among us can find a truly ergonomic place to sit. True, furniture makers outfit their massive desk chairs with seats that go up and down, so my feet always touch the floor. Yet they’ve ignored the other comforts. Have you tried typing with your armrest-supported elbows near your earlobes, your too-big seat cutting off circulation below your knees, and the lumbar support jutting out somewhere below your shoulder blades? I don’t recommend it.
A Glimmer of Hope
Last year, though, seemed to bring change to the market. Students learning at home needed small ergonomic chairs, and online stores rushed to fill the demand. Since I’m about the size of many 14-year-olds, I took a chance and ordered one.
Reader, the improvement is remarkable. Not perfect, but remarkable. The color is blinding, my restless feet accidentally lock the wheels, and the chair will never grace a photo spread of beautiful houses. But it supports my back in all the right places, there are no armrests, and it’s my size. Sniff. I’m so happy.
My current worry? If my word count doesn’t improve soon, I may need to find a new excuse for why.