Sunday, March 12, 2006

Things they don't tell you about being a writer Pt3

So here we are in glamorous writer land... No-one has run out of the crowd shouting 'Trespasser' or 'Burn her at the stake' so, so far, so good. Things are looking up. That second book is out of the way (We know because we're at least five pounds heavier - See Pt2) and we may even have done book three really quickly 'cos it was such a relief to get book two out of the way...

So now we are writing more, spending more time pouring over research notes, talking on blogs, updating websites, visiting other authors blogs and websites, shopping for other peoples books so we can sit still some more while we see what everyone else is writing. And then it happens!

Your body starts to prematurely age!!!

Now this has to be the case. It can't be that I'm actually getting old. I still watch cartoons, on good days I still have a deep-seated need to skip, but then, I guess, on the flipside I am old enough to remember when those flip over mobile phone thingies were communicators for Captain Kirk. So maybe there is a correlation there, of sorts.

The simple act is, when we sit in one position worrying over whether our conflict is strong enough, how our characters emotional journey is progressing, whether or not we spelt the word correlation right... We are putting a strain on our poor wee bodies... And somethings gonna give...
Just to digress at this point, I have to say that this picture is unrealistic on many levels. I mean, this isn't a writer! Where is the finger food? Where are the physical effects of the finger food? Where are the piles of stuff on the floor - the books to be read so we can feel paranoid about our talent in the face of greater talent, the half read copy edits that were due a week ago, the half open magazine that had a photo of a really hot hero type that we had to keep for research? And look at that desk?! No clutter at all! So either this person is so obsessed with his longer Single Title book that he's forgotten to ever leave his desk or his body has seized in that position...

Which brings me back to the topic at hand... Because we now spend so much time in the one position we are going to get aches and pains in places we've never had aches and pains before. And I for one have had aches and pains. I worked with horses for crying out loud. I know about pain because of that. And the effects of gravity... Mass plus velocity equals pain of hitting ground on impact doncha know... There are, of course, varying solutions to help avoid this RSI kind of injury when writing, various well designed pieces of furniture that we can invest in; that swiss ball of mine that only gets used for twenty minutes a day... But do we use them? And if we do, does it actually stop us from slumping forwards and rounding our shoulders after the second hour at the keyboard? Does it heck!!! And as for eye strain... Well, don't even get me started on that one. I myself am thinking seriously of shares in Optrex...
So one of the other things they don't tell you when you become a writer is that it can cause you pain. I can hear you sniggering in the cheap seats - I didn't mean the emotional angst type that you could put to some good use in a book. I mean the still hurts the next day kind of dull muscular ache and dry eye rubbing that comes from not being able to type fast enough and therefore having to spend hours in the one position. That is, until I can afford a hunky secretary type to take dictation. (Modern Extra readers stop it! That means talking aloud!!)

But for me, sitting still in the one chair for so long also leads to a physical worry of another kind...
I may need a larger chair...

And todays thought;
Never take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyways.

1 comment:

Liz Fielding said...

Trish, dump the Optrex and ask for "artifical tears" when you're next in the chemist. Much better!

Liz (who has gone numb with cold without even noticing it when the book is going well. Not often, obviously!)