Saturday, August 08, 2009

Writing injuries, writing links and mental asylums.

Suddenly a lot of work has come all at once (interesting editing work which I'm delighted about). Unfortunately the RSI has also returned with a vengeance so I'm applying home-made ice-packs which work quite well until the ice melts and starts dribbling everywhere.

It's not the typing, I feel, but the 'mousing' (or the 'tracking' - since I recently went over to a tablet and after a few days found that didn't work for me either - must be just the way I work) so I'm going to move onto my lap top for the rest of the weekend, and maybe find the old RSI book for some advice and exercises (which worked very well last time).

And in the mean time leave you with some links:

Woowoo Teacup's comprehensive and thought-provoking post on writing and the internet - she's asked for more ideas, and although I couldn't think of any maybe you can...

and Lizzy Sidal's very kind review of my novel 98 Reasons For Being. She's done some very interesting research about the history of the Frankfurt mental asylum having just paid a visit to Frankfurt and it is well worth reading.


Blogger Jim Murdoch said...

It's tendonitis with me and not just in my wrists but neck and legs. So my heart goes out to you. I have a variety of wrist supports which help but I'm like you, my life revolves around a keyboard. I'm trying to split my time between laptop and desktop which helps, a change of position, but it's still the same ol' same ol'.

And I'm feeling guilty now for not getting round to your book. I had a window last week but a Paul Auster called to me and nothing else was an option after that. It was a good choice - I'd never read him before - but I still feel guilty. I'll go and shift you from the middle of the shelf right now and see if that helps. In fact I'll just take the Coetzee off my table - I have to do a review of Foe for next month - and I'll stick yours there instead.

Sat Aug 08, 01:09:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

It's a bad addiction, isn't it Jim? You see, I can't keep away.

Please, please don't feel guilty about not reading my book! I've only read snippets of Auster - but that's enough to assure me of his brilliance...and Coetzee too. I love what I've read of his. Ah, there's so many excellent writers out there - and we're so lucky to be able to read them!

Sat Aug 08, 01:15:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard Carter, FCD said...

Why not try one of those plastic bags with chemical coolants in them that they put in freezer bags... They shouldn't dribble.

Sat Aug 08, 04:17:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Good idea! (I'd forgotten what FCD meant until I went to your site...ah, of course!)

Sat Aug 08, 05:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Mary said...

Writing-related injuries must be in the air, lately, Clare. My neck and shoulders are all knotted up. Too much computer time. I've been to the chiropractor twice, but it hasn't helped as it did in the past. (Yes! I read your post on that & was quite concerned. I've always been nervous about the whole neck-cracking thing.)

I find the best solution is to avoid the screen for a day or two, which is what I've been doing.

Hope you're feeling better soon. (And thanks for the mention!)

Sat Aug 08, 06:51:00 pm  
Blogger cromercrox said...


Sat Aug 08, 07:29:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Mary: I saw a chiropractor in ction on the TV last night and didn't realise it was quite so violent! I know some people swear by them, but I wonder if something like yoga which trains you to relax or just a bit of massage might do the trick a bit better. Much more plesant too, I'd say! Hope your neck and shoulder are better soon though!

I think your advice about avoiding the screen is good though - maybe I'll try that in a day or two.

Yes, Cromercrox - quite so! It is overindulgence on my part. If I didn't lead such an indolent life I'm sure it wouldn't happen to me.

Sat Aug 08, 10:22:00 pm  
Blogger Al said...

what worked for me was massage along the tendon and nerve paths in question. Quite painful but fairly quick results.
The way I have kept the issue at bay is to become ambidextrous with mice/trackballs etc and swap devices fairly frequently. So I now have two different mice and a trackball that I swap every few days (each makes me work at a different angle) and I swap hands from time to time. I suspect swapping from a flat keyboard to a contoured one (and back occasionally) may help too although for me it seems to be mainly mouse use that is the problem.

Sat Aug 08, 10:50:00 pm  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Hope it gets better soon, Clare.

Sun Aug 09, 03:46:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks a lot CFR!

Yes, I'm pretty sure the mouse is the problem for me too, Al. But those are excellent ideas. Thank you. I am sure you're right and change is key...that must take the 'repetitive' bit out of the day for one thing. I have tried swapping hands but find lefthandedness very difficult.

Sun Aug 09, 09:36:00 am  
Blogger jem said...

I have issues with using the mouse and keyboard too much. A trackball mouse helped a great deal for me. Clicking with the thumb seems to cause a lot less strain that clicking with the forefingers.

I've also dabbled with voice recognition software for lengthy typing in the past. It takes some time to set up and get used to your voice, and it's quite humourous when it makes mistakes, but when you get used to it and it to you you can get up quite a speed and it starts to feel less instrusive. Might be worth a try?

Thu Aug 20, 12:36:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks Jem - I've already tried a trackball. It was fine at first, but then my arm started to ache quite badly in another place so I stopped. I keep wondering about voice, but I don't think it would work for me - I am pretty inarticulate.

Thu Aug 20, 07:51:00 pm  

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