These are my hands. They are small and knowledgeable; they know hard work, and they luxuriate in leisure. They’ve enjoyed health, and they’ve been stricken with pain. At times, these hands travel blithely over a computer keyboard spilling out words with grace and ease; other times they suffer whole lapses of unfruitful days with crushing failure.
These are a writer’s hands.
We who ask tremendous loyalty from our hands sometimes cause them to suffer under our constant and daily over-taxing of them.
Now and then, I use a post to remind others (as well as myself) the importance of hands in our work, and how we might best protect them. Without sounding like a scratchy broken record, here are a few easy things we can do to keep our writers’ hands strong and safe:
- Do your best to provide an ergonomically correct work space. Sitting in Starbucks with a laptop on your legs and a Grande Latte at the ready may be glamorous, but try to change it up now and then.
- Plan your toughest days when you’re doing that marathon editing session in the comfort of your ergonomic writing space.
- When you’re doing the happy dance because you’ve just signed a contract with your dream agent, be prepared for your hands to be busier than ever. Reward those hands with frequent breaks and plenty of time off for good behavior when the big push is over.
- Have a nice massage now and then to help keep tension at bay. Remember that, as the old song goes, the head bone’s connected to hand bone (or something like that).
- Also, take your hands out to a good meal now and then. Good nutrition is necessary for us pasty-skinned writers who hole up in our writing caves for long stretches at a time.
One last thing — do try to keep from singeing those beautiful hands in the fires of your writing passion. Oh, and let your hands practice the princess wave for that time you’ll be greeting all your fans.