Rewiring the writing approach

So, it’s been over a month and I’m still the gimpy writer. The wrists have certainly improved, but 99% of that has to do with, you know, not typing. I would be lying to say it hasn’t been beyond frustrating, especially considering the move and the many other things I won’t bore you with.

Suffice it to say, I’m having to change just about everything I thought I knew about writing. I had the formula down; I had the drive, the determination, the schedule. I was a writing writer, someone who sat down and just wrote, no matter what, every day. A huge accomplishment.

Then, my wrists gave out. 1,000 words a day is apparently too much, especially not counting all the freelancing I do. I’ve been delaying buying speech-to-text software because I simply don’t want to believe it’s that bad. A big part of me still thinks that I’m eventually going to wake up and sit down at the computer, and be without pain. That’s just not going to happen right now. So instead of having a goal of 1,000 typed words a day, I have 200. I can speak those, if I have to, while waiting for my new software (… the Mac enthusiast in me cringes that I have to install a Windows partition, but hey… it’s $100 cheaper this way, and money, you know, doesn’t grow on trees… at least not yet). Today, I’m typing a little more than that, but figured an update was worth it.

I can’t say that I’ve taken all of this well. It’s been heartbreaking for me. Though I do plenty of other stuff aside from writing, it’s by far my most favorite thing to do; it’s who I am. And while I wish I could say I’ve spent all this time writing novels in my head and planning great things, I will be honest: it’s been very foggy up there in my head. I’m sure I’m a little depressed, and with everything else going on that’s not surprising. But usually writing is my way out of that, and now thinking of typing for more than about fifteen minutes makes me want to cry.

I’m not letting it get me down. This injury won’t define me; it won’t stop me from telling stories. I don’t think anything could. But it’s teaching me a great deal about my process, and about “getting it right”. The truth is, there is no accounting for the sorts of things that happen in your life. You can scale the highest mountain only to find you can’t go back the way you came, or you’ve got to sit there and wait for a plane.  Or a zeppelin. I hope I’m waiting for a zeppelin…


  • Anna the Piper

    Sympathies on this. My partner’s been having severe typing issues for a while now and she has had to wrestle with using wrist braces as well as speech software.

    And me, I’ve had medical challenges of my own trying to get back into regular writing habits! I’ve had to scale back my expectations for what I can produce in a given day, too. It’s very frustrating and crazy-making! Good luck and hope you’ll be able to keep producing words in a way your hands can cope with.

    Anna, from the Outer Alliance

  • Sam

    Good luck with this. I had some problems a couple of years ago and an ergonomic keyboard (and a thumb trackball instead of mouse) went a long way toward helping.

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