Usually when you read a blog post about writing you're looking for valuable writing tips, like how to build your characters or develop your plot. But after I've jumped back into writing consistently, I've realized that there are other challenges to being a writer.
My back and neck ache!
After being hunched in front of the computer for hours, whether I'm in a straight-backed chair or trying to get comfy on the couch, it's not long before my muscles start tensing. My jaw beings to ache. My lower back throbs. So, I've asked my chiropractor (who also happens to be my husband!) for help. Here's what he told me:
1) Take frequent breaks. Okay, this one may not be easy, especially when your creative juices are flowing and you're almost through with a thought or scene. But seriously. If you've been sitting in one place for an hour, it's time for a break. So get up!
2) And while you're up, try some of these stretches.
*Clasp your hands behind your back and try to pull your elbows together. Stretch...breath...relax. Repeat!
* Find a doorway and press the front of one shoulder against the frame. Now step slightly forward, which will extend your pectoralis muscles. Repeat on the other side.
* With some deep breathing, tilt your head toward one shoulder. Now roll slightly forward until you come to the other shoulder, completing the circle backwards until you're back in neutral position.
4) For the ultimate break, completely relax by laying down on your back with a small neck roll underneath your neck. That will help to readjust the natural curve in your neck and counteract all that leaning forward we writers do. You deserve it!
5) Lastly, take into consideration your workspace. You should have your keyboard slightly below elbow height (like sitting at a piano). Keep your screen up more at eye level if possible. Your chair should be supportive and not allow you to slump. And if you have a small footrest to elevate your feet, that's helpful too.
So there you have it! Help avoid the rigors of writing so you can write on!