Though there’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your books in a shop, of holding finished copies, of coming across complete strangers reading your novels, or receiving correspondence from happy readers – it’s an arduous process to make it there. And not just mentally. Physically, you can do a lot to help – or hinder. Here’s my advice…
Touch type. Seriously! You’ll be able to write so much more – and much more easily. I can type almost as fast as I think – and because I type correctly, I don’t suffer from RSI or neck ache, nagging back, heavy head, cramping fingers or sore eyes.
Watch your back. There’s a fantastic contraption I swear by – it’s called a ‘back friend’ and it will convert any chair into a posturpedic haven. You can write for longer…and because you’re comfortable, you’ll write better for it too.
Feet on the ground. Seriously! Don’t cross your ankles, keep your feet apart and flat on the ground.
Keep warm. I have these little fingerless mitts – I think the official term is ‘wrist warmers’.
Keep hydrated. Keep a bottle of water to hand. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrating. Keeping hydrated keeps headaches at bay. Your characters will give you enough headaches – don’t give yourself more!
Laptops are the enemy. I write on a laptop – but, after a chronic bout of tendonitis, I now use a separate keyboard and I always make sure my laptop is elevated and sufficiently far away from me to prevent me squinching. This is a made-up word – but I think you know what I mean!
BACK UP. I lost 1/3 of my fourth novel “Cat” because I hadn’t backed it up. I can’t tell you what that felt like! Use a usb stick, dropbox, the Cloud – or all of them! I frequently email myself chunks of my work in progress.