I’m going to let you in on a secret – writing is not for wussies. It’s for old people.
Or at least it makes you feel old. Carpal tunnel. Eye twitches and strains. Aching neck, sore back. The human body was not designed to spend hours sitting at a computer, and the hours compound into stiff muscles that have forgotten how to move. Walking into the kitchen after a prolonged bout of editing, I look like I've escaped from the neighborhood old-person jail... er... assisted living facility. I imagine that back when writers were churning out novels by quill and candlelight that it wasn’t any better. But at least back then we were likely to die by forty anyway and probably needed to worry more about childbirth and dental hygiene than whether or not our wrists were a tad achy.
I could trot out some line about suffering for my art, but the truth is, I do many things to combat the muscular stress of sitting and writing. First of all, I got married and had a kid. Although, maybe that wasn’t quite my intended outcome when I started down the aisle, it has to be said that nothing curtails long hours at a computer like a toddler. However, the things I intentionally do to keep myself from becoming Quasimodo include walking / jogging, stretching and keeping up on my martial arts training. And then I whine and complain until my husband gives me a neck rub. And then when all else fails I break down and pay for a massage.
Below are the most common stretches I do for my wrists. These drawings were actually produced by one of my former employers – Visual Health Information. They produce drawings for physical therapists and others to give to patients. I have found all of these to be very helpful for my extended typing lifestyle.