I don’t really have a broken wrist, but sometimes it feels like I might as well have. I suffer from the beginnings of carpal tunnel, made worse by the fact that I spend my whole day scissoring and then come home to write 5-6000 words every day. When I finish writing for all my clients and close out my freelancing business for a look at my own work, my hands are exhausted to the point where I realistically have to decide what is more important–strapping on a wrist brace and resting while I can, or working on the writing that still brings me joy.
When NaNoWriMo came along, I knew I had to be a part of it for my own sake. While I have never won a single round in the decade or so I’ve been trying, all of my non-fiction books have gotten the bulk of their words done during this time.
Last year I only got 15,000 words in, but I was able to do so even with the thousands of words I type every day, with the help of a few tricks I used to support myself. I’d like to share them with you now, in case there are other NaNoWriMo wannabes that can’t write because of their hands.
Take care of your hands when ever you are not writing
Sleep with wrist braces on. Ice while you are watching TV. Stretch your hands regularly, at least every hour. You can stretch them by making a fist and then opening it, using your other hand to gently stretch your fingers and thumb, and rotating your wrists.
When you are writing, make sure you are using correct posture, and that you have proper wrist support.
Bulk out your words with dictation
Okay, so it is a little embarrassing when you are right in the middle of dictating a tender moment or a vindictive scene, and your other half pops in with a disgruntled expression to demand, “What are you doing?!” But still, dictation software is the kindest thing you can do to your hands, and it doesn’t matter if it reads funny. It’s a rough draft. You can always fix it later.
I recommend this one, but if you don’t mind funneling your words to your computer through email, you can get voice to text on your phone for free.
Take turmeric and fish oil to reduce inflammation naturally
Of course, you’ll want to check with your doctor first in case they interact with medications etc. but these are natural and cheap ways to help control that irritation.
What about you, fellow hurt wristers? What do you do to keep writing?