Are You a Write-a-holic?
Patricia Fry

Do you head for the keyboard every morning even before having your coffee? Do you sometimes turn down invitations so you can stay home and write? Would you rather work on your book or story than join neighbors for a pool party? Do you even enjoy writing lists, e-mails and thank you notes? Do you sometimes work right through mealtime?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be a write-a-holic.

I don’t believe there is a cure. But then, I’ve never met a write-a-holic who wanted to be healed. There’s just too much pleasure in writing for those of us with a passion for writing.

Having enjoyed the process of writing for around 45 years and writing for publication for over 30, I can give you a few reasons for stepping away from the keyboard a little more often than you actually want to.

  •  Repetitive stress syndrome.
  •  Eye strain.
  •  Stiff neck.
  •  Electromagnetic hazard.
  •  Deep vein thrombosis or e-thrombosis dangers.

We’ve known for years that exposure to the electromagnetic field radiating from our computers might not be good for us and that repetitive movement and poor posture for extended periods can cause stress and damage to our bodies. But now, add to that list of dangers, the one that airplane passengers face—deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or, for computer users, e-thrombosis.

What can we do to avoid these dangers?

  •  Get up at least once every hour and move around for 10 minutes.
  •  Keep hydrated—drink plenty of water.
  •  Test your computer with a gaussmeter to find out how much radiation is seeping.
  •  Reconfigure your work station so it is ergonomically correct.

Part of the problem results from our habits and patterns. Take these additional steps toward better health:

  •  Cut long fingernails which can interfere with your natural way of typing.
  •  Uncross your legs.
  •  Move equipment so that you have to get up and walk in order to use it.
  •  Get a headset to use when on the phone so you can walk around while talking.
  •  Wear compression hose.
  •  Play music while working. You’ll tap your feet and keep the blood from pooling.

Sites where you can get more information about these issues:

Office Ergonomics Training,

Are EMFs Hazardous to Our Health?

Magnet Man (Learn how to make your own gaussmeter.)

Changing long-held habits is not easy, but I think we should all try to take better care of ourselves so that we can continue enjoying the writing life.

Would you excuse me? It’s time to jog around my office.

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About the Writer:

Patricia Fry is a full-time freelance writer and the author of 25 books including The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book and A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles. (Available from Visit her writing/publishing blog often.