Today we acknowledge the letter P, which on its own and in combination with certain other letters has a rather harsh, hard sound; consider the words purple, post, piffle, pluck, periscope and ponder. Say them slowly, paying attention to the sound that the letter P makes. The only letter that softens P is H. Unfortunately H is on a book tour and too busy to pop in and do her softening up magic act. Which made P grumpy.
I have an old-fashion set up to write and do the things associated with writing: an office with two tall, jam-packed bookcases, two cabinets for papers and reference material and office supplies and two desks. One holds the computer and the other is where I read, make notes, copy-edit hard copy, do research, or draw, doodle, or simply put my elbows on the table and my chin in my hands and blank my mind for a minute or two.
All this to say, I have a place in my house where I write and where I spend a fair chunk of time. And it means I am enacting that other first rule of writing: placing my behind in the chair to work at writing. That means I am sitting down a lot, writing more. And more writing means I am sitting down more. I thought this was good.
I eat healthy foods, exercise and manage my health because my health affects my brain which affects my mind and apparently, according to the latest reports from wherever these reports come from, mind has something to do with writing, so I try to take care of what might affect my mind. I eschewed smoking and drinking and drugs and late nights and toxic people (unless I need them as character studies) and sugar and all corn and corn by-products and oh boy, aren’t I boring?
A few months ago I read an article about how unhealthy sitting is for humans, even if said human spends time exercising. Now, every time I sit to write I have that nagging nugget of information at the back of my mind urging me to stand up, do something to get my body going to make sure I don’t sit for extended periods of time.
Content that I had a solution to this recently uncovered occupational hazard of the writering profession I thought I was safe, adding breaks to my sitting at the computer. And then this infographic on Buzzfeed.
It remains to be seen if the conclusions of the reasearch are accurate, but there might actually be a germ of fact there. Gotta wonder what this does to acturial forecasts. In the meantime, what is a reasonably health conscious writer to do?
Get a skipping rope, take up yoga and run with the dogs.
Get an adjustable desk, a hydraulic one on a timer so that every hour it rises about a metre, forcing the writer to stand, keeping mind and body in the shape needed to wrestle with and through writering.
Or ignore it. That works too.