Monday, December 09, 2013

Writing May Be Harmful to Your Health

Writing seems like a fairly harmless activity. When you think about it, you aren't climbing mountains or running into burning buildings to save small children. No...all of that action is saved for the fictional characters you're creating.

But writing comes with its own set of risks. There are the many health issues associated with sitting all day--in fact, a recent study found that sitting too much doubles your risk of dying. (Although I'm pretty sure we all are going to die...eventually...right?) Standing desks have been thought to alleviate this risk, but no scientific proof exists that it does. So to lessen your immediate risk of dying, experts advise to stand up every 15-30 minutes or so and walk around. For a writer, getting up mid-thought can easily mean taking a wrong turn in your carefully crafted work of art.

I learned last week there's another risk associated with writing too much. It's a risk I never thought of. A ganglion cyst on the inside of my palm. It's a little lump you can't see but you can feel. When I first felt a lump on my hand, I thought what every writer thinks...


But I did what everyone does these days. I Googled "lump on hand" and found out about ganglion cysts, which in traditional days were cured by slamming a bible on the affected hand. Today, doctors just leave it alone and eventually it goes away. That's what I learned when I went to the doctor. I also learned that ganglion cysts are often caused by overuse. Typing can definitely cause one...especially if you're writing 1,000-5,000 words a day as I often do.

So...the moral of this story? When you write like this...

There WILL be consequences