Long before a self-publishing author can even think about sending their manuscript off to the book printer’s, they will be investing hours upon hours in front of a computer or typewriter. The writing process can take its toll on an author because, in order to get any amount of work done, a writer is required to work in the same position for hours at a time. As a result they are subject to a real possibility of repetitive strain injuries. Fortunately the study of ergonomics has uncovered the secrets of positioning and equipment use that makes these injuries preventable.
Ergonomics can differ depending on whether you’re writing by hand or typing at a computer. Since many writers do both at some point it is imperative you understand the differences. Here are a few more important tips for reducing your pain as a writer:
When setting up your computer screen:
- The monitor should be an arm’s length away and the screen should be centered in your line of vision.
- The top of the screen should be level with your eyes.
- Adjust the height or tilt of the screen to eliminate light glare. This will reduce eye strain.
To reduce contact stress while writing manually:
- Use the lightest hold possible on the pen while still maintaining control.
- Refrain from leaning on the wrist or forearm as you work.
- Use a pen or pencil with a rubberized grip or increase traction by wrapping a rubber-band around its barrel.
To avoid awkward postures:
- Position the elbow at an angle greater than 90 degrees.
- Keep your hand relaxed and avoid forceful bending or hyperextension of finger joints when holding your pen.
- Use a sloped desk to avoid bending the neck or rounding the shoulders forward.
Everyone knows a great book isn’t written in a day. It can take several weeks, months, and even years before it’s complete and ready for the book printer’s. If you’re able to work pain-free you can work longer and those hours will be spent concentrating on your book and not the pain you would otherwise be feeling.
Once your work is finished, you’ll need to send it off to the book printer’s so your work can get on to bookstore shelves as soon as possible. For more information about self-publishing, contact the expert book printers at CMYKGraphix.com by calling them at 1-800-698-2071, or by emailing them today.