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Indie Author protecting injured wrists

Protecting your wrists

As a writer, your wrists are crucial to your work. Whether you use pen and paper or a keyboard, repetitive actions can cause stiffness and swelling leading to pain. The most common of painful wrist conditions is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), but by making a few small changes to your work habits you can lower your risk.

Better Than Cure

How then, can writers protect their wrists? The answer is by taking regular rest breaks and using simple stretch exercises.

Paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer Jami Gold has written about the problems she experienced in her blog post “Protect Your Wrists: Exercises for Writers,” https://jamigold.com/?s=wrist. In it she advises hourly rest breaks with a few minutes of exercise to maintain wrist and hand flexibility. The photographs that accompany her text make the exercises she describes easy to follow. 

Another useful blog, also with photographs, can be found at https://www.writerslife.org/exercises-to-strengthen-your-hands/  

Two Simple Exercises

  1. The finger and thumb touch: Open your hand with the palm toward you and fingers splayed. Touch your thumb to each finger in turn and when you reach the little finger go back. Repeat a few times.
  2. Rolling wrists: Roll your hands and wrists around as you would your head if you were doing a neck stretch. Do this in both directions.

With these stretches, and any others you use, remember to be gentle and not strain.

As with all exercises some will work better for you than others, so pick those that help most when creating a routine. Taking good care of your wrists helps avoid unnecessary pain and can lead to a more comfortable, and possibly more productive, writing experience. And who among us would say no to that? 

Picture of Jacqueline Harmon

Jacqueline Harmon

While studying for her doctorate in Medieval History Jac Harmon spent her time poking around in old buildings and reading manuscripts which gave her plenty of experience when it came to doing the research for her historical fiction. After many years spent working in university administration herding students she is now getting involved in voluntary work at a historic house and being trained in paper conservation. The idea behind this being that one day she’ll be allowed to get her hands on some of the rare books in the library there. Not that this will help with her current novel which is set in the seedy criminal underworld of late-Victorian London. An era of gas lights and grime which was purposefully chosen to give her an excuse to indulge in her love of all things Gothic. Dark twists and bad weather are to be expected.

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