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How in the world do you do write full-time?

Discussion in 'Copywriting' started by internetauthor, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. #1
    I'm fortunate to get the bills paid by actually sitting down and writing only about ten hours a week or less. (My hourly rate is very comfortable.) Today my oldest started preschool, so I used the extra time to get ahead on the work generated by my special.
    SEMrush
    I typed for five hours.

    Now my eyes hurt, my hands hurt, and I swear I'm a bit cross-eyed. I can't even count the number of typos I've made writing this post.

    I'm sure its a matter of conditioning, but I honestly can't see how someone can do this full-time and not have carpal tunnel. (Full-time meaning actually writing/typing about 20 hours a week.)

    How do you full-time writers out there keep from cramping up, getting brain rot, or seeing spots?

    Rest assured, I'll be going back to my more leisurely lifestyle of chasing babies and toddlers full-time, and writing part-time tomorrow. :)
     
    internetauthor, Sep 4, 2007 IP
    SEMrush
  2. PinkMisfit

    PinkMisfit Guest

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    #2
    lol im with ya there. I think its much easier to tend to kiddos than it is to literally sit at your desk fulltime and type.
     
    PinkMisfit, Sep 4, 2007 IP
  3. easterwolf

    easterwolf Well-Known Member

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    #3
    adaption LOL! I actually don't write, but I do work online like avg 15 hours/day did get carpal tunnel and lost the sensation in my baby finger for like a month. I bought a gel pad and it helped out abit. As for the spots & rot.. it comes and goes, I usually pick up the guitar and play for awhile to clear up abit. Other times, I'll take my dog for long walk and tell him my brainstorms and answer for him.. I think just stepping back every now and then really helps out.
     
    easterwolf, Sep 4, 2007 IP
  4. WriteResults

    WriteResults Peon

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    #4
    I write 'office hours', ie, I get to the computer by 9am and leave at 5pm. I make sure that I vary the work I do - typing, brainstorming with pen & paper (otherwise I forget how to 'write' rather than type!), and give myself lots of little breaks.

    Its hard at first, but you get used to it. The upside is, that after 5pm, I am able to switch off and dont even think about work anymore. Before I did this routine, I used to work as and when, and found that I would be churning around the next magazine article in my mind all evening.

    It took a while, but now I think about writing as any other job, but with no boss looking over my shoulder :)

    Christine
     
    WriteResults, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  5. LayLifeScience

    LayLifeScience Peon

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    #5
    I think for a newbie which can't charge as high, it's a matter of acclimatization. You get used to it after a while (though I never exactly did). Though yes, it poses risk to your health. I've got a very young friend who's the breadwinner of her family so she has to work 1 full-time job and 2 part-time, all related to writing. The result -- carpal tunnel syndrome.
     
    LayLifeScience, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  6. latoya

    latoya Active Member

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    #6
    I don't think I could type for 5 hours, unless I was watching a Sex and the City marathon at the same time.

    I don't write full-time yet, but I pretend like I do on the weekends, holidays, and off days. :p On those days when I have the whole day to write, I don't write the entire day. I spend 2-3 hours writing, take a break, spend 2-3 more hours writing, then quit for the day. At most I get 4-6 hours of (client) writing in.

    Of course, that's why setting your rates is so important. If you set them based on an 8-hour work day and you only work 4-hours a day, you'll end up making half of what you expected. Your budget will be shot. You probably already know that, though. :)
     
    latoya, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  7. LayLifeScience

    LayLifeScience Peon

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    #7
    Last time I typed for five hours straight, my fingers were so stiff, the next day I couldn't type my own name without committing typos. LOL. As much as possible, I try avoiding typing for hours at a time without going on at least a 20 minute break after 2-3 hours of work.
     
    LayLifeScience, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  8. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #8
    Good tips there. I love taking breaks to brainstorm and work on my scheduling and planning by hand. Breaks are great... go make a cup of tea, go for a 10 minute walk, just lie down and close your eyes for 20 minutes, etc. When I have big typing days (like days where I'm writing up a week's worth of blog posts for four or five blogs), I definitely break it up. It's just good for my sanity.

    As for tired fingers and wrists, I use a simple yoga move that lets me keep going without much, if any, pain (don't know what it's called though). You just get on your knees or stand in front of a table. put your palms down flat (on either the floor or the table). Turn your hands outwards until they're completely turned around. Then just lean back a little bit to stretch your forearms, wrists, and fingers all at once.
     
    jhmattern, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  9. internetauthor

    internetauthor Peon

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    #9
    LOL - I actually did my five hours of typing in two shorter blocks. The difficulty in working around kids is that I don't get to set my own schedule. Breaks are forced at certain times, and when they are napping, you're writing!

    I like the yoga move Jenn. Maybe I'll do it again and count it as exercise for the day...
     
    internetauthor, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  10. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #10
    lol Yoga and a few 10 minute walks a day... good for the body; good for the mind. I always work twice as productively after I make myself move a bit.
     
    jhmattern, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  11. ednit

    ednit Peon

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    #11
    I do most of my writing at the park.

    In between articles I take a short break & pull out the old hacky-sack & kick that around for a few to get my blood pumping.

    Other than that, I:

    Take a walk
    Ride a bike
    Take a shower
    Hang out with my family
    Catch a TV Show. . .

    Anything to break things up a bit.

    I'm beginning to feel the strain in my hands though .. . and I just got a prescription for glasses cuz of increased strain as well. Writing is fun, but you really should take a break every once in a while cuz doing this for so long does take a toll on your body.
     
    ednit, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  12. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #12
    This is actually an interesting discussion. Most people look at jobs like writing as "easy" in a physical sense. But you're right... it really does take a toll.
     
    jhmattern, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  13. MaryMary

    MaryMary Peon

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    #13
    I have more trouble with my shoulders hurting than anything, maybe I need to adjust the height of my chair. I was using my laptop at the kitchen table and noticed pain in the shoulder area, but didn't think much of it. Now I have my laptop sitting on the pull out keyboard holder my husband installed on my desk from when I only used the tower. I noticed after a week or so of typing here full time, that my shoulder pain went away, but now 3 months later, I have the same shoulder pain again but now it is a bit lower.

    The other issue I have is seeing objects that are more than 2 feet away from my face. Like watching tv from a distance gives me a headache, so I just don't do it. I'll come back to the lappy and find something online to entertain my mind.
     
    MaryMary, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  14. internetauthor

    internetauthor Peon

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    #14
    I try to keep us all entertained, but you're right - it is turning out rather interesting.
     
    internetauthor, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  15. clark056

    clark056 Peon

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    #15
    I write early in the morning, which for me is around 10 am to noon. ;-)

    Doing it each day has helped me stay fresh, and if I have to I'll jot down a few things before bed, but mostly in the morning is when I get work done. It's just a routine at this point.

    -C
     
    clark056, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  16. guyfox

    guyfox Peon

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    #16
    I don't write like you folks do - I am writing a dissertation, and, you know, the general blogging after hours thing. I usually write my dissertation/papers etc for around 7 hours, and then blog, write other stuff etc for another 3 hours. I have had tenosynovitis, which, if it occurs repeatedly can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. My doctor gave me a list of cool exercises that keep me going.

    Put your hands between your thighs and press hard with your thighs.
    Pull your thumb back so it touches (or gets close to) your forearm.
    Searching for cts exercises on google will yield plenty more :)

    Do not "crack" your finger joints under any circumstances.
    If possible, switch to the Dvorak or Colemak keyboard layout.

    Keep on writing!
     
    guyfox, Sep 5, 2007 IP
  17. latoya

    latoya Active Member

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    #17
    I definitely agree. I don't know if it's because I stare at a computer screen all day or not, but every year when I get my eyes checked, my vision is more near-sighted. If my eyes ever stop changing, I'll be getting Lasik.
     
    latoya, Sep 6, 2007 IP
  18. mhdoc

    mhdoc Tauren

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    #18
    Voice recognition technology has really gotten pretty good. If you can train yourself to speak in complete sentences and practice I think it could replace most of the typing.
     
    mhdoc, Sep 6, 2007 IP
  19. ednit

    ednit Peon

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    #19
    I tried that for a while, but I didn't like it. It was pretty accurate, I just wasn't comfortable with it. However, in light of recent events. . . maybe I should pickup a wireless headset & try it again.
     
    ednit, Sep 6, 2007 IP
  20. jhmattern

    jhmattern Illustrious Member

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    #20
    Voice recognition may help with the typing, but I'd imagine that it would be worse for the eye strain, because you would have to spend more time scrutinizing the text in the editing process to make sure everything came out alright. The typing pain is easy to deal with... just remember to take breaks to stretch the arms, hands, and wrists. Vision problems... not as easy to fix.
     
    jhmattern, Sep 6, 2007 IP