A few months ago I injured my back. Now I’m not going to tell you how I did it, am I? (Well, it was rather innocent really: wrestling with my 7 year-old-son.)
The pain from the injury was just awful. Sleeping was excruciating, especially when you have to turn over during the night. There’s nothing like pain to bring you back to earth, to focus on what’s really important: your health.
My physiotherapist gave me a couple of heat packs and they were great in assuaging the pain. She also gave me a few exercises to do and these have been really helpful. But the most drastic thing she suggested was to not sit down for long spells.
As a writer, this I knew would pose some difficulties, as sitting down and writing is what writers do. Then I remembered reading or hearing somewhere that Donald Rumsfeld, whose stance on Iraq I totally disagreed with, had a sort of rostrum which he used as his desk and he worked standing up!
So I carted my laptop to the kitchen bench and began writing standing up. (I also did a lot my usual paperwork, emails and phone calls on my feet) The effect of not sitting down, mentally and physically, was quite enormous. There was a greater urgency in the writing (and in everything else I normally did sitting down) and I felt more dynamic for it.
Sure my legs did ache – but I was burning calories too (so I could have a bigger lunch!). Best of all, I was doing something good for my back!
I wonder if any of you have tried writing on your feet.