Exercises Against Writing Pain [NaNoWriMo Special]

Writing Pain
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Last week, in the light of Camp NaNo, we have dedicated a blog article to the benefits of handwriting. Yet, handwriting comes with a price. Especially when you are out of practice, holding a pen and writing in deep concentration or even pressure can cause multiple pains all over your body. In your neck and back, your wrist and fingers. And does not only come from writing by hand. Hammering down on your keyboard all night to push out the necessary pages of your writing takes its toll from you as well.

As an author, a casual writer or when your job requires a lot of writing and typing, you are no stranger to writing pain. Some are related to the way you sit and your posture, others to the specific way of writing – by hand or on a computer. Especially during NaNoWriMo, you put your hands and back through a lot of pressure. Thus, we collected some easy exercises that will help you to relax sore body parts and dive into your writing with new passion and dedication.


Exercises To Soothe Writing Pain

In our article about what to do after NaNoWriMo, we already pointed out how important waiting and relaxing is after a month of intense writing. This targets more of the mental stress writing can put on you and the metaphorical pain it can cause to you on the inside. The following tips are especially for different body parts that are known to suffer from extensive writing (or working) sessions.


Exercises For Wrist & Hand

Whether you write by hand or use a keyboard, it always puts a lot strain on your wrist. Your writing hand and fingers also suffer from long writing sessions without a break. Thus, while writing, take pauses to stretch these body parts. Afterwards, you can go back to putting your thoughts on paper or screen again, refreshed and relaxed.

Stretch & Fist
Stretch your writing hand (or both hands when typing) out flat before clenching it into a fist. Repeat this 3 to 5 times with each hand.

The Claw
Make a claw with your fingers and put some tension into the hold. Then, pull your hand back to stretch your wrist. Hold this for about 5 seconds before releasing again. Do this 3 to 5 times per hand.

Wrist Rolls
Roll your hands and wrists clockwise and counter-clockwise. Do this 3 to 5 times in both directions with both hands.

Stress Ball
Take a squishy stress ball in each hand (or switch) and squeeze it tightly. Give the ball up to 10 tight squeezes with each hand.


Exercises For Neck & Back

Writing is an activity you, in the very most cases, you do sitting. While sitting is usually a comfortable position, doing it over a span of time puts strain on your lower and upper back and neck. This doesn’t happen when you write only. a 9-to-5 desk job can cause the same pains. Thus, even when you are not a writer, feel free to try these exercises to relieve the pain.

Behind The Back Stretch
Get up from your couch and chair and stand up straight. Put one arm behind your back and seize it’s wrist with your other hand. Then, pull your arm down and stretch, tilting your head towards the arm that does the pulling. Hold this position for about 5 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.

Shoulder Rolls
With your arms straight next to your body, roll your shoulders forward, then backwards, 10 times each.

You can do this sitting down, but we recommend standing for this as well. Pull both shoulders up to your ears with your arms straight next to your body. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat this 5 to 10 times.

Head Roll
Start on your right shoulder, then roll your head to the other shoulder. Do this 5 times rolling over the front with the chin towards your chest, 5 times over the back with your head thrown back.


More Exercises

These aren’t necessarily exercises, but things you should do during writing to prevent the writing pain to hit you in the first place.

  • Get up and walk around. Take breaks from writing to unfold your body and grant your wrists and hands a break.
  • Stretch whenever you feel that parts of your body are getting sore.
  • Make sure your fingers, hands, wrists and shoulders stay relaxed while writing and generally while sitting at a desk.
  • If you are writing on a keyboard: don’t hammer down on the keys. Your keyboard will recognize which key you press when you type gently as well and it’s better for your fingers and your keyboard.
  • If you are writing by hand, make sure you hold your pen loosely. A good pen will still write just as good. Don’t clutch it and don’t press it down on the paper with force.
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