Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, writing-related question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: A lot of writers hunch over the keyboard or pad of paper at a desk, but with technology, we don’t all have to get stiff shoulders or hunched backs. What position is most comfortable for you when you’re writing? Legs curled under you with the laptop on your lap? Sitting in a lounge chair with your legs stretched out? Sitting straightbacked in a chair? Anyone sit on the floor with the keyboard on a chair? Or maybe use one of those chairs you kneel in?
Lee Laughlin I’m boring I sit at my desk with my keyboard tray and straight backed office chair. That said, chair is 15 years old and I think it might be time for a new one. I’ll be curious to see what others are using especially since these old bones are a achein’.
Lisa Jackson: I’m almost a bit embarrassed by this! I tend to sit on my super large and comfortable chaise with my legs straight out. My laptop sits on my legs on a lap desk – until the laptop gets too warm, and then I tend to work by sitting at the end of the chaise and have the laptop on a little folding table. I have a beautiful desk and wonderful leather office chair that seldom gets used! The chaise is right in front of the slider, so I get a lot of light. The office has no windows, so I think that’s why…but still!
Jamie Wallace: Well, that’s a little personal, don’t you think? Oh – you mean for writing. My bad. I do most of my work at my office “desk” – a tall, artist’s drafting table with an inclined surface. I perch on my high swivel chair and peck away at the keys, hopping down intermittently for fresh cups of tea or to put the wash in the dryer. My second most popular place to work is at one of the tables at our local coffee haven, Zumi’s. Occasionally, I will work cross-legged on the sofa with my MacBook on a jury rigged lap desk, but this position tends to encourage cat naps – long strings of consecutive cat naps – which are not so good for my productivity. I worry about the ergonomic issues with each of these positions, but figure that my frequent breaks will save me from any positional afflictions. At least that’s how I justify surrendering to the many distractions of my day.
Susan Nye: Sorry to be boring but I have arthritis in my back … I sit straight-backed with my feet more or less flat on the floor in front of a computer desk – the kind with the pullout drawer for the keyboard and mouse. If you don’t have one, I strongly recommend a computer desk. It puts everything at the right height. I also have a laptop stand to raise it up to eye level. When I am forced to use my laptop at a regular desk or table, I can feel the difference in my back. The keys are too high and the screen is too low. For years I used an old kitchen chair. I upgraded about a year ago but think the desk and having everything at the right height is more important than the chair.
Deborah Lee Luskin: I’ve had a lot of hand problems – from overuse. Several surgeries and countless treatments of many varieties later, I’m now mostly pain-free. I’m also really careful about typing ergonomics. So, I sit at a desk, with my feet on a raised platform and my extended keyboard on my lap, plugged in to my laptop. I’ve tried Dragon Dictate, but I’ve never really “taken” to it. I’m a typist at heart. Occasionally, I write with a pen on paper, but it’s got to be a fat pen, or my hand aches; sometimes, though, it’s great to sit on a couch and scrawl.