Sitting at your computer all day is the unfortunate life of a professional freelance writer. It?s tiring, exhausting, depressing, lonely, but worst of all, horrible for your body if you aren?t taking proper precautions. Take a look at your current workstation and the habits you have while doing your freelance writing jobs. Here are just a few tips to help you get a little more comfortable, as well as things that can protect yourself from aches and pains down the road.
The Importantest (creative freedom is expressed on this blog) of your Freelance Writing Setup
Look at what you?re derri?re is being squished by. If you look at your tummy, I wasn?t referring to that (however, if it?s a bit larger than average consider writing some sale copies for gyms in your area in exchange for free membership). I meant that chair. Is it that simple wooden stool you stole from the kitchen bar, or worse yet, you prop yourself up with pillows and write for your clients on the bed? Seriously consider investing in a high-backed leather or fabric office chair. You can pick them up from any big box department store starting at 100 dollars.
Squatting is not a Good Writer?s Position
After purchase, sit down in it with your butt as far back as possible. Adjust the height so that your knees stand at the same level as your hips when your feet are flat on the ground. I prefer to wear shoes, as well, to keep my feet balanced while I work. It?s silly, but it adds a definite boost in production.
Feel That Burning Sensation
It?s 3:42 A.M. as I type out this sentence. I?ve got some poor sleeping habits. It is something I should fix, and if you regularly work on your freelance writing projects until 5 A.M. (my bedtime), you might want to start working earlier, longer hours during the day, or hold back on those few extra projects your clients proposed.
Besides getting sore and burning eyes from my late night procrastination sessions (I mean from wanting to provide you with the absolute best in freelance writing tips and solutions), working at a computer all day has a way of doing plenty of wear and tear on your eyes. Buy a bigger computer monitor to see your text more clearly (as well as giving you a boost in productivity space and time), and look away from that monitor every few seconds. Sometimes when my eyes get that bad, but I know I need to write that little bit more, I?ll look right above my computer monitor and type it blind, run a quick spell check, print it out to avoid more eye-to-monitor contact and make further edits from the paper copy.
Wrist-wear for the Fashionable
If you don?t already have a wireless mouse, purchase one as they are masters of cleaning up valuable desk space. Then, get yourself a keyboard with some wrist mats (might as well order a mouse pad that gives you a place to rest your wrist while you are at it). Shiny ones with gel wraps work perfect. While my young, beautiful wrists haven?t been torn apart by the ravages of my desk (thank you Logitech for your wonderful keyboard and mouse systems), reports of freelancers obtaining ?growths? from the balls of their wrists sitting on the corner of their desks have been reported. Eek!
Stand Up, Soldier!
It?s okay to give yourself a break, even while you are in the middle of a sentence. In fact, set a timer to go off every 15 minutes. When it goes off, stand up, walk around your house, grab a snack (should be low fat, you aren?t exactly shedding pounds off when you type) or drink some water, stretch out, relax, and head back to work after a few minutes. At the end of an hour long shift, take 5-10 minutes and really sink back into your chair.
This is where freelance writing becomes a great profession. Not many other people get to decide when they want to take a break during office hours. While you should take regular breaks just to loosen up those stiff muscles, missing it a couple times won?t kill you. However, if you are skipping your four hour breaks (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), you are setting yourself for a quick burnout and might not even feel energized enough to get yourself back into your freelance writing chair. Never skip a meal and always eat your vegetables ? just like Mommy told you.
Alright, this is past the general point where your attention span clicks your other bookmarks. I think you should subscribe to this blog as this is just part 1! Oh! Yippee Skippy! Tomorrow we get to talk about the emotional aspects of being a professional freelance writer for hire.