There are days when I wish I had a standing writing desk, like the one good old Ben Franklin used. It may be indelicate to say so, but my posterior gets sore from all this sitting around. I’ve bought a more comfortable chair, and I try to remember to get up and stretch periodically. I even try to take standing breaks when I’m in a good writing flow. I write long-hand, most of the time, so I can sit on the couch or on the porch or even write Truman Capote style, laying flat on my back with a Seinfeld-era Astronaut pen and a legal pad, if I want.
I’ve found, though, that standing is a fine way to break up the writing monotony. And, it gives the back end a rest.
There is another benefit to writing while standing, beyond the back-saving, gluteus maximus-preserving benefits.
Sometimes, when I write, I like to move about. I walk away from the notebook, compose the next line in my head before I commit it to paper. I walk a few steps this way, then a few steps that way. I pace.
I’m a pacer, too, if I’m working through a problem. I would prefer to pace a bit when I’m working on a group project, talking through possibilities and laying out broad plans. The movement seems to get things flowing. It helps me think.
There is no better definition of writing, often times, than “working out a problem” or “working through possibilities” so this pacing works for me when I’m writing, too. It gets the creative juices flowing, points the mind in the right direction, initiates movement. It shakes up the routine and forces me to see the work in front of me in a different light.
Without a standing or floating desk at my disposal, I resort to writing at the countertop ledge that divides our kitchen from the living room. It isn’t ideal. The ledge is narrow and I hit my knee on the dividing wall, but it is one way for me to vary my writing process.
What about you? Do you have something odd you do when you feel physically fatigued while you are writing? Or, maybe, some way you vary your process, circumstances, or environment when you find yourself stuck in one place?