Okay, so here I am blogging. But not in the traditional sense. Today is the first day that I've used voice recognition software, and so far it seems to be working pretty well. The fact of the matter is I don't have a choice. It's either rest my hand completely or risk permanent damage, so here I am dictating… and it feels damn strange.
I'd like to make a plea to all the writers out there—take care of your wrists and hands. Consider this: I didn't really start writing until I was 18. So even though I have written quite a few words during this time frame, I've really only been writing for 13 years. Yet, here I am with a serious repetitive strain injury (RSI). Given the fact that computers are currently being first used by toddlers as opposed to teenagers (as was the case on I was younger), I wouldn't be surprised if everyone suffers from some sort of computer related RSI injury in the future.
One of the most valuable things I've learned from getting tendinitis is that it is often caused by improper positioning and unnecessary tightness around the wrists and hands (I also learned that I have a remarkably low threshold for pain, but that's another story). If you notice any tightness when you write, or if you hold your hand in the same way—especially if you allow it to hover over the keyboard in a rigid position—check out the following exercises: http://www.handhealthresources.com/Solutions%20Pages/Exercises.htm
They help a great deal, both for preventative care and during the healing process.
It's been rather unbearable to not be able to write. In a way, it's really made me realize how valuable writing is to my life. I underestimated how often I sit down at the computer and write despite the fact that I don't have a regular routine. Personally, I've always tended to write whenever I find the time, which is usually in between other activities. But these in between times really add up. Having not had the ability to write over the last two weeks, I have damn near gone crazy. Luckily, my writing is supporting itself in that I got a few award checks this month that paid for this software. I'll keep you up to date as far as how everything goes, but for now it seems to be going okay… the only way to heal tendinitis is through rest, and unfortunately I'm not a to point my life yet where I can take off of work for a long period of time so for now voice recognition will have to do.
It will be interesting to see if I can complete creative work using voice recognition. I will say, it does feel quite a bit different. Something about the process of recording my thoughts seems somehow off... if nothing else, this is the way to get the rough ideas down.
In writing news, I have just received my hard copy of Short Story America. To share the pages with such talented writers is a distinct honor. I want to thank Tim Johnston and recognize the other authors in the anthology; it's a beautiful work, physically and content-wise. Also, I'd like to thank Dawn Herring for providing some great links that helped me to put together the workshop and provide a set of resources for the participants of the Journal Writing workshop at the San Antonio Public Library. I had an amazing time teaching this workshop. I was surprised and delighted by the wide variety of ages and backgrounds—from seasoned writers to those who had never before considered keeping a journal—which made the event truly magical. I have been invited back to teach another workshop in the fall, and I will be announcing the details about that event on my website very soon.
Thank you for hanging in there with me. I hope to be more active on this blog soon as I get used to this software, and hopefully find a full recovery within a few weeks thanks to the rest that will allow. For now, I'm tired of listening to myself…