Introducing The Balrog

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There are some professions where injury just seems part and parcel of the job. And then there is writing.

No matter where you write — a secluded room, a vast beach…a secluded beach — *how* you write is just as important. It is like playing a sport. The approach, the ceremony, the ritual. And just as any athlete would extoll the virtues of posture and form, these things are equally important when writing.

I learned this the hard way. In the past, my keyboard was always propped at a slant, forcing my wrists into an extreme angle. My elbows were not in line with my body. My bank was hunched. I hit the keys like a marathoner pounding pavement.

Shortly after getting the call from my agent that St. Martin’s Griffin would be publishing my debut novel, I experienced a horrible burning pain that extended from my wrist to my elbow. Later, I discovered it was Repeated Stress Injury tendonitis. It’s awful. And there’s no quick fix.

Thanks to The Balrog — my fancy new keyboard — it is gradually less painful to write. Even though Balrog is an excellent keyboard (though prone to temper tantrums…and on occasion, he will bleat at me like a sheep), I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.

So take care of yourselves! Take breaks! Deadlines are fell beasts, but so is chronic pain.


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