Every occupation has hazards. For example, construction workers can have things fall on them, police officers can get shot, or scientists could be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Most people don’t think that being a romance writer is dangerous, but the occupation has its own list of hazards, believe me. I know this first-hand because I think I’ve suffered from each of these afflictions at some point in my writing career. Have you?
Hazard #5: Eye Strain
I want to read you email, I really do, but the font is just so…small. Do you really have to use 12pt? 20pt is so much easier on my eyes. Or maybe it was 200% magnification… And bold. All text needs to be bold. Regular font is so damn faint. Ah hell, just tape record your message and send it over. After the hours and hours of reading I need to do for my job, I’ll be lucky if I can see the screen well enough to log into my email account. :p
The best thing to do to alleviate eye strain is to give your eyes rest time. I know it’s easier said than done, but honestly, taking breaks from your work is the best way to prevent doing permanent damage to your eyes.
Hazard #4: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Writers write. And rewrite. And then write some more. What no one tells you is that if you aren’t writing in an position that is ergonomic, you can put a lot of strain on your fingers, wrists and arms. I learned this first hand when I got carpal tunnel syndrome after writing the last Ecstasy Spa story. Let me tell you, it’s not fun. So painful. The only thing that can cure it is to stop typing all together and let me tell you, that’s almost impossible for a writer. I’d almost rather get nerve damage, lol. Lucky for me, technology has come to the rescue. I’ll be trying out some new speech-to-text software to help cut down on my typing. I’ll let you know how it turns out. There are also ergonomic wrist rests that help to alleviate this ailment. In short, make sure that you aren’t putting too much strain on your fingers and wrists. We make a lot of sacrifices for our art, but nerve damage shouldn’t be one of them.
Hazard #3: Writer’s Butt
Ugh. Just ugh. Writers write and to do this, you need to sit. And sit. And sit. We sit for days on end without moving…well, we do move. We all move to the kitchen to get a snack. :/ All of that inactivity can lead to a lot of cush in the tush. As writers we need to remember that frequent breaks are just as important as getting those words in. Standing up and walking around periodically can do a lot to help keep our butts from growing up to three times their normal size.
Hazard #2: Living in a Fantasy World
This is almost a given. Writers love to think about their writing. We daydream about plot, setting and characters twenty-four hours a day. Unfortunately, all of this time in our fantasy world can leave us with a warped view on reality. “What do you mean, you don’t have fangs? Doesn’t everyone have fangs now-a-days?” You writers know what I mean. Your characters become more real than your family, and this could lead to some interesting conversations. J To help with this, set a timer for periodic intervals. When it goes off, remind yourself that you do indeed exist in a real word with real people who depend on you. Kids need to be fed, dogs needs to be walked. It’s best if you interact with the people around you before things get too out of control.
Hazard #1: (And the most dangerous, IMHO) Man-titty Fatigue
As romance writers, we are constantly bombarded with sexy images. Topless men, couples in the passionate embrace, sexy models with that intense “come hither” stare. To a woman first introduced to this world, it’s a dream come true. Men? Hell yes! But after a few months, er, years, things start to blend together. Features that thrilled you three years ago don’t have the same allure. The models look too young, or too scruffy, or too…something. Faces blend together until you have a difficult time telling the men apart. This is especially true for the indy writer, who needs to go through countless stock photos to find the right one for their book cover. In this case, it’s good to take a step back and not look at pictures for a few days. During this detox stage, remember what it is you find sexy about men and rediscover your love for the opposite sex. Hopefully some time away will help you to rediscover what so many other women are drooling over.
So, there you have it, my top five working hazards of the romance writer. Do you suffer from any of them? Tell me about it in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!
When Blake and Drew ask Elsie to have some fun with them at the Ecstasy Spa holiday party, she seizes the opportunity to forget about the pressures of her job and personal life. She has always had a crush on both men and knows that they are dating, so she expects nothing more than the one-night stand they offer her. Blake and Drew have other plans however. Together the men fulfill her every torrid dream, bringing her to heights she never thought possible. They want to make their fling more permanent, but doing so could cost them all their jobs. Should Elsie risk her livelihood for a chance to make her dreams come true?
For more information, to read an excerpt, or for buy links, go here: http://suzannerock.com/?page_id=1526
A lifetime New Englander, Suzanne married her college sweetheart and has been with him for over twenty years. Every summer she drags her husband and two daughters to Maine on a quest for the perfect lobster dinner. Every fall she can be found down in Foxboro, Massachusetts cheering on her favorite football team. In between those trips, she’s a chauffeur, a maid, a chef, an event planner, a hairdresser, a wardrobe stylist, a tutor and a sometimes masseuse. To keep her sanity, she often drinks copious amounts of coffee and stares at the blank screen of her laptop, dreaming of great adventures. Sometimes she even writes them down for others to enjoy.