Writers woes and curses... Oh my aching back!
Written by
Mercedes Keyes
February 2011
Written by
Mercedes Keyes
February 2011

Yep, the picture says it all!
It's what has happened to me, after realizing my greatest desire and dream was to write! I was 23 years old when I came to that conclusion, and that was after reading hundreds of novels and gaining from them, what I would and would not do IF I were to ever write. Now, 24 years later and after 16 novels, there's more on my mind than what I will, and will not have, in my novels.

Today, my problem is - how do I sit down, as I once did, and pour from my mind onto the keyboard what will spray onto the MS WORD computer paper all that I imagine without being distracted by my pain! OUCH!


There it goes again... the pain... yeesh!


At 23 years old, (pay attention all of you writers in your 20's) the last thing, concern or worry that was on my mind, was what aches and pain I might suffer down the road, because let's face it, there weren't any! None, oops, not true... I was married to quite the pain in the butt, but that's another story. I mean, the pains I suffer from today, did not exist back then, and oh my goodness, let me tell you, the stories would just pour like a flood from my head and I couldn't type fast enough to get it written. Now, today... at the age of 47 - the stories are still in my head, dying to be poured out, however the pain in my neck -(that has started NOW in fact)- distracts me! Frankly speaking, it pisses me off. It's not fair, I still have many stories to tell, and I want to get them told, but it's just not the same.

Currently, I must have pain killers - just to get a decent hour or two of writing done! An hour or two!!! What can you possibly accomplish in an hour or two? Yeah, yeah, I know - after seven days, that will add up, true, but it's not what I used to put out. Oh my goodness, there was a time when I could sit for 4 to 5 hours and just none-stop type without looking up. This with three children and the youngest begging for food! LOL, sad, but true - don't worry, his big sister was good at making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or Ramen noodles to hold them off until I finally came to my feet to cook dinner, this before the two legged 'pain' got home from work.

My husband, (New one, second hubby,) has done all in his power to make it possible for me to write without the distraction of pain. I have a collection of keyboards, ergonomic - oh yes by Microsoft and others, 4 in total. 3 mouses, yep, ergonomic, 3 chairs, back cushions, vibrators, foot rests, neck braces, a custom built in desk for the office he customized for me, to three other desks on wheels, all bought over the years to help me get the writing done. If that weren't enough, menopause stepped up to the plate and also tapped me on the shoulder, *sigh* - thus mood swings, depression, and just plain ol'I don't give a crap anymore! (Sooo not true). And yes, as a right of passage into this age bracket, I have grown my pharmeceuticals for every kind of pain you can imagine, and a few sleeping pills. However, they ALL do the same as the pain, distract me, take my mind from my goal, which is to write.

Key... walk away, literally, I walk! I must be ever so careful of my diet, which meant that I had to lose weight, exercise and try with all my might to stay off of the pain killers, they not only take away the pain, but my will to write! Hey, I even tried mary-jane as a pain reliever and to put me in that writing place - sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Concentration, focus, so very fleeting - and yes, I'm on some very good vitamins and I'm eating right as well. Having stated the latter, my other key is to accept... just give in and accept that I can no longer write as I use to, because I am no longer that young woman I use to be. Over the years, I caused damage to my body that is now making me pay today. Young writers pay attention to my words, DO NOT NEGLECT your posture, your writing station or desk, chair, keyboard or mouse. If you do, your body will make you pay just when you've gained enough from life to really write something worth reading! However, your body will laugh at you, give you migraines, neck pain, back pain, blurry strained eyes, swollen ankles and knees and muscle cramps when you try to stand! Do what you need to do NOW - to keep your body fit and ready to write.


As for me, I will not give up, I will fight to the end. It may take me alot longer to get that chapter completed, but it will get done! I have just begun to write, those 16 novels written I was learning, and hey, I still am, but oh have I so much more to say, and I especially like the way I'm learning to say it. In the meantime, anyone out there with a sure fire tip on how to keep the body pliant? I'm open to suggestions! Because I am determined to Write On!

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  • Mercedes Keyes

    I have a Pilates CD as well, will find that and give it a try!

  • Clark Lohr

    Somatics, pilates and yoga.  Or just somatics. HQ in Novato, CA. Helps. Thanks for friending me. I was in Pearl, Mississippi last year. Drove a tractor-trailer truck for a little while until I figured out I wasn't getting any better at it and that ain't good when you're piloting 80,000 pounds of danger. I'm better off at a desk.

    Thanks for friending me, Mercedes. Pilates can take away some pain.