Monday, July 18, 2016

The New Office is Almost Finished...

For years I've said that writing was a dream come true but also terrible in the sense that I spent far too much time sitting. Most of the time I tried to get up and walk around every so often. This was especially helpful when plotting a new book or when I'd written myself into a corner. There's nothing like mindless physical activity (or taking a shower) for getting the words flowing. Still, when I was deep into a book or on a deadline, I would often end up sitting for hours on end, sometimes late into the night. I knew that couldn't be good, but I wasn't very good at taking care of the problem. So, recently I decided to make a change. I'd been writing at the same desk for over 20 years. I liked the desk; I liked my space, even though it was sometimes messy. Here's what it looked like.

Here's what changed.

I got rid of the old $5 Venture (remember Venture?) plastic window blinds that were broken and replaced them with on-sale top down, bottom up shades to let in more light. They were a steal at half price.

I bought a sit/stand desk and a mat, (the mat is because standing can be hard on the back and knees).

I had no drawers, so I bought an inexpensive rolling cart (not too well made and doesn't really roll very well on carpeting, but it's serviceable) and substituted plastic bins (some are from my kitchen!) for drawers.

For the past week, I've been starting my day standing, then I sit for a while, have lunch, go back to standing, then sitting, and so on. I love it. Standing makes it easier for me to move around and I was surprised at how quickly I adjusted to working while on my feet. The mat is big, but it's sturdy, so I can easily lean it against something when I need to switch to sitting.

The cart isn't wonderful, but it's serviceable, and I rarely need to use it, anyway. As long as I have my computer, some pens and paper and a printer, I'm happy. I'm hoping this will also help with creativity, since as I mentioned, movement tends to make me think.

So, that's my far.

If you have any great health tips for writers, post them in the comments section. I'd love to hear what other people are doing. (And if you're an author, feel free to promote your book or include a link to your website).

Also, if anyone wants to try this, but isn't ready to go to this extreme, I began by raising my monitor and keyboard using books, boxes and whatever else I could find just to see if this was going to work for me. IKEA also sells a hand crank desk that, at $239, is pretty reasonably priced. I've tried it in the store. It's not bad.

So...back to standing. Wish me luck!


Laney4 said...

I'm wishing you luck!
I have had the same (free from one of my customers) executive desk for over 30 years now and would hate to ever part with it. It is so large and heavy that it holds two printers on my right, three transcription machines plus the monitor and keyboard and tower in the middle, then my phone and files, etc. on the left. Two big drawers on my right and three drawers on my left pretty well hold most of what I need. For over 20 years I also had a microwave cart on wheels that I would bring over to my left, holding my "day planner" on the top and customer files on the next two levels. Alas, I wanted more floor space, so I recently managed to incorporate most of those files onto the left corner of my desk when I removed a giant fax machine that died after 15+ years of use (and didn't get replaced). I just love MY cart, so I found another use for it in my laundry room instead.
I DO stand at a vertical filing cabinet almost daily, when I do my scrapbooking, so that helps a bit. Maybe I should put a mat in front of it too. Will think about that....
Not as swanky as YOUR setup, but it'll do for me for now. Thanks for the video; amazing how loud that is when moving. And good luck in those digs! I'm REALLY GLAD you shared that with us! Thank you!

Myrna Mackenzie said...

That sounds like an awesome and impressive desk! And I love the fact that you repurposed the cart. Thank you for the good wishes. I really appreciate them.