Writing Posture

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for being so behind with replying to your lovely comments this week, I’ve not been feeling very well…my arthritis, food poisoning, you know, just the usual lol

Just recently I read One Continuous Mistake by Gail Sher who is a poet, writer, teacher and psychotherapist. She has written over twenty books of poetry, haiku, writing as a practice and a book on bread-making. She is one of just 91 people ordained as a lay disciple of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, the person credited with bringing Soto Zen Buddhism to the West. I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!!

I haven’t got a clue where I got this book from (I think it was on a book binge at Foyles) but her quote on the back of the book was what really had me interested…

If writing is your practice, the only way to fail is not to write.
Hear hear Ms Sher! πŸ˜‰


Anyway, a chapter I read yesterday really intrigued me, where she talked about posture.

“As soon as you bend your back, you lose power. Even if it’s just at the beginning of your writing period, if you can sit comfortably with your spine straight, it will ground you. Your writing will be more alive because it will come from a place of greater self-connection.”

Seriously? *jaw drops*

She goes on to say that if you write on the couch use a pillow and cross your legs. If you write in bed position yourself upright. Sit cross legged at your desk, hell, use a lecture/podium and write standing up (as Virginia Woolf did).

Sher believes that when we write with our spines bent our energy gets caught up and that our writing will become stale and flat.

So what do you think? I’m off to try it πŸ˜‰

28 thoughts on “Writing Posture

  1. I don’t know about that, have to think on it. I do know if I’m bent too much it bothers my back. I don’t like to sit up when I write in bed though. I usually lie on my stomach with a pillow in front of me and write. I do like the cross legged position though and do that quite often. Another position I saw one writer suggest once was sitting on one of those exercise balls. I’ve thought about it, but not done it. Afraid I’d roll off and hurt myself…lol. (I’d end up in dead bug position then) :)Maybe I’ll try it one of these days. I have a ball, just use it for exercises though.


    • Wow Sabrina, I can’t write lying down, I wouldn’t be able to read my own writing lol

      Yes, I’ve heard a few writers talk about the merits of the exercise ball, to avoid writers bum lol

      I’ve tried sitting upright and it just HURTS lol πŸ˜‰



  2. Strangely enough, this makes a lot of sense to me! My handwriting is much worse when I’m hunched over the page, and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for that either, other than my brain not liking the way I’m sitting. Maybe typing is the same way. I’m definitely going to give this a try. I’m sitting straighter already. πŸ™‚


  3. Interesting – I tried to sit at desks for years, thinking it was the proper grown up way to write, but finally gave in and only ever sit on the couch with my legs crossed. Glad to know there is reason for it!!



  4. Let us know how your arthritis reacts to it Vikki. I sit in a chair at a desk but found myself leaning forward over the keyboard till I visited a Β£ Shop and saw something that attaches to the back of the chair and sits in the small of your back for support. I now find myself sitting straighter.I’m afraid it hasn’t improved my writing any but I get less backaches. xxx Massive Hugs for the Weekend xxx


    • That sounds like something I really need David. I spent the weekend sitting upright in a high backed chair, and although I got a lot of writing done, come Sunday afternoon I couldn’t even bend over lol 😦

      I think I’ve got so used to slouching that straightening up now is like WOAH! Lol



  5. Quite apart from that, I learned the hard way exactly how posture plays an important part in writing.

    During last year’s NaNoWriMo, I spent a lot of time writing with my feet up, sideways, on the sofa and my netbook balanced on my legs; ‘jazz typing’ as my acupuncturist friend described it. I’d had to visit him for treatment after suffering from a frozen shoulder, a condition that is far more painful and disruptive than it sounds.


  6. Actually thinking of setting up my desk for standing. So many writers blogging in the last month about how bad hips and backs have nigh on crippled them. I have both issues. Plus, there was that terrible article about how sitting for the better part of your day shortens your life more than being overweight or smoking (!) Eeeps! Will let you know how it goes.


  7. Sorry to hear you’re not well. Vikki; I hope you feel better soon. I was slouched over my laptop, but have now straightened my back and am several inches taller. I find that I need to concentrate to sit properly (it’s become such a habit to sit badly), so this will do wonders for my free-writing, but it will be interesting to see how it works when I am concentrating on writing a story. I loved the quote about failing to write. Ex


  8. I always sit up straight to write. In fact, I rarely sit using the back of a chair — learnt this in Tai Chi. I usually sit on the edge of the seat, with my weight equally balanced between my bottom and the soles of my feet (held flat on the ground). It’s a case of getting in such a position on the chair that you can stand straight up from sitting without having to grasp hold of anything with your hands to assist you getting there.

    My laptop used to cause me back and neck problems, because it meant my neck was out of alignment with having to look down at the screen. Much prefer my desktop as I can sit upright, by having the monitor on a pile of books so my eyes are level with the top of the screen. Hate to say, I get neck ache writing in a notebook, too (sorry, Vikki, as I know you love your notebooks!).


    • Wow Sarah, that sounds very impressive! πŸ™‚

      Ahhhhh, perhaps I’m my own worst enemy, but give up writing in my lovely notebooks? *shakes head* No way! I’ll put up with the pain….ask me that again in 5 years time lol πŸ˜‰



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