First of all, I am sorry you were injured and I wish you a speedy recovery!
I’m here to tell you that not only can you write while you’re injured, but the tricks you learn during this time will make you a much more productive writer when you are all better. I’m not a medical doctor and this isn’t medical advice. This is writing advice.
Now, people can be injured in different ways and I am going to cover the way in which you can’t sit or stand. Some of it may apply if you are also having problems with your hands, like you broke them or your cat requires you to keep petting her or she’ll scratch you.
Here’s the first secret…
Writing goes well with being injured. You’re angsty, you’re bored, you can’t do whatever work you might usually be doing that makes you feel like a productive human being. You may have also gone through a phase where you watched way too much TV and not enough of it was good TV. So you are in the right mood, and writing is something that you can do.
Option 1 and the injured writer’s best friend is a smartphone and speech-to-text software. You don’t need to even buy any special speech-to-text software like Dragon. Google’s speech-to-text is great now and in my humble opinion as good as Dragon. Sure, Dragon allows you to train it so that it recognizes what you say more often, but who has the time for that? I don’t know if I just stink at it, but Dragon just does not know what I am saying and it took way too many hours to try to get it to understand. Google’s speech-to-text works with so many of the writing apps that you can put on your phone and you can always cheat and just write yourself long emails, which is what I am doing right now. So the first trick is speech to text on a smartphone.
Option 2 involves getting your laptop or desktop computer set up in a way where you can use it. The cheapest way and easiest is the fold-able laptop stands. There are a couple of brands and models to choose from but most of them are around 30 to 40 dollars. Depending on how much you can sit up you may not need this. Now this type of laptop table requires you to be able to set up a little bit and you will find that it causes strain on your neck over time. If you are already injured, the last thing you want to do is add another injury.
Option 3 is the ultimate — and totally worth it — step of buying an adjustable monitor arm. These things are amazing. You will have to tinker with it a bit to get it in an angle that works best for you, but there are a lot of possibilities that open up with this adjustable monitor arm. I attached mine into a side table that was high enough and next to a bed so that with a couple of twists the monitor is right over my head and I can hold my keyboard in my lap. This way I am able to lay down while being at a computer.
Everything has its limits. This is not the solution for everything and you can’t use it too long, but it can help you get your writing done while recovering from a back injury or sneezing fit.
And you can always go back to the winning combo of smartphone plus speech-to-text.
Goodbye “Text neck”
An intermediate solution between the smartphone option and adjusting your monitor option is a tablet holder. Option 4, the tablet holder, is phenomenal. You can write using speech to text on it just like a smartphone, but bigger. You can read for hours on your side or on your back and your hands won’t get tired. And since reading feeds writing, this is another trick to boost your writing indirectly. This option is easy on your neck and allows for a variety of reading/writing positions.
It sucks to be injured, but if you can learn how to use speech-to-text to tell your stories, you will increase your productivity and the overall amount of time you can tell stories. Getting those stories out will make you feel better and make your readers happy.
Oh, and I’m still not a medical doctor, so run anything you do while injured by a medical professional.
If you know of any other tricks for writing while injured or have any questions, let me know.