Writer's Elbow

My left elbow has turned into one large, red, scaly splotch that hurts if I put even the slightest pressure on it.

It took about 2 seconds to work out why. Whenever I re-read what I've typed, which I spend more time doing than actual typing, I lean on my elbows. It seems I lean on my left more than my right, which makes sense because my right hand holds the mouse as I scroll back and forth admiring my genius or, more often, despairing at the crud I've produced.

Clearly this is a case of Writer's Elbow, a new syndrome I've just invented.

Except I haven't. I googled my new syndrome and discovered quite a few writers with the same complaint, and all in the left elbow.

Far from being an exotic new medical curiousity, I turn out to be garden variety presentation. Such is life. At least I'm in good company; among my fellow sufferers is Nancy Kress, who I'm astonished to learn types with only one finger. I guess if it wears down to a stub she still has nine spares.


Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I rarely get to write at an actual table or desk. After my day job, I write on the couch, on my bed, wherever I can grab a few minutes of time. I hope your elbows get better.

Gary Corby said...

Thanks Jennifer, I certainly can't whinge considering I'm so lucky to be able to write, but I do find the whole thing funny. Who'd've thought you could get even a teensy bit hurt from writing? It's like breaking your leg while you're asleep.

I recall reading somewhere that Winston Churchill did most of his writing while standing up. I'm starting to think that's a good idea.

Barrie said...

Are you going to change your position? Should you ice it? I think it'd be fun to toss this medical condition into all sorts of conversations. For eg., you're at the grocery store: "Hello, could you please get that can of beans down for me? I've got WRITER'S elbow." Glad you're in good company.

D.A. Riser said...

My sympathies, Gary. It does remind me, however, of the lady author in Japan famous for producing reams of books which are only typed on her CELLPHONE. Apparently, she now suffers from problems with her fingers (or some such). So, I suppose it could be worse. I think I prefer a keyboard and desk with my sore elbows to having to type a novel on my cellphone. Yikes!

D.A. Riser said...

Gary, one further thought -- maybe you could produce a line of elbow pads specifically for writers! They Corby pad? It could be a little something extra to supplement the book income. ;-)

Gary Corby said...

Elbow recovering through simple expedient of not leaning on it at all. I wonder if I can stay off it once it's totally better?

I can't imagine writing anything on a cellphone, let alone a whole novel. It would have to be typo-city, wouldn't it? But then, with phone text, who's going to notice? Imagine trying to edit.

Thanks for the idea about the pads, DA, but I'm not sure I'll be diversifying into Corby Pads. Your idea does remind of the first time I flew into London though. I got on the tube at Heathrow, dumped my pack on the floor of the carriage, looked up, and the first thing I saw was an ad on the carriage wall for Corby Trousers. Someone with the same name had invented a trouser press. I was so bemused I took a photo of it.

Bill Kirton said...

My own version of the complaint was to develop a corn on my left elbow. I went to a chiropodist who warned me that she wasn't qualified to do elbows but, when I promised her I wouldn't sue her if I died, she carved it away.
But I'm really sorry there won't be any Corby Pads - great name, great product.