Relief from Carpal Tunnel Pain: Tools for Writing Novels

Writing Novels That Sell with Adrienne deWolfe

Are you looking for relief from carpal tunnel pain while you're writing novels?

Maybe you're like me:  you push to meet a deadline -- any deadline -- as a matter of pride.  Forget the burning wrists, you’ve got an editor chomping at the bit!

(Aren’t we adorable in our blind dedication to deadlines?)

Writing novels isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.  I developed carpal tunnel syndrome after hours, upon hours of hand-edits on a computer. I thought it was my job to re-type all the pencil corrections that had been written into the margins of my manuscript by my Bantam copy editor.  Turns out, we had a failure to communicate.

Since that time, I’ve found some technological god-sends that make it possible to “mouse” and type again, giving me relief from carpal tunnel pain. Fiction writers no longer have to suffer for the glory of writing novels.

I highly recommend that you research the following two products (a specialized mouse and voice activated software ) to see if they can give you relief from carpal tunnel pain and restore your dream of writing novels.

Airobic 2 Mouse

(Yes, that’s how the company spells its name).

This mouse has given me HUGE relief from carpal tunnel pain. It doesn’t require the “clicking” that makes my carpal tunnel feel like it's on fire after 20 minutes of normal typing, much less deadline typing.  Airobic 2 has a comfortable, plastic form in which you can rest your hand — either your left or your right. Better yet, it comes with a software program that AUTOMATICALLY CLICKS any hyper link, drop-down box, or software function (like, “save”) when your cursor hovers over that function on your computer screen. Genius!

Other perks of Airobic 2 Mouse include the ability to turn off the automatic click-function at any time, and a programmable timer which "freezes" your computer and forces you to take a break.  (Unfortunately, I figured out a way to override the timer when I was on deadline.)  I don't recommend that you override the timer, because health is more important than deadline when you're writing novels, right?


Dragon Naturally Speaking, by Nuance

(Voice activated software)

I got additional relief from my carpal tunnel pain when I discovered Dragon Naturally Speaking.  I’ve been using this voice activated software since this product’s first iteration 11 versions ago.  I have to tell you, Nuance's voice activated software has advanced LIGHT YEARS to give us writers relief from carpal tunnel pain. 

Once you thoroughly train it, this voice activated software can type at the speed that you speak.  The average person speaks about 220 words per minute, so that gives you an idea just how fast novel writing can become with voice activated software.

You can train Dragon to type bizarre words from your fantasy novel like, “Zyxxq”. You can give a code name to long lines of script, so you don’t have to keep typing out your email address or the directions to a book signing. You can take any document on your computer and have this voice activated software evaluate it for unusual punctuations or spellings and adapt your special vocabulary to your dictation needs.

For instance, my voice activated software learned the difference between the spellings of “raven” (the bird) and “Raevyn” (a character's name).  When speaking, the two words are pronounced the same way, so I had to give the character's name a code (“raven girl”).  Now my voice activated software spells it right every time.

There are lots of good things to say about this voice activated software, but I've given you the basics of Dragon Naturally Speaking to whet your appetite.