The occasional ramblings of a freelance lexicographer

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Getting the balance back

After the flurry of deadlines in my last post, it took me a while to wind down and just physically relax and recharge. But over the past couple of weeks, I feel like I've been getting things back in balance and really enjoying my freelance lot again. The housework is under control and I have time to enjoy cooking rather than leaving my desk too late in the evening so I'm feeling weak and wobbly and struggling to throw something together for dinner. I've had the luxury of a couple of weekday shopping trips and several long lunches in the sun with friends. Just as the work - lunch - shopping balance should be!

I'm still relatively busy, but I'm back to lexicography which is altogether much less stressful than writing. I can just plod along happily, knowing how many hours in the week I've got to do and leave my desk at 6 or 6.30 without the slightest twinge of guilt.

Sadly, my suspicions have been confirmed about the link between lexicography and my RSI. For all the stress and overwork of the past few months, I seemed to get through remarkably unpained. However, as soon as I switched from general writing back to dictionaries, all my aches and pains have flared up again. The very plodding nature of the work that I enjoy seems to be what my body reacts against. Flicking between fiddly dictionary compiling software and paging up and down screens of corpus lines puts a lot of stress on the hands and wrists. Unlike the less fluent nature of my other writing, where you do a bit of a reading, some thinking, have a flurry of writing, then read and reread. Sometimes, you just can't win!