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Saturday, January 24, 2015


Sit Down--I Mean Stand Up--and Write

Some of the most cited advice for writers is “just sit down and write.” But have you ever tried to stand and write?

I teach composition at different colleges near my hometown. Some of the classrooms have lecterns and/or smart carts for the computer. Sometimes I stand at the lectern or smart cart while writing journal entries with my students. Sometimes I get so into what I’m writing that I lose track of time.

I realized, after a few weeks of this, how comfortable I am standing and writing. When I sit, I get aches in my neck and shoulders and lower back, even in a good chair with a computer at the right height. It’s no secret that sitting at a computer causes all kinds of damage to your body. But while standing, I did not feel the same kind of tension. So now I am considering getting a standing desk for my home office.

After doing some research on standing desks, I realize I am behind the times! Standing desks have been an “it” thing for a while. Writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Philip Roth, Lewis Carroll, and Thomas Wolfe have all claimed to have written, at least occasionally, while standing up. What about the female writers? Have any of them written while standing up?

Thinking of making the switch to a standing desk? has already done the research for you and has compiled the top 5 best standing desks, including a DIY desk, which readers have voted the best option.


I doubt I’ll completely forego sitting and writing at my desk, but having the option to sit or stand sounds like a great way enhance comfort while writing, and maybe improve my posture, too. If you’re feeling really fancy and energetic, you could get one of those treadmill standing desks (!).

What has been your experience standing while writing? Or what do you do to stay comfortable while writing at your desk?

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