30 Days of Balance #3: Biting My Nails vs. Writing

Some days my biggest adversary is not getting words into the story, obeying timelines or the organization of the almanac, but the wanton destruction I deliver to my own fingernails. See, finger tips are used to type, and unsightly fingernails can often tarnish said tips. A furious amount of carving disguised as cleaning will ruin these functioning appendages to the point of creating ten hyper-sensitive, throbbing extremities – digits no longer capable of pressing keys without exacting an unfair amount of pain. Equally as nasty, the distraction of having a hand up at my mouth keeps me from typing, lending my mind to long gaps in focus where my subconscious is instead hell bent on straightening some calcium deposit.

It does not bode well for an author. A quick Google search reveals few to no hits correlating the two premises and I find this odd. When I had this problem writing essays in university I used to minimize and load up a hockey video game. It took twenty minutes to play and required both hands firmly on the keyboard. The result was twenty minutes without touching my nails. Biting one’s nails is a strange thing to do – but once you start, it is the sensitivity of the area that drives you back without thinking. Fade that sensation and you are set free.

Alas, this tactic is insufficient. I no longer have twenty minutes to so freely spare.

My solution? I may be one of the only authors to wear a pair of gloves while writing. I am all style in a pair of black gloves so tight they almost cut off my wrist circulation – the kind as ideal for snowballs as they are unsatisfactory at keeping wetness at bay. While this is simply happenstance, it serves the tips of my fingers well because I can still type through the material. Despite their overt benefits, I don’t always choose to wear the gloves, usually resulting in stinging regret. Stubbornness? Discomfort? Assumed control over my vice. Whatever the reason, they are a necessity. They may look a little silly, but if I know I’m in for the long haul I make them my first priority. No one requires their authors to look good during.

As of the writing of this post, the mitts are sitting in a clump beside. I assumed I would have no fingernail problems, but my right index and pinky are sore. I don’t really remember causing the damage. Blog posts are one thing – their style is you and quick to fire off. Imbalance is quite another.

If you’re a writer and have the same problem, I’d love to hear from you.

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