Writers are simple creatures with simple needs. A firm hand and a consistent approach will solve most problems. The following steps are a failsafe guide. Bear in mind that patience may be required with the more strong-willed writer.
1. Seating: Establish your place on the chair before your writer sits down to work. She should be restricted to the front edge. Ignore any whining about ergonomics. If she sits down first, jump up behind and push until she makes room for you. Do not give ground. Note: larger breeds should adopt a work position close to, or underneath, the writer’s desk. Cushions and a heater / fan are essential. Shiver / pant as appropriate if these are slow to arrive.
2. Breaks: Train your writer to take frequent breaks. Jump on and off the chair. Roll a ball across the floor or drop it beside her foot. Repeat until your writer responds correctly. Whining can be effective. However, if a deadline is looming your writer will become blind and deaf to all the usual cues. See Deadlines, below. Breaks must be long enough to accommodate ball play, a drink and a snack. Hint: positive reinforcement is the best form of training. Allow your writer a drink and a snack too if she has performed well. Ball play is good for her (see ergonomics, above.) [Read more…]