Sunday, December 4, 2016

When You Win NaNoWri You Need to Stand Up & Pull Out Your DIY Treadmill Desk With Maureen Bonatch

By Maureen L. Bonatch

Okay, so I gave it away- I won #NaNoWri! (National Novel Writing Month). But after my endless flapping about it last month, it would be a bit embarrassing to admit defeat. Although I truly believe anyone who commits to participate and puts any words to the page is a winner.

But to win and get the very rough draft done for Sister From Another Mister (Book 2 in A Touch of Magic Series), and for most of the year, I’ve spent a lot of time with my “butt in the chair”

This means I also win extra backaches and must constantly fight the force of gravity on my dedicated behind. 

Exercising has gotten more difficult as the cold weather closes in on Pennsylvania, but I’ve developed a few solutions over the years that I’d like to share with you.

Drag Out That Old Clothes Hanger

You know what I’m talking about, your treadmill. Many of us have one that we’ve either held onto over the years, or have gotten rid of and reacquired each time we renewed our exercise efforts.

Most writers, and many other people who work at jobs that result in a lot of sitting, struggle to get enough exercise throughout the day. Plus, it’s difficult to carve out the extra time for exercise. 

Hence, the treadmill desk. When I first learned about such sorcery, a desk that you can write and exercise at the same time, I was amazed and immediately put it to the top of my ‘want’ list.  Then I looked at the prices…and the treadmill dropped a few pegs on my list.

Until This Non-DIYer Made a DIY Treadmill Desk

I am not a crafty person. I don’t make things, I buy them. But turning my treadmill into a treadmill desk was incredibly easy & I had everything I needed already. Cost= Nada.
I’m nothing special. If you Google it, tons of people have done similar DIY Treadmill Desks.

What I Used:
  •       Treadmill
  •       Old Extra Large Shelf from my Daughter’s Room
  •       2 Big Ass Belts I’ve hoarded from the 1980’s (don’t judge- I didn’t say I’ve worn them…lately) 

My DIY Treadmill Desk & My Poor Photography Skills ;)
When I’m ready to do some editing (writing is a little more challenging), or check my email, marketing etc. then I grab the loose wood shelf and lay it across my treadmill arms and hook the 2 belts around the hand bar. Viola! I can walk at a slow pace—so I’m not breaking any race records, but I am off my butt. 

Speaking of Sitting

Then there’s the study most of us heard about a few years ago published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine that had everyone talking about how sitting is the new smoking and how sedentary lifestyles were killing us. That increases in physical activity has less of an impact that merely reducing the time sitting.
So there are plenty of Standing Desks on the Market as well, but I didn’t have room for one, and didn’t think I’d use one enough to make it worth it. A little thinking out of the box, and digging through my closet I found my solution.

As a writer, I have multiple laptop tables, so I pulled one out that had legs to use in bed and sat it on top of my current desk. Place my Laptop on Top + Stand Up to Write=Standing Desk.

Now…to stand up and write on!

Do you have any tips to share for maintaining movement while creating or escaping into a good story?

                                                                                                                                                                         Check out 
Grandma Must Die
 & all of my stories on my Amazon Author Page

About Maureen
Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

Find Me:


Nancy Gideon said...

Does that mean I have to move the boxes of books of the treadmill band? Sigh. I don't know if I'm coordinated enough to manage but huge kudos to you!! We do walking laps around our building or even the office to get the circulation going at work. It does make a difference.

Maureen said...

I know Nancy- don't treadmills make great storage solutions ;) I agree- any bit of movement makes such a difference to how I feel. I got a Fitbit a few years ago and that helps get me moving as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Diane Burton said...

Great post, Maureen. First, congrats on winning NaNo and getting a huge start on Sister. Backaches are the bane of my existence. The good/bad thing is I'm not in pain while sitting. Our treadmill is long gone. I love your DIY solution to getting exercise and writing at the same time. I set my FitBit to remind me to get up every hour. Nothing like being electrocuted. But it's darn inconvenient to be jolted out of a scene that's flowing well. Ah, the things we writers have to endure.

Maureen said...

Thanks Diane. Oh, I don't know if my Fitbit can remind me to get up since mine is not the newest version, but sounds like a great reminder...I think, lol. Usually the dog forces me up before too long. Thanks for stopping by!

Patricia Kiyono said...

Congrats on winning at NaNo! I've never used a walking desk, but I do often stand up to write - usually by moving my laptop to the kitchen counter. Yeah, I'm short, so the counter is actually a good height when I'm standing up. My watch reminds me to get up every at ten minutes before the hour, so I'll get up and throw in a load of laundry, or go outside and check the mailbox, or do some quick errand that allows me to get back to work.

Maureen said...

Thanks Patricia! Those are some great tips! I think many people worry that they need expensive equipment when all that is really necessary is a little creativity.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Congrats on NANO!!

I hope to participate sometime.

This is a GREAT idea!

Good luck and God's blessings

Maureen said...

Thanks Pamela! I appreciate you stopping by.

Susan Coryell said...

Ha! This might serve a dual purpose--eliminate backside bloat and clear the brain of writer's block! Love it and good luck with the whole writing, exercising thing.

Maureen said...

lol- love backside bloat! What a great idea- a change to break through the writer's block. Thanks so much for visiting!

Alicia Dean said...

Excellent tips! Unfortunately, I don't have a treadmill lying around. I am way too sedentary, though, and I love your ideas, and Patricia's, and many of the others. I will have to try some of these. I definitely need more activity. I downloaded a 7 minute exercise app on my phone. I figure I can surely find a few 7 minute windows throughout the day to do them. I haven't yet, but I plan to, promise! I actually should try to write/edit for 45 minutes or so, then do the 7 minute thing perhaps three times a day. At least to start out with, then build up. Good for you on the NANO progress!

Maureen said...

Thanks Alicia! The app sounds pretty neat. Every minute counts. Appreciate you stopping by :)

CJ Burright said...

That's ingenius! I actually do use my treadmill a lot for non-writing purposes, but this is a fabulous idea, and since I've been thinking how I'd love to have a walking desk without paying the big bucks...I'm totally trying this. :)

Maureen said...

Yeah, CJ! I hope it works out for you. Thanks for visiting :)