NO IFS, ANDS, OR BUTTS – What to do when your BIC becomes a PIA

Jane Yolen is a prolific writer of children’s books and poetry. On her website, she answers some FAQs, including this one:

“Do you have a secret that makes you so productive?

Want to know my secret? BIC.

That’s right. BIC. Butt in chair. There is no other single thing that will help you more to become a writer.

William Faulkner said: “I write only when I’m inspired. Fortunately I’m inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”



Whether you are a writer or not, so many of our “productive” accomplishments require sitting down and focusing on the task at hand.

Still haven’t organized photos from two years ago? You need to get your BIC. Catching up on a mountian of email? BIC. Deadline at work? BIC. Writing a novel? Certainly BIC.

So what happens once you have overcome all the procrastination trolls that life throws at you? When you actually sit down, with BIC, and do the work?

For one thing, stuff actually gets done. (Huh! It works!).  For another, you may experience a problem I encountered when I finally sat myself down and wrote a novel-length manuscript.

My BIC became a big pain in the aspirations.

My solution involved an orthopedist and a physical therapist, but if you start early and take care of your assets, perhaps you can avoid this route.

Here are some things that worked for me:

1) Pull out the old baby stuff.  Who else has a “Boppy” in their closet? It makes a great soft seat and can help encourage a more upright posture.


Also, an old nursing stool can be the perfect height and angle for a foot rest under a writing desk.  Adjusting my leg positioning seems to help; you may want to give it a try, too.

2) Beyond the Boppy, I tried several sit-upons that at least provided temporary relief.

IMG_2050This is a memory foam pillow that probably never guessed the impressions it would be made to support.

IMG_2051This is a classically designed posture pillow.  I was surprised that something “seen on TV” actually worked. But it does!


The big ball! So much fun, so good for your back and bum. Mine is a little short for my desk, and I do find my concentration is not as great when I’m bouncing around. But for the end of the day tired tuchas, nothing beats the ball.


3) The standing desk.


Many writing friends of mine have gone so far as to build treadmill desks, which I think are fantastic. But try just looking around your house until you find a counter surface or table that’s a good height for you. (I am fortunate that the bookshelf in my writing nook has a cupboard door that opens to the perfect height for me.) You will burn more calories while standing, but also, you will be able to keep working!  Added bonus points if you have a squishy gel mat you can move to your standing area.

4) If things are already to the point of pain, try this simple exercise:

Stand on one leg. Now, try to close your eyes and balance for 30 seconds. You will need to squeeze your standing-leg butt cheek very hard to keep from falling. Repeat several times a day to minimize pain and get “maximus” power.

5) When all else fails, get a dog. I guarantee you will not be able to sit still for more than an hour at a time without being encouraged by your little friend to get up and go for a walk!

You done with that blog post yet?

You done with that blog post yet?

I wish you a happy, healthy, productive day!

7 thoughts on “NO IFS, ANDS, OR BUTTS – What to do when your BIC becomes a PIA

  1. Wow, thanks, Clarike – you just made my day! Congrats on being so far along in the memoir process. I appreciate you following my blog; it is nice to connect with ‘like minds’!

  2. Great post, Nancy! Thanks for following me on twitter. I would never have seen this excellent post but for that. Loved your halloweensie story, too but didn’t surf your blog. I see you write memoir, also. I am in the rough stages with mine, all fourteen chapters soon to be sixteen. Too many documents to choose from.

    You now have a new blog follower as well. I Loved your photos. There are several places I can stand and write. At the kitchen counter for one. My husband has a standing computer which he uses all day, Perhaps I’ll take a photo of him working soon. You are an inspiration. 🙂

  3. Wonderful post, Nancy! It’s so easy for me to lose track of time when I’m writing. I love the standing desk and track desk idea. I may need to invest in that 🙂

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