How can I write comfortably?
October 14, 2006 11:08 PM   Subscribe

Writing in bed - is there a way to do it comfortably?

I like to be in bed, but writing always seems so uncomfortable there, whether it's with pen and paper, which I prefer, or on a laptop. Is there a way to make it comfortable? Preferably not propped-up in a sitting position, when all the bedclothes fall off one's bod (our yurt bedroom is not always warm).

And can anyone recommend a comfy chair to sit in with a laptop on my knee? My armchair leaves my old bones feeling cramped when I'm typing, but I don't want to sit at the desk or table after doing that all week at the office.
posted by anadem to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Voice to text software?

Another could be to set up a system like you sometimes see in hospital beds: Tilt yourself up to almost sitting with pillows and rig up a table to go across your lap.
posted by chrisamiller at 11:19 PM on October 14, 2006

Put your laptop in front of you at the head of the bed, lie on your stomach, put a firm, maybe folded pillow under your chest so your forearms rest either side of it and your chest is propped up. This may or may not work, but it works for me.
posted by crabintheocean at 11:30 PM on October 14, 2006

I lie on my back with pillows propping up my head, pull my knees together and toward me, feet about a foot (funny that) apart, and rest my laptop on my thighs. I use the same position on the sofa too. I do have an ultralight though, and I know this position doesn't work so well with heavier machines, if that's what you've got.
posted by forallmankind at 11:46 PM on October 14, 2006

I write in bed and use my laptop there all the time. My favoured position is propped up with pillows and another one under my knees keeping them slightly bent (because I am in a waterbed). I also have small side pillows propped so that my elbows are well supported and this relieves any potential arm or back strain.

I find it is one of my favourite positions when I am working or playing on my laptop at home, because I am so comfortable and it has relieved me of some strain-caused aches that used to occur when spending hours in my studio chair, despite it being a good quality and ergonomic one.

Alternatively, I also have a small reclining platform for my laptop, which I find particularly helpful when I am either playing games, or doing *lots* of typing. It was originally meant as a sort of tilted book holder, but it happens to fit my Apple 15" laptop perfectly, and is lightweight enough for me to take when travelling.

If you find yourself getting chilly, then find yourself a suitable "bed-jacket", I have a wonderfully soft old fleece shirt which is slightly longer than waist length. It is lightweight and quite warm for those days when I wake up early and the automatic house heating timer hasn't kicked in yet...

Hope these tips prove helpful... ~ Jade
posted by Jade Dragon at 1:54 AM on October 15, 2006

I can write (pen and paper) quite comfortably just lying on my left side (I'm right-handed) with a pad in front of me.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 2:55 AM on October 15, 2006

Here's one deep geek's DYI $5 PVC pipe based solution.
posted by paulsc at 3:14 AM on October 15, 2006

I second crabintheocean's suggestion, with the caveat that you might not want to hold that position for too long; after long stints of computering, my lower back often feels the strain of holding my upper body up (even with a pillow under my chest). I have a bad back, though, so you could be just fine. :)
posted by sarahsynonymous at 4:43 AM on October 15, 2006

You can use an external monitor with a keyboard and mouse on long leads so that the laptop sits safely on a table beside the bed. It is then safer from accidental damage and is also less likely to overheat -- a real risk if a laptop sits on bedding.
posted by Idcoytco at 9:26 AM on October 15, 2006

I like to lie on my back, folded pillow under my head, and pull my knees up, placing the laptop on my, well, lap. Open it up to like 150 degrees. Works for me.

Or, you might get lucky....

posted by TonyRobots at 9:53 AM on October 15, 2006

Maybe you can reconsider writing sitting up...with the Slanket.
posted by sLevi at 1:18 PM on October 15, 2006

Like reading in bed I find it to be difficult and uncomfortable.

Go thee to a desk.
posted by oxford blue at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2006

Also, sleep psychologists strongly suggest you should use your bed only for sleep and sex. I believe it avoids creating psychological associations that may be detrimental to proper sleep, &c.
posted by oxford blue at 6:22 PM on October 15, 2006

You might think about a lap desk. (They can be had for significantly cheaper than the ones in that link.)
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:55 AM on October 16, 2006

i do what crabintheocean does
posted by sophist at 12:52 AM on October 18, 2006

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