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Writing Without Typing: What To Do When You’re Injured But Still Need To Work

Being an entrepreneur is possibly the hardest job on the planet, especially if you work from home. Convincing others that you don’t sit around in your pajamas all day (at least, that you’re actually working, even if you are in your pjs) is hard! Why can’t you just run this errand?

But if you’re a freelancer, part of the freedom of working from home gets traded when you accidentally get injured. What happens if you hurt your finger and have trouble typing? You need your fingers to make the money. Going without a paycheck is a lot harder when you work for yourself.

Don’t worry about what to do when you’re injured. This post is all about how to work around a small injury, and bonus: how to handle bigger injuries, too. Read on, fellow business people.

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

Take A Day Off

While the last thing you want to do is lose a day of income, sometimes it’s best to give yourself time to rest your injury. It may be that all it takes is a day off and you’ll be able to type and fulfill your obligations again. It’s worth at least one day to see, before you plan for significant time off.

The time off also allows you to plan and think about other business tasks that are more about the big picture. When you own your own business, you often get caught up in the day-to-day money maker tasks, and let the bigger stuff go by the wayside. You can also use the time off to take some free courses to improve your writing. We all can use reminders every once in awhile and some practice to hone our skills.

It’s possible you also need a day off. Maybe instead of thinking about work at all you need a mental health day, not just a physical rest day. See a movie (sign up for a free birthday ticket here) or read a book, something just for you.


There are all kinds of dictation software out there. From the humble beginnings in the 90s of Dragon NaturallySpeaking to where we are now with the built-in microphone option on your iMac, modern technology may save you today. Whatever application you’re using, just click Edit > Start Dictation. If you’ve never used it before, you’ll have a couple windows to click through and select settings. Then you’ll be all set to go. The hot key to start dictation is {fn fn} if you don’t want to click through the menus every time.

If you don’t work on a Mac, you can use other software or try Siri on your iPhone. You can dictate into a note on your phone and email it to yourself later. This is especially handy when you’re driving, even if you’re not injured. Sometimes you have a thought (amiright, writers?) that just has to get out. It’s really easy to dictate.

Hunt and Peck

Sometimes your brain just isn’t working fast enough to make dictation worth it. Either you pause too much because you’re thinking, or you’re still researching as you write. If that’s the case, dictation won’t be much help. It also doesn’t work much if you want to listen to music.

You’ll have to try hunt-and-peck-style typing. This means you’re looking at the keyboard looking for the keys you need, and typing one at a time, often with one or two fingers. It’s often way slower, and a method seasoned typists sneer at. Luckily, science says the more you practice, the faster you get, even with the hunter method.

Because of muscle memory, your body has the ability to overcome the middle step of thinking before doing by converting a repetitive process to a procedural memory. While you’re muscles don’t have the power of memory, they act quicker than they did when you were learning, which makes us feel like they’re remembering. You’ll be able to use this to your advantage as you relearn to type while you have an injury.

Enlist Help

If you have a teenager of your own or your neighbor’s is available to borrow, use them to help. Tell them what to write, and they can type it for you. While this is similar to dictating using software, you have to think a little more when it’s a person helping you so that you communicate clearly. You can also make corrections easier than working with AI, so when you go back for edits, you’ll have a much better first draft. You’ll also give that teenager some practice typing (they may already be experts, but some may need the experience). Make sure you still run it through Grammarly and your other writing checker sites because even a real human won’t catch every mistake.

Apply for Disability

If your injury is severe enough, you may want to look into disability insurance. There are short-term and long-term insurance plans. While this won’t necessarily help with this injury, it will protect you from being out of work next time. Ask about special plans for people who own their own businesses, and what your options are if you’re already injured.

Taking Care Of Yourself

The most important thing if you have an injury is to take care of yourself. If you try to go back to work too soon, you may aggravate the injury and make it worse. Then you’ll be out of commission even longer. Take some steps today to protect yourself and your business so that you don’t have to wonder what to do when you’re injured.

For more helpful business tips and freelance writing resources, read more on the A Wild Lass blog.

*Disclaimer: Some of the links you see may be affiliate links. All that means is if you click through and end up making a purchase, I’ll earn a commission.

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