Beth Barany

Beth coaches and teaches writers and those who want to write. She's done so in two of her favorite places in the world (so far): the San Francisco Bay Area and Paris, France. Raised in Sonoma County, California, Beth knew she wanted to be a writer from a young age, and started at age 7 by writing her first book about her family's cats with her brother. Beth started teaching writing by teaching it to ESL students in Oakland, California. Soon, they were surprised to be writing short stories in their new English-language skills, and most importantly, they were enjoying it. (Well, most of them were.) Determined to get published, Beth published her first journalism article in the Paris Free Voice while she was living in the City of Lights in the early 1990s. It only took four tries and five rewrites! From working in journalism for 15 years, Beth switched her focus to fiction, and now writes fantasy and science fiction. She currently has a young adult fantasy novel under consideration by agents and editors. On her off-hours, Beth enjoys the outdoors, gardens, watches movies, and reads! Beth is married to singer/song-writer and high school physics teacher, Ezra Barany.

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  • Amanda

    I think the standing desk is a really good idea. Thanks for bringing it to my notice. I’ve been thinking today about how to get writing done while still being active. I’ve also been thinking about how to get a lot of writing done when the weather’s so nice and I want to stay outside instead of sitting in front of my computer. Do you have any ideas on that? BTW I also shared your post on my LinkedIn profile. And I’ll be subscribing to your RSS feed as well.

  • Beth Barany

    Amanda, I’m sure Faith will chime in with her advice on how to stay active and get writing down. I personally try to take a lot of breaks and get up and move around. Since I do a lot of my work at cafes, I take breaks by moving from cafe to cafe. When I work from home, I get up and change working areas, taking my laptop with me. When I worked in an office, I’d take short breaks and walk around the block when the weather was nice. Hope that helps! And thanks for subscribing!

  • Faith Van Horne

    Hey Amanda, thanks for commenting. Yeah, it can be tough to commit to writing when the sun’s shining. I like Beth’s advice of moving from cafe to cafe. I work both at home and at coffee shops and the library. I’m lucky enough to have several writing spots walking distance of my house. So some days I’ll work part of the day at home, then take a walk to a cafe. I also find that the walk from the house to the cafe gets the creative juices flowing, but that’s a topic for another post! Good luck.

  • Diane @ Me, Him And The Cats

    At work they switched all our workstations to standing ones. I work in a digital printing department so it means i have to stand for 12 hours a day (minus breaks). The first few weeks my legs were killing me but then I got used to it! It kind of feels good to not be hunched over a computer all day!

  • Amy Kinnaird

    Faith, I love your new stool! And now I see why people use a standing desk. I am an exerciser, but still spend too many hours at my desk. Maybe I will consider adding a standing desk somewhere in the house. My son-in-law sits on an exercise ball at his desk. Does that help?

  • Faith Van Horne

    Diane, I’m glad you enjoy it! As I said in the post, I did get the stool when I made the switch. I like to have the option to take a little rest when I need it. Plus, I’m restless by nature, so I like shifting back and forth.

  • Scott

    What a great idea! I love it! I have tried some chairs with some pretty funky designs, including one that looked like it was made from a pilates ball. They are supposed to help with posture, but they don’t do much for being sedentary. I write about running and I know I certainly don’t get enough movement many days. I might have to try something like this.

  • Faith Van Horne

    Amy, I’m not sure about the effectiveness of sitting on an exercise ball. I know some people do it because they have to actively adjust and incorporate their core. I’d love to see a long-term study that compared the effects of standing, sitting, and sitting on an exercise ball.

    Scott, sounds like you have a little experience sitting on a ball. :) Any thoughts for Amy? Good luck if you try a standing desk. I’d love to see how your experience works out.

  • Cheri

    Good topic. I have a stability ball that I use for a chair for watching tv and such, but I haven’t yet set up a good height desk that would let me use it comfortably with my laptop. (Sometimes I do just put it on my lap, but when I’m slightly moving all the time, that’s not very practical.) I also have a fitdesk that I keep in my living room. Again, I can watch tv there and stay a bit more active, but I can also use my laptop, or read my textbooks when studying. Anything to keep a bit more activity through the day is a win.

  • Faith Van Horne

    Cheri, I just looked up Fitdesk; hadn’t heard the term before. That looks really cool! As for balancing a laptop on your lap while sitting on a ball: I think I’d be too distracted just keeping the computer from sliding onto the floor. :)