Get Out of My Way
There is a chance that the light at the end of the tunnel won’t be an oncoming train.
Look, it’s not that I hate change. Depends on the change and what it is. But I hate change that messes with my writing routine. Why?
Well, because if it were possible, I’d simply upload the story from the brain to the computer, with no intermediate stage.
But that’s not possible. So, once I’ve established a routine, I want the routine to stay the same. I don’t know how many of you are like me….I suspect if I’d first written novels (well, I did but they were in Portugal, and I was young and….) on a typewriter, I’d have found it difficult to change to a computer. As is I fought change every step of the way, since I embarked on this stupid path.
For instance, I wrote my first novel on wordstar on a TRS-80. When Dan got tired of correcting every mistake by hand, he got me a PC that had spell checker.
I held onto that PC — using wordstar? — for 10 years, through thick and thin, until it simply gave out, and I had to go to a newer computer, with — gasp — Word Perfect. To which I held on, through thick and thin until indie, and the trash code WP leaves in ebooks made it untennable.
So, this year, in addition to being sick for two months and then under house arrest for two more, I’ve been fighting other disruptions.
Around the end of last year, my main computer started booting …. sporadically. Any writer reading this knows what that does to a writer. You’re in the middle of a novel, and suddenly you can’t access it. It’s a nightmare.
Unfortunately every time my husband, the computer expert, tried it, it booted perfectly. So I did the only thing a rational being can do. I decided to relocate to my “after hours and travel” laptop in the living room. This is less than ideal, simply because it is the traffic central of the household. (Now, I don’t like being alone upstairs, so we’re considering a great office relocation so Dan is with me in the second floor, but not being in the easy chair but at a desk is definitely better for writing.)
Then on Christmas Eve I booted up the separate publishing computer to publish deep pink…. and it balked. Took me seven hours to upload a manuscript and do the necessary.
Then the rendering computer started having belly aches (and to be honest we knew when we gave it a new video card it only had a month.)
So the solution was a new super computer (not even joking) combining all three functions.
What it really means is that this week is profoundly unproductive and frustrating. The curses coming out of the office as the new version of old programs (yeah, well, some didn’t work in the supercomputer) don’t do what I want them to. Or as I have to download a lot of filters from filter forge, or figure out what font I used for x are…. very creative.
But I can already sense this will be better. And after this week, I should start being able to log serious writing time, knock on wood and the creek don’t rise.
Honestly, 2020 has been a pain in the ass.
But sometimes our environment, our writing process and our lives become clogged with things that work suboptimally. And sometimes it takes a major disruption to make it work right again.
I’m HOPING that’s all this is, and that 2020 is a janus of sorts, opening the ways. Perhaps with dynamite, but opening the ways.
I’ll go battle the disruptions and try to smooth the path to writing now.
You do the same.