As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently spent several hours working on my old laptop to bring it back into commission. With only one working computer in the house and four of us wanting to use it, I was finding that the opportunities for writing were few and far between. I know what you’re thinking – why can’t she write on paper? Of course I can, and do for taking notes, but after twenty-five years of typing, I find the paper method is just way too slow. It drives me crazy that my hands can’t get the words out of my head faster.
All the effort put into fixing up the laptop was 100% worth it. Not only, as intended, because it allows me to write while someone else uses the other computer, but more than that, because firing up the old laptop for the first time in five years, I’ve discovered old documents and been reminded of important facts I had completely forgotten. Like the fact that I wrote fifteen pages of my grandmother’s life story in 2003. That I started a novel before. That I actually thought of myself as a writer at one point. It’s amazing I could forget these things. Skimming my grandmother’s story, I realized that what I had written was moving, and that it really wasn’t bad. Not bad at all.
Another unexpected benefit from using the dinosaur — without Internet access, it’s much easier to focus. I definitely have just enough Internet ADD to find it hard to concentrate for more than about 10 minutes before needing a “fix.” While working on the old laptop there is no more clicking over to news sites or blogs when a writing block hits…and then getting distracted for half an hour (or more) until it’s bedtime and I’m out of time to write anything else. At least not without getting up from the comfy chair and going into the other room, which is just enough bother to keep me plugging ahead…most of the time.