My ol’ Dell computer bit the dust awhile back. It was running so slow, and last year I bought myself a little Chromebook that was on sale to attempt some writing projects, and I don’t mind it.
However, I’m borrowing Erik’s computer, and I’m in love with one thing: the wireless mouse.
It’s funny how such a simple device can make life easier. I want a mouse for Christmas, methinks. No more brushing frantically at the touch pad under my keyboard trying to click on the item I want. While my Chromebook works just fine, I hate trying to do the function that, on my old computer, was a right-button click. Now I have to use two fingers and hit the pad just right…
No, the mouse is better.
I had loved my Dell; I bought that puppy with high school graduation money back in 2011. I needed a computer for college (back when I thought I’d actually go for longer than a single semester), and it had good enough reviews. I did quite a bit of writing on it. I wrote the first novel I published on it. It was a good electronic device. Maybe one day I’ll invest in another Dell.
Maybe I’ll also publish another novel.
Out of Orbit turned five on December 1st this year. I totally missed that day. Honestly I retired it from print through lulu.com, so no more paper copies should be periodically floating around (minus the large box of them that we have sitting in our apartment).
I ought to read through it again. See if I get that spark I had when I first wrote it. When people try asking me about it now, I get a little awkward, and I tell them, “It’s not very good.” And I mean that. I don’t want to sound pessimistic or that I doubt my abilities, but I would change so much about it now. Not that my writing has gotten any better, but my tastes have changed ever so slightly, and I think the storyline might make me cringe now.
Or perhaps it wouldn’t. Perhaps I’d read it and remember why I loved writing in the first place.
I tried to do NaNoWriMo this year. I wrote every day except for the last day. I was very far off from the 50,000 word goal, however, and it discouraged me. Progress is progress, though, and I finally learned to cut loose. To quit worrying about making the first draft even remotely readable and just keep my fingers moving across the keys until I had to go back to work. In reality, I did most of my writing during my hour lunch break Monday through Friday of November, and I’m happy to report that there were a few days I wanted to stay at the table working on the novel because I’d hit a groove. It was like I didn’t have to think too hard on where the story was going next; my fingers just knew.
Currently I’m reading Pep Talks for Writers by Grant Faulkner, the executive director of National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been underlining passages that stand out to me. While there isn’t really a book to teach one how to write, I find reading about writing inspires me to get to work. In the chapter titled “Embrace Constraints”, Grant says something I relate to: “…I write mostly within the nooks and crannies of time.” He also states, “Our imagination doesn’t necessarily flourish in the luxury of total freedom, where it’s likely to become a flabby and aimless wastrel. Our imagination thrives when pressure is applied, when boundaries are set.”
This chapter was meant for me because too often do I use my busy life as an excuse for why I haven’t written. November came and went, and I haven’t touched my novel since NaNo ended. I could say, “In my defense, work has been very busy, crazy, and absolutely exhausting with all the recent changes. Now I’m training in a new position, and I have to focus on that.”
Or I could say, “My schedule is busy with work and personal life, but I wrote a page during lunch, and while I was waiting to pull dinner from the oven, I outlined some more of the middle section of the book. Instead of scrolling through Instagram while my husband plays on the PlayStation, I loosened up my imagination muscles by writing up some short stories and poems. Because I’m so busy, I set aside certain time that I write, and because that time is short, I get straight to work with focus and energy.”
I can’t believe the year is almost over! It’s been a great one, but at the same time, there have been some painful lows. The good outshines the bad, I’m happy to say, and I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store. Christmas isn’t quite here yet, but it’s never too late to think about what goals I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Concrete goals that need to have a plan attached to them, maybe even a deadline or two.
If I don’t manage to write before the 25th, Merry Christmas! May you and your loved ones feel the warmth of family and friends this time of year, and may the Spirit be with you always.