I’m sitting here in the airport in Albuquerque, getting acquainted with my new Eee PC. It’s six inches long and about five inches wide. The keyboard is tiny, made for literary gnats perhaps. But I’m determined. I want to use this little baby when I travel. I want to throw it into my purse (it’s solid state so it can take some abuse) and take it to Tae Kwon Do when the kids are in class. I want to go to the coffee shop with it.
In short, I want it to strip me of excuses.
Let me backtrack here. I am sooooooooooo not a technology nut. I shun all those electronic innovations–no iPod, no iPhone. Nada.
I’m a writer in search of the right tools to do my job as conveniently as possible.
Not that long ago, just having a laptop was an incredible gift, a revolution for people who wanted to work on the go. After prices went down far enough, my husband and I bought one. I thought it would revolutionize my work.
Well, it didn’t.
For some reason, I was scared of that computer. I was scared to use it, to lose it, that it would get stolen, that I’d lose all my work. I didn’t trust thumb drives either. Still, determined to work no matter what, I lugged that thing around on all my trips. Only problem was that after I pulled it out for security, it never came out of its case again.
It’s embarrassing to admit that I was so uncomfortable, so intimidated by technology.
When I finally learned how to use it with ease, I still felt creatively constipated. We just never bonded. A pencil and paper yielded more satisfying results.
And now, I’ve got this microscopic machine. Eee PC. Hell, I even like its name.
Today, the main challenge is that I keep hitting the "Enter" key when I mean to hit "Shift." I’m also hunching my shoulders like some kind of she-ghoul. Typing is slow, but the keyboard action is fine.
Sure. I’m predisposed to liking this new instrument in my repertoire. I bought it with birthday money, so it feels more like it’s mine, just for me. It’s a little buddy, a friend that is going to help me do the job I need to do, to write every single day, to practice and hone my craft by doing, doing, doing.
I know too many people who postpone writing for thousands of different reasons. Many of them have to do with instruments: "My computer crashed." "I don’t have the right paper." "My laptop is too heavy, too slow." "My monitor is too big, too small, too bright, too dark." "I can’t get rid of the damn anti-virus software."
I’m not saying that the Eee PC is going to change all of that for me, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Maybe it doesn’t even have to do with this new tool at all, maybe it’s simply my attitude toward it. Whatever the reason, it seems to be working.
I sure am.
My questions for you today:
What writing tools do you use: big computer, laptop, pen & paper, charcoal & papyrus?
How do you relate to them?
Have you ever bought an instrument that opened your mind, eased the process?
Have you ever experienced the opposite effect?