Approximately a year ago, about this time, my older Toshiba laptop died. Well, as I panicked when the screen, which had been getting progressively redder upon start-up over several months, went totally black, I realized I still had lights on in the main laptop body. Meaning it wasn’t dead-dead, just sort of dead. I unplugged it from everything, raced it back from the living room to our office, unplugged a desktop monitor from a tower and into my laptop…

*Huge sigh of relief!*
Toshi wasn’t dead, just disabled. The screen, that is.
Hence started a huge-ass back-up to get all my past and current projects up-to-date on my back-up external flash drive (500gb).
And I went to plan B.

Plan B was my little (and by that I DO mean little) Asus eeePC. Tiny little thing. As you can see from the picture, when put up against my normal sized laptop (the same size as my other Toshi laptop was, although this is the newer one) it’s a leeetle teeny baby computer. But at the time, I was in the process of starting a manuscript that I really needed to finish. Now, I didn’t have Word installed on the Asus, but I did have Open Office. Despite the tiny screen and tiny keyboard, I was determined to make do.
Fortunately, my cousin is an uber-geek-god when it comes to fixing electronics and he assured me he would get Toshi up and running.
In the meanwhile, I didn’t want to take over my dh’s laptop, and I just can’t write on a desktop anymore.
So I installed SuperNotecard on the Asus, copied my current works in progress files, and away I went. I did have to invest in a full-sized wireless keyboard/mouse combo, but after several weeks my cousin got Toshi back up and running before I went blind from the tiny screen.
In the meantime, I finished and submitted the manuscript for “Love at First Bight.” Written almost entirely on the Asus.
I posed the question on my Facebook wall the other day asking fellow writers what was the strangest/most unusual way you’d written something, usually in desperation. I would have to say since I don’t usually write longhand (arthritis), that my month-long stint on my Asus was my strangest to date. Toshi was returned to me as good as new, but earlier this year I upgraded to a new Toshiba laptop, and my “old” Toshi has been relegated to back-up status. (Keep in mind, I use my laptops like most people use desktops, and my laptop is on usually 12+ hours a day.)
So what’s your story? My point of this entry is that there are plenty of excuses why you “can’t” write. But if you are a “real” writer, you know there are no excuses. Whether it’s one sentence or a whole novel, you find a way to write it because it’s not just what you do, it’s who you are. So feel free to share your strangest/most desperate/unusual writing tales.
(And don’t forget to back up your data!)
(PS – For you government FCC blog geektards, yes, I purchased both my Toshiba laptops and my Asus eeePC. But if either company ever wanted to offer me a freebie I’d take it in a heartbeat. So pppptttppp!)
Writing How-To: Determination

2 thoughts on “Writing How-To: Determination

  • October 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    I wouldn’t call it the weirdest way but it would definitely be determination in action. I travel by train and the commute amounts to about two hours a day.

    I can’t drag a laptop on South African public transport (that’s akin to walking with a giant “mug me” sign taped to my forehead) so I write on examination pads.

    Then I edit with a red pen… and the inputting stage is already the 2nd draft.

    It appears to be working because I’ve written four novels like this in the past two years.

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