Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Writing on Mon., er, Tues.--Have laptop will travel

Using a laptop to write my novels has revolutionized my writing career. Take today. I was working on the final chapter of my book (35 to be exact), but Teen Son had to have some gnarly dental surgery. So after dropping Teen Girl off where she needed to be, and taking Elementary Girl to soccer camp, Teen Son and I arrived for his appointment. Right away, I took stock of the outlets in the small waiting area and found an empty one to plug my computer in to. After that, I was set. During the nearly 2 hour surgery, I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. Fortunately, I also found a stray wireless signal to hop onto for Internet breaks :) Hey, a girl's gotta find some fun in her day...

This scenario is becoming more and more common for me, and while it's increased productivity, the downside is that I'm, um, exhausted more often than not. Not a lot of downtime when I'm on deadline and momtime. Still, I can't complain. I'm thankful to have the laptop working and making my writing accessible (especially since it's crashed once already, and the power cord lost, well, power). I'm grateful that I can both work and mother my kids during daytime hours (and never ever let him forget he's a man... If you don't know the song I'm referring to, ask your, um, older sister. Lol...)

So, anyway, here are a few quick things I've learned about the mobile writing life:

1. Email a copy of work to yourself, or save it on a thumb drive. Every time. Always!!! (Don't ask.)
2. Do a spell check later, when the distractions are at a minimum. Prepare to laugh. A lot.
3. Investing in a car changer for the laptop isn't a luxury--it's a necessity.
4. Keep your eyes open for those freebie wifi signs. Never know when one'll come in handy.
and 5. Don't leave your radio and fan on while you sit by the side of the ocean writing in your car. (Hint: Bring jumper cables.)

How about you? Has a laptop given you more freedom to work where you want--or has it caused more stress?


B. said...

My husband travels for his job and his laptop has definitely come in handy. Love these modern inventions!

BTW, sorry about teen son's dental surgery. My son went through plenty of that.

RefreshMom said...

I had to laugh at the "jumper cables" tip; don't you hate learning some stuff by experience?

My laptop has been a blessing in the sense that it lets me be in the same vicinity as the kids and I can get stuff done. I also appreciate that when they're off with dad I can take it elsewhere to get stuff done because I'm often less distracted more inspired away from home.

It's been a bane (as would any computer I suppose) in the last year as I've had more technical difficulties with it than any computer ever. Did you know a missing key on the keyboard will let static build up inside and can short-circuit the poor things little brain? Welp, it does.

Since last October I've replaced the keyboard twice, the motherboard once (no data lost on that one) and just last week, a hard drive (all data lost on that one). I found out when it died in May and I took it to my guy to be fixed and tried to leave him my external hard drive to back it up if he could bring it back to life that he didn't back it up. So when the hard drive crashed my last back up was April! That's a lot of writing and email and such missing!

As it is, (because I can't find my install disks because someone else packed my office when we moved here) I'm running only on Explorer, Outlook Express and WordPad!

Mary DeMuth posted a link to a service that will back you up every day...I haven't had the chance to sign up yet, but I'm thinking that's going to be one of my next business expenses.