For the third time this year, I’ve run into computer problems. First, I had to get a new printer. Then I had to have the display on my laptop replaced. Now, the latest assault in the machine rebellion comes from my stubborn modem, although lately the modem hasn’t been so much of a bitch to me. I guess it got word that I wanted to “accidentally” crush it with a really big rock.
I was just thinking how much all these repairs and replacements are running me, and the ballpark estimate was between five and six hundred dollars, money that could be better spent financing my passion project Battlestar Erotica. Instead, here I am issuing some advice to those of you who might be focusing a little too much on the muse or ether or the creative pixie dust you bought from Tinkerbell and are now snorting off of a pocket mirror.
I get it. When you’re in the throes of a particularly good day of writing, you want to ride the high, but don’t forget that every writer needs tool to get the job done. I didn’t want to replace my printer, but I need to edit off of a hard copy. I just can’t do it on on my word processor with comments in the margin and whatnot. I didn’t want to take my computer in for repairs, but I couldn’t see what I was doing, not with a malfunctioning screen, and that made me as useless as a nun in an opium den. And while switching out my modem is an on-the-fence matter at the moment, when push comes to shove, I‘ll have to replace it in the end too because if I want to self-publish my book, I’ll need the internet to access the printing service I want to use.
Now, sure, you could throw your hands in the air and scream about how there ain’t no one who’s going to block the path of that runaway train you call creativity. When I had to take my laptop in to the repair shop, the thought of being without it for even a few days was so upsetting that I thought about buying an old typewriter from Office Depot. In the end, I didn’t do that because a typewriter is bulky, noisy, and it’s just not the right tool for me.
Maybe a typewriter is the tool for you. Maybe you’re a pen-and-paper kind of person. Maybe you just can’t give up your hammer and chisel, or the knife you use to carve your stories into the bones of your enemies. In any case, all these are tools you need to get your work done. These days, it’s almost impossible to write without a computer. At least, that’s how I see it. In the future, maybe computers will be replaced by the crushed remains of a pony.
Until then, remember that you’ve got to keep your tools in top condition. And pray that your computer doesn’t become self-aware like Skynet.