Thursday, October 20, 2011

An Inconvenient Convenience

My laptop. An amazing convenience.

·       When in college, I didn’t have to skip vacation because I would have homework due. I sat with my laptop completing assignments in our down time.
·       When writing/editing our book, I took the laptop to wherever Larry and I were meeting.
·       This year I took my laptop camping and used it for both an entertainment center and a night light.

Now, when it comes to editing our manuscript, when it should be MOST convenient, I find myself longing for the days of a dedicated location for the family computer. Back then, there was room to spread out whatever papers I was working on. There was always power. There was quiet place that when I went there my brain knew that it’d be working and kick itself into concentration mode. Like Pavlov’s dog. Sort of. 
In my last blog, I promised that by this week’s blog I would have a dedicated location for my laptop—even had the spot all picked out. But it didn’t happen for a few reasons:
1)    My planned spot was the dinner table, so I still have to pick stuff up when we sit down to eat because the table’s so tiny.
2)    Either the table is too tall or the chairs are too short, because within half an hour, muscles were spasming in my shoulders and neck. I kept trying to sit up taller, but there’s only so far I can stretch.
3)    Way too much light, and there’s no way to angle the computer to get the glare from the windows off the screen.

          I have not given up on the plan to find/create a dedicated location, but it’s apparently going to take longer than a week to do.
I’ve tried the bed where I can spread things out, but it makes my hips ache and kinks my neck.
The recliner is an option for researching and writing (as I am doing now). But I can’t spread the manuscript out to edit. Even in the binder, it’s too unwieldy to balance on the chair arm.
The next place to consider will be the sofa, when it comes available. Right now our sofa is a bed until we finish decorating the bedroom. 
So the convenience of a laptop has turned out to be a bit less than convenient in this particular instance. Certainly the benefits outweigh any negatives, but there are times that I do miss a desk and a den and the room to spread my notes out far and wide, take a break for an hour or a day, then come back, and everything is where I left it, ready to continue with the next page.
When I think about writers who banged out entire manuscripts on manual typewriters, I know I’m wildly blessed to have a computer at all.
I’m so spoiled by my convenience that it’s become inconvenient.

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