Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Agghhhh! (Computers... and Ideas)

I have mentioned that I have had computer problems.

These have got worse.  I have spent at least 16 hours today (after several last night) reinstalling the system.  I will not bore you with the technical details. If you deal with technical equipment, you know how it goes .  I will only say this: the main issue has been that the computer tends to slow down, and slow more, and more, and more, until the spinning lollipop is my constant companion.

(And no, please don't give me suggestions. Fixing weird stuff like this is one of the things I used to do for a living. I'm not giving you enough information for you to help.  Thanks anyway.)

Slow sales do not depress me.

Bad reviews do not depress me.

I laugh at rejection slips.

Being laid off my job did not depress me in the slightest.

But one thing really seriously depresses me, as a writer, and that is when I am persistently stymied in every single thing I do, over and over again.  At first it's an annoyance.  It breaks, you fix it, you pause to recall what you were doing and get on with things.  When it keeps happening, over and over again, as it has, my brain stops functioning.  It's like a migraine.  I lose the thread of what I'm doing completely.  

I don't see a good outcome to today's 16-hours-and-still-going fix. Soooooo, I spent most of the day today trying to recapture my brain.  I figure there is no end in sight an I have to drop all plans that involve my computer.  I need to start doing things that do not require my computer at any particular time. (I can get at my files if I plan ahead, but generally,  I have to consider the computer off limits for what I plan to do each day.)

Limitations Are Good For Creativity

So I've got an iPad, an ancient netbook, and a Kindle.  These devices don't actually talk to each other.  The iPad does internet just fine.  The netbook is a great typing device, but it saves the files to an SD card.  (Or thumb drive, but neither the Kindle nor the iPad read those either.)  And that means I can't do blog posts on it. I have to type this live online with the iPad -- not a good way to work.  Horrible for editing in particular.

So really, I've just got the netbook for doing work.  And no notes to refer to, no looks at what I've written so far.  It's sorta like being locked in a room with a pencil and a bunch of blank paper and nothing else.

From that, I'm doing writing exercises and brainstorming.  I played with a few things today, getting warmed up, figuring out what I can do without getting frustrated.  Tomorrow, I will start in on my Magic of 100 method and start piling up ideas until I can't not write on them.  I don't have access to the plotting game materials I created this summer so I'll be just generating ideas with other random objects and words.  I will probably use the Story Cubes and also a little app called The Brainstormer, both of which come up with random idea starters.

(NOTE: doing links on this blankety-blank iPad is hard, if you want to find my Magic of 100 posts, you'll have to search for them.  Also, Google Rory's Story Cubes and The Brainstormer.)

And this week's regular blog posts are off.  Maybe Friday if it isn't too frustrating, I'll post some story starters and games and such.  They're fun.

See you in the funny papers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Ugh. Sorry to hear that...what a pain.

I know what you mean...I'm supposed to be transferring my blog to WordPress and I'm putting it off because it will be such a total time-suck. It can all be very frustrating. Hope you get everything back to normal soon.

The Daring Novelist said...

And my new disk doctoring software is taking days to check and mark each bad block on my harddrive. (Sigh.)