Archive for May, 2010
OK, I’ve stalled out. The novel stares back at me with dead, soulless eyes and says “let me go” in a piteous, mewling whisper.
I haven’t written more than three lines in it for a week. Obviously, this isn’t working. With DayJeorb, family, house, and medical things going on, writing has become an occasional, if-I-feel-inspired-for-five-minutes-on-the-bus kind of thing. The only time I get a solid two hours to write — a basic minimum for me to be productive these days — is on the rare evening off. Looking at my writing folder is getting depressing.
Here’s what my average weekday looks like:
- 5:30: Wake up, get dressed, brush hair, and so on.
- 6:00: Do some dishes, eat breakfast, get bicycle ready.
- 7:00: Out the door.
- 7:45: Get to the office, prep for DayJeorb
- 8:00: DayJeorb
- 11:00: Get lunch, eat, write if possible with remaining time (this never happens)
- 12:00: DayJeorb
- 5:00: Get on bicycle, go home.
- 5:45: Relax for a little bit (thank you, Loreen!)
- 6:00-ish: Various combinations of family activities, dinner, playtime with Bee, and everything that can’t happen during the work day. At the end of it all, I read Bee some stories and put her to bed.
- 9:30-ish: Time in which I could write, if I had any brain power left (this never happens).
So, what to do when you need to write, but simply don’t have the blocks of time you need to write the novel you started the year so desperate to finish? I’m entirely open to suggestions. For the time being, I’m going to go back to my old sentence-a-day rule, so that if nothing else happens on any given day, I’ll have written at least one sentence of new prose. It’s something, if not ideal.
Beyond that, I’m kind of stuck.
I have no idea what’s going on in the world of politics, the environment, foreign affairs, or anything else that might appear on the front page of a newspaper.
And that feels great.
As I mentioned previously, I’m taking a news sabbatical. It’s been difficult, and a few things have slipped in by way of social media, but by and large it’s been a successful endeavor. I’m writing more, I’m reading more, and I’m sleeping more. All very healthy for me. Ahhh.
On a related note, I had the strangest dream last night. In it, all my friends and family were suddenly very sad, but no one would tell me why because they knew I was avoiding the news. I finally learned that the president had died suddenly, of some sort of heretofore undiagnosed malady, but when I tried to read about it in the newspaper and online, I couldn’t because all the news outlets were hiding their content from me to enforce my news sabbatical.
Very thoughtful of them.
Someone please explain to me the appeal of tablet computers. I just don’t get it. For plain old media consumption, I suppose there’s some convenience with the slim form-factor. It’s probably easy to take a tablet to the bedroom to watch a movie or surf the web. But that’s the only use I can really see for it. And a laptop fulfills that function with the added benefits of a larger, higher-resolution screen and a built-in stand.*
For content producers (writers, editors, bloggers, etc.) the lack of a keyboard seems to be a real show-stopper of a defect, at least to me. If I can’t input text at anywhere near 70 words per minute (my usual typing speed), then I just don’t see the point.
Tablets seem to occupy an uncomfortable middle ground between PDA/MP3 player/smartphone style devices and full-fledged mobile computers. They’re not as easily portable as the smaller devices, they’re not as useful as the laptops they hope to replace, and I can’t see myself adding one to the list of electronics I’m willing to carry around with me.
Then there are netbooks, lightweight laptops which accomplish the slimmer form-factor, yet provide actual keyboards. This seems to be the target niche tablets would like to take over, but I’m not seeing why anyone would want to replace a netbook with what amounts to a neutered netbook.
So explain it to me: If a laptop can do everything a tablet can (and do it better), and a smartphone is more portable, why on Earth does anyone buy them?
*On a side note, I should start marketing laptops as “tablet computers with a built-in stand you can type on!”