Technical Jackassery and the Creative Process

This is how I like to write a blog post:

Have idea.
Type frantically to capture idea.
Add hyperlinks, if relevant.

I hope that didn’t ruin the magic for anyone.

Some of what I write pleases me greatly. Some of it does not. When what I write comes from a genuine place, I think I “stick the landing.” When I’m forcing myself, for whatever reason, or over-editing because I like to keep some secrets, I often miss the mark. When I don’t have the time to take two ideas and stitch them together, when I don’t ever get to the place where I am happy to hit “post” but do it anyway just so something else is up, I spend hours regretting it. Okay, hour.

What am I, famous? Right? Is someone sitting out there on the Internet, checking this blog periodically and scoring it 1: Irrelevant, 2: Uneven, 3: Just Not Funny 4: Overindulgent 5: A Trifle Sentimental? I doubt it. That someone is actually in my head. (waves) That someone, my inner critic, code name Priya, she is often unfair but she is sometimes right, too. That’s why I don’t set her on fire.

My laptop computer, whose name is Gloria, is an iBook G4 and has been my close companion since 2004. But she started having some trouble in the past year. I used to use her attached to a network cable because the wireless in our place is fussy. Then wireless started working, right when the battery stopped holding a charge. Fine, so I’m attached to a power adapter all the time because the battery life is 10 minutes long (I am not exaggerating) and now the memory is full. We buy more RAM. One day the computer won’t turn on. We reinstall the OS except we actually upgrade because we couldn’t find the original install disks so now I’m running Leopard and all my files are in backup. Groovy except now, because the adapter is always plugged in, the plug is wonky and doesn’t connect properly so the computer keeps flashing its “you need to plug me in” warning even when it is plugged in and then two days ago it ran out of juice, couldn’t access the more juice and shut down in the middle of my preshus blogging time. Didn’t have enough juice to come back on. I wiggled the plug to no avail.

Talk about blue balls.

So my last few blog entries, most memorably the one from this morning where I deftly non-segue from nostalgia to bitterness to full on rant without so much as a topic sentence, have been written somewhat on the fly given that I only have early mornings, naptime and the delicate 30 minutes between dinner and bed (assuming I am not watching trashy TV, guilty as charged) to complete my (admittedly, convoluted and overwrought) blog-writing procedure. Now it looks like:

Have idea (usually while nursing infant)
Wait 5 hours.
Type frantically to capture
wait 10 hours
type frantically to capture idea
wait five hours
wait 24 hours
aw fuck post it already.

The good news is a) we have another computer in the house and b) that a new power adapter has been ordered. We may get a new battery too. I know. Why did I not buy a new laptop? Because it is easier to spend $50 at a time if you think it will be the last $50 you will spend. And now we’re too far in to give up. Says me.

It is a poor writer who blames her laptop. I am still working on finding a way, a compromise, so that I can use the time I have more wisely and still write things I am happy with.

Priya just wanted me to tell you: I’ll do better.

This post is not in any way a criticism of Apple Computers, my in-house system administrator, my darling children who will nap only when they are good and ready, or CNN’s Showbiz Tonite. OK maybe that last one.

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