This morning, I finished filling my fifth morning pages book, so I think it’s safe to say that I’ve found something that works to keep me writing every day. Even on days when morning pages are the only thing I write (and there are some of those, especially when in the grips of the Cold That Will Not Die) I have written two pages, first thing in the morning, and my mother was right – the more I do, the more I want to do.
Yesterday, Real Life Romance Hero asked me what I was planning to do for the day. My first answer was “figure out how far behind I am, and make a plan on how to get current.” My second answer was “That or watch Netflix from a blanket fort.” RLRH said something along the lines of “you can’t write anything if you’re dead,” which I took as a vote for the blanket fort. In the end, I split the difference. No Netflix was watched, alas, but I did have a nap, and I did write. I also found out that the options for getting Internet connection on my office computer are:
- Move the modem.
- Move the computer.
- Get a wifi signal booster.
The first two options crossed themselves off the list in an astoundingly short amount of time:
- This house was built around 1890, when the Internet was not anybody’s top concern, because the Internet did not exist. Therefore, there are a limited amount of outlets, which means the next available outlet to which we could move the modem was :drumroll please: about five feet in an office-ward direction, but also took it out of the living room, where all the rest of the devices get the majority of their use, and it made absolutely no difference in the signal in my office, which is to say none.
- Moving the computer would defeat the purpose of having the computer in my office, which is where I want to be doing the majority of my work. I prefer using my desktop for big chunks of work, in my comfy office chair, behind my closed door, because family knows that closed door = working. Also, my poor, beleaguered eyeballs are much happier with the big monitor, and, with the closed door, I am far less likely to fall prey to distractions. The only places I could move the whole setup to, if I had to move it, under protest, would be A) the dining room, and B) the living room. Dining room could be possible if absolutely needed, but there is the matter of prewar ceilings and burned out overhead lighting. Also, the dining room is tiny and has only one outlet. Living room would put me in the same middle-of-everything spot I am with the laptop, so no.
Clearly, the wifi booster is the obvious winner here. Part of me is curmudgeon enough to want a plan B, in case my office truly is a dead zone and even the booster doesn’t do the trick. As a once-upon-a-time friend once said, I would need a tech manual to operate a butter churn. I am not the most technologically minded person on this (or probably any other) planet. I am also reminded of a writer’s workshop I once attended, where the presenter asked everyone in the room who considered themselves an optimist to raise their hand. I was literally the only person who did not do so. So, the presenter asked, would I identify as a pessimist? I took a third option: realist. A thing might work, or a thing might not. Both outcomes are possible. If I plan for both outcomes, then I’m prepared for either. In this case, the booster will pinch the pocket a bit, but I will be able to do everything I want behind my office door (Virginia Woolf really was on to something with her whole room of one’s own thing) or it will be a noble experiment, and I will find some way of moving the entire setup into the dining room when I want Internet.
The realist in me does not mind either outcome. I’d prefer the former, but if it’s the latter, then so be it. Whatever gets things done, gets things done. Those who have been reading this blog for a while know I’m ansty. Getting back on the horse can be one hell of a ride in and of itself, but, when one is finally back in the saddle (mine happens to be a very lovely office chair) one wants to actually have something to show for it. In my case, books.
I’ve called my office my Hobbit Hole in the past, and that still pretty much rings true. Get inside, shut the door, music on, notebook or computer file (or both) open, and watch me go. it took long enough to get to this place that I want to stick my flag in it and go full steam ahead. If that means moving machinery around, then that’s what I’m going to do. I’d prefer not to have to do it, but if that’s what it takes, well, okay, then. Hero and Heroine, and Guy and Girl want to meet all of you, and the only way that can happen is if I write (or co-write) their whole stories.
One of my favorite memories of my From Fan Fiction to Fantastic Fiction (now called Play In Your Own Sandbox, Keep All the Toys) was when one student shared her experience of co-writing her long form fic with a friend who lived 200 miles away. Every Friday night, she would dismantle her big early 80s desktop computer (this was long, long ago, obviously,) pack it in her car, drive 200 miles to her friend’s house, where she would unpack it, set it up there, and she and her friend would spend the entire weekend writing. Then reverse the process, go back home and do the responsible adult thing from Monday through Friday night, and do it again the next weekend.
I don’t know what happened to that student, though I hope she’s still writing. What I do know is that if she can do that, I can do this. The walk from my office to the dining room is not as far as the journey from sobbing my guts out because writing wouldn’t come. Tomorrow, i start my sixth morning pages book, interestingly enough another copy of the same book that inspired me to start writing morning pages in the first place. Kind of feels like leveling up, in a way, with both of these things happening at the same time. This spring, I will be co-presenting a workshop on blogging. I am writing one book I love, and co-writing another. I have a nice queue of posts for Heroes and Heartbreakers that I can’t wait to share, and we are in the Christmas season, which is my favorite-favorite time of the year. All pretty decent, all things considered.