For my #ROW80 update, either read the entire rambling 700 words, or skip to the last paragraph. Thanks!
Trying something new for #AmWriting
I am fortunate enough to be married to an IT guy, and we own more computers than there are people in the family (that doesn’t mean they all work…) I have a laptop, which is big and although it’s getting old it does everything I need it to do. It’s technically portable, but a bit of a pain to move around and the battery’s bad so I have to plug in. I also have a netbook, which is very portable and has a great battery, but it is small and I don’t actually store any files on it, I use Dropbox.
I used to have my laptop at my chair in the living room, where I spend several hours each night between dinner and bedtime. The netbook would go either upstairs or out and about, wherever I wanted.
From my living room chair, I can watch TV and be close enough to the family to oversee the goings-on and get children a glass of milk or band-aid whenever needed. The location is also fraught with distractions, some of which (like a band-aid) are very necessary, and others (like the TV) that are not. The only time I’m really productive there is when the rest of the family is either at school/work or asleep upstairs.
So I’ve switched it up. I now have my laptop on the desk in the bedroom. I can’t simultaneously handle the household and be there because it’s removed from the action, then again I can’t handle the household and write anyways. So it works. I choose. When I don’t have to be handling everything else, I can be in the bedroom. Fortunately, my 5yo is usually content to play either in her room or the workroom (also upstairs) which has a television and a couple of computers to play on. My netbook is downstairs so I can log on to social media or check e-mail or even write if I choose to.
One advantage to having the computer upstairs is that I can hook up my nook to the bedroom speakers and play Pandora radio. It’s great for writing, esp. since I bit the bullet and paid a small fee to go commercial-free. The only difficult part is that the controls are far from the computer, so if I Pandora gets wild and plays something I don’t like, I have to either live with it (and live with her thinking I actually liked that song and might want more like it) or I have to get up to go click the thumbs-down. I purposely don’t run Pandora off the laptop unless I don’t have a choice.
Another nice thing is that we have a cat door in our bedroom door. This is important. If you close a door on a cat, the cat panics. It scratches and howls and otherwise lets you know that its movements are not to be impeded. I have four cats, and they all get rather pissy at a closed door, esp. a closed door with Mommy on the other side.
Kids are more understanding of the closed door. With my teenager, it’s very important that I be able to give her that sign that says “I want privacy.” For my 5yo, she doesn’t usually knock anyways. In some ways, I still like this little bit of left-over behavior from the days when she slept in our room…it’s comforting to me to know that if she needs something, she will come to me. And anyways, if it’s just her and me at home, I won’t close the door and I will make sure she stays upstairs, so I know she’s safe.
There are still distractions. Even just writing this blog post at about 600 words, I’ve had to stop several times. Once when my teenager ceased to function as a human being and her PCA and I agreed the afternoon was over and the PCA should just go home. (My daughter has special needs, and she needs an adult on hand at all times.) I fixed dinner sometime in there, and I’m eating as I write.
I set the goal of submitting something once a week. Last week, I didn’t make it. That’s not so bad, but if it’s two weeks in a row, something is wrong. I think I might take out one of my lunar shorts and polish it up to send to GETLF8D so I at least can say I submitted something this week.
Even though I’m still working on your other piece for the crit/beta, you definitely should get out another piece for this week. Once you allow yourself to stop too long it really does become too long.
I can totally relate to the more computers than people thing… with the three of us here, there are seven working machines (as in used regularly), another three that get turned on for special tasks because we just haven’t migrated something off of them yet, and five more corpses in the basement that serve for parts (or just need some reformatting/upgrading to be given to someone else).
This does not include smart/cell phones, cameras or parts and cards…
I swear… computers are worse than hangers for breeding in the closet 😀
I can so relate to your need for your own space. I had moved my writing space to every room in the house, before settling into my daughter’s room. She won’t be coming back any time soon – she wants to live in Africa, for pete’s sake. At least my kids are out of the house, so I only have to worry about the cat and the dog invading my space. And once in a very great while, my husband.
Keep plugging away!
Eden: I will definitely be working on other pieces while the story you and the other beta-readers have is stewing! And I have grown to love having so many computers, especially when both my girls want to play an on-line game *together* !
Chris: I spent most of the day downstairs today, and have just now moved upstairs to work for a few hours before bed. The last time I tried this, the entire family followed me lol!
It’s a challenge to find the right space to write, especially with young kids in the house. Sounds like you’ve come up with a great plan! Best wishes on your submissions. Have a lovely week!