Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Five Ways to Write After a Crash!

Three weeks ago I clicked on my computer screen to remove the screen saver. All I could see were multi-colored dots and lines. After rebooting twice and restarting once, it was obvious my modest computer knowledge wasn't gonna cut it.

A trip to the Geek Squad confirmed my fear. My HP is going in the shop. However, there was good news. I had forgotten I had purchased an extended warranty three years ago so repairs cost nothing.

Five ways for a writer to survive without a computer:

1. In case you forgot how to hold a pen or pencil. Open your writing hand and place forefinger and thumb around the barrel of a pen or pencil.
2. Touch the point end of pen or pencil to paper and begin to move your hand. The act of writing will come back to you rather quickly.
3. Use a voice recorder to “write” your article or story. This is great if you have arthritic hands like me.
4. Take a trip to your local library and use their free services to surf the Internet, check email and transcribe notes from your voice recorder. Be prepared to work and think like the speed of light because there is always a long line and not enough computers. One hour time limits, per day, apply to most libraries. Unless you know exactly where to surf, one hour is not long enough. (Note: libraries are not open at 10 p.m. when you are on deadline)
5. Throw yourself on the mercy of your adult child or best friend (who do not live with you) and promise to cook them dinner if they will lend you their computer and office space in their home.

I admit I am addicted to computer technology and have long since discarded any manual writing methods. Physically it is too difficult for me to hand write for any length of time. Short notes are about all I can do without pain. Typing on a keyboard uses different muscles and the pressure required is light. Also, the curvature of my hands is natural.

How would your writing survive without modern technology? Would you want it to? Are we destined to commemorate our “feathered writing quill” into an icon reminiscence of the past?

I'm Back!
Write it down,


  1. Oh how I relate to this post. A few months ago I went to update Firefox. When the update was complete nothing happened. My browser was toast. So I switched back to Internet Explorer. A day later it asked to update, and again the same thing happened. I am lost without Internet access. Thankfully I had installed Safari, but because of the mess I only had limited access to the World Wide Web. Long story short, after three months of cutting and pasting URLs and living without my blog and my online writing community, I backed up everything and wiped my computer clean. Then I reloaded everything and started from scratch. Oh the agony. Oh the injustice. Oh the inhumanity against man. Too dramatic? Well, it at least felt like that.Hang in there. Thanks for the tips. They good reminders.

  2. Hello Tim,
    When I got my PC back I didn't realize all the work involved just to get up to speed. Reinstalling everything was quite a chore. But it is all good and worked out well.

    Nice to meet you


  3. Good grief, glad to hear your computer woes are over. Thanks for the tips. Whenever my Internet connection goes down I need to learn to switch modes more easily instead of getting frustrated. The good old pen and paper is always near by.

    Have a great 4th of July weekend.

    Children’s Author
    Write What Inspires You Blog
    Donna M. McDine’s Website

  4. Carma, great to have you back and glad what ever kept you away is over. Your experience and information is a blessing to those of us still trying to get it. Welcome back.