I’m having a hard time writing fiction on my laptop, which has transformed into an emailing, scheduling, Amazon rank checking, grade-inputer.
Plus, with a full teaching load, I find myself sneaking off to my study in between grading, going to campus, and unplugging (which you need to do a lot of when you have 54 undergraduate students). And lately I’ve been writing in a notebook, something I haven’t done in years.
I thought it was the fact that my laptop is ancient. So yesterday, I went with Mini-Rockslinga to the Apple store, where he lovingly caressed an iPod Touch (there’s a joke going around his school that it’s Michael Jackson’s favorite iPod. Get it? “Touch”) and played several rounds of Tap Tap revolution, and where I cynically and critically examined the new MacBooks. They’re beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about a plain notebook: the fact that my writing is pretty much illegible; the fact that after I finish a page, I can turn it and not look critically at what I just wrote; the fact that I don’t have the pressure of writing something polished. “It’s just notes!” I tell myself when I sit down to write, and inevitably, lots flows out.
So, one way I’ve thought of achieving this on the laptop is to turn the screen off and plug in a keyboard I can cradle in my lap like a notebook. I wrote A Map of Home on a desktop (which was later lovingly donated to the Goodwill on South Lamar in Austin), and so a desktop is another option. Yet another is to buy an iPhone and do all my emailing that way, and make the laptop completely internet-free.
I don’t know. Anyone out there know some good tricks?