I don't think I've made any secret of my love of technology and gadgets. This blog alone is proof. In about 4 months, it will be 3 years since I turned my author's website into this blog, and I don't think I've missed posting more than a couple of days in all that time. In addition, I love looking at all the new gadgets, the new toys (the new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" makes me drool). Now and then I actually buy one of the new gadgets. And I love, love, love the Internet...except when people post horrible, mean comments addressing total strangers in ways they probably would never--hopefully--address them face to face (I think we've all seen those types of comments). But mostly I love the Internet.
There's so much knowledge sharing going on out there, so much fun stuff, so many gorgeous images. Look up an obscure fact? I'll find it. Find out why my refrigerator isn't working? I'm on it. Shop for interesting gifts not readily available in stores? I'm your woman. It's fun, it's easy, it's awesome. And therein lies the problem. It's often just too easy to spend far too much time there.
Still, I'm a writer. I have a book coming out in a few days. I can't afford to not be on the web. I need to network. I need to push my baby in front of people's faces. I want people to read my book. I love that book! I'm supposed to be selling it.
But...I also need to get to the writing and step away from the Internet. I really do. I need to get the next book written. Which is why--lately--I've been turning to one of these.
Well, okay, not that particular laptop (that's just an online image), but an old laptop I bought years ago, which has Microsoft Word on it, very few other programs and (here's the important part) ABSOLUTELY NO ABILITY TO ACCESS THE INTERNET. Seriously. I bought it on sale for a song, it was my first laptop, a discontinued model, and not long after I got it home, I realized that no matter what I did, it would not connect to my network (okay, that's not completely true. If I set up some cables, clicked my heels together and crossed my fingers, sometimes it would manage to hook up...slowly, but if I searched for wireless networks...no. Never. It just wasn't going to happen). I suppose I should have returned it, but...I had a desktop, and I hadn't really bought the laptop for the purpose of web surfing but for writing when I was away from my desk. So I kept it. And when I needed it, I used it (even though I still prefer a desktop most of the time).
Later, I bought a netbook. It's nice. It's a bit slow and the keyboard is a bit smaller than I like, but it's not as heavy as the old laptop and it does access the Internet. And therein lies the problem. I'm weak. I'm human. Leave me with a desktop or a netbook with an Internet connection and I just might end up looking for interesting videos for the blog or posting tweets or Facebook posts or...shopping for books. There are days when I practically have to slap myself to keep from opening the browser and hopping on the Internet train.
So, a few weeks ago, I dug out the old laptop. I dusted it off. I fired it up, and...voila! I finally admitted that old and all, no programs other than word processing and all, like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, it really wasn't such a bad little laptop after all. It wasn't a total lemon.
Because set up at the table, surrounded by all my notes, on what might seem like a hunk of junk to most people, I type. I write. I get things done. And I find that this old laptop, warts and all, may well be the best writing machine I've ever owned.
But don't worry, Internet. I'll be back once my pages are done for the day!