Back in the saddle

    I've finally started writing again, not any of my fanfic projects I hasten to add (sorry to those who are waiting), but one of the three ideas I'm trying to work on that would actually be of my own creation.

    One of my problems has been finding somewhere quiet and comfortable to write. The bedroom fits the bill, but is really too comfortable. Bizarrely, I've found the morning train to be the ideal place. With my headphones on and pad in hard I manage to scribble 500-750 words in the 30 mins or so it takes me to get into the City. In the evening, I transcribe what I've written with only minor edits. So I'm making about 3,000 words a week, not great but it would work out at 12k-15k a month.

    I'm sharing this not because I have any of what I've written available for you, but to encourage any of you out there who are bored with looking at a blank screen/piece of paper; the words will come, you just have to try and find the right time and place to coax them out.

    On another issue, I sat next to a journalist from the Financial Times on the train the other day as he worked on his latest piece. He was using a Mac, which I have always despised - mainly because of the smugness of those who use them and the price tag. However, I was impressed by the speed with which he switched applications and was forced to think long and hard as to whether I was still going to get a windows laptop or spend the extra to buy a Mac. I'm still not fully convinced, but after having realised that a gaming laptop is not worth the extra, I'm wondering if a Mac is.

    Comments

    rachel's picture

    I like the way you found

    I like the way you found inspiration to write! Being cocooned on a train is a nice way to find an expressive muse. Having read some of your other original work, I'm looking forward to some interesting reading.

    As for the Mac. Don't have one, but almost every other kid on campus does. And once they have it, well they don't want a another kind...ever.

    Macs...

    ...if you can get past the pricetag, I think you'll really love having a Mac. Don't let other people's attitudes ruin for you: they are really great machines. I recently switched my parents and sister to Macs and so far they are all really pleased. Ease of use, slick OS, and less virus/pop-up problems overall. Plus, I've always been happy with their customer service.

    On a more important note: congrats on getting back into writing! I'm trying to work on more personal projects as well, and finding the right space/time seems to be key.

    some impetus for writing

    Check out the website for National Novel Writing Month....known as NaNoWriMo for short. It's the month of November and the challenge is to write 50,000 words by the end of the month....it is a quantity vs. quality challenge, with the idea of forcing you to take more chances/risks in your writing just to get the word count. You can edit, revise after the end of the month. It won't fit everyone's style, but it might be a nice change of pace.

    Have you tried using a *nix?

    Given that I tend to want to do things how I want, Apple and I do not get along in the slightest. That said, as well as my main W7 laptop I also have Linux Mint running on an old steam-driven laptop for travelling purposes. It is a derivative of Ubuntu but contains a whole bunch of useful codecs and programs which you would otherwise have to download yourself with plain Ubuntu. The interface is based on Gnome and deliberately made to feel familiar to sad old Wintards like me. Plus it avoids the awful brown desktop!

    Something which may be worth trying is the LiveCD/LiveDVD/LiveUSB option to see how you get on with the OS first before installing it. I have a USB stick with a self-contained Linux Mint environment which will run off any hardware set to boot from USB; being a USB version it allows you to set things up properly and carry files around with you (I have a 4GB stick and about 3GB for files) without making any modifications to the existing PC at all. Very useful!

    If you're finding Windows painful, I'll take a wild stab in the dark and say you're probably using something like a Dell complete with the pre-installed OS. The problem isn't Windows per se so much as Dell have stuffed around with it and rammed it full of bloatware to the point where it is almost unusable. My mum has one and I'm constantly amazed at just how toe-curlingly awful it is when I have used a vanilla version of the same OS on similar hardware without trouble. But I'll stop there before your eyes glaze over, if they haven't already!

    The Rat
    _______________________________
    Standing here in my Reckless Hat

    parakletos's picture

    Reckless Rat wrote: Given

    Reckless Rat wrote:

    Given that I tend to want to do things how I want, Apple and I do not get along in the slightest. That said, as well as my main W7 laptop I also have Linux Mint running on an old steam-driven laptop for travelling purposes. It is a derivative of Ubuntu but contains a whole bunch of useful codecs and programs which you would otherwise have to download yourself with plain Ubuntu. The interface is based on Gnome and deliberately made to feel familiar to sad old Wintards like me. Plus it avoids the awful brown desktop!

    Something which may be worth trying is the LiveCD/LiveDVD/LiveUSB option to see how you get on with the OS first before installing it. I have a USB stick with a self-contained Linux Mint environment which will run off any hardware set to boot from USB; being a USB version it allows you to set things up properly and carry files around with you (I have a 4GB stick and about 3GB for files) without making any modifications to the existing PC at all. Very useful!

    If you're finding Windows painful, I'll take a wild stab in the dark and say you're probably using something like a Dell complete with the pre-installed OS. The problem isn't Windows per se so much as Dell have stuffed around with it and rammed it full of bloatware to the point where it is almost unusable. My mum has one and I'm constantly amazed at just how toe-curlingly awful it is when I have used a vanilla version of the same OS on similar hardware without trouble. But I'll stop there before your eyes glaze over, if they haven't already!

    The Rat
    _______________________________
    Standing here in my Reckless Hat

    My laptop needs replacing because it is literally falling apart. We have one Dell PC in the house which is still running very well even after 5 years, but I know what you mean about bloatware.

    Win 7 runs fine on my PC, so I've nothing against buying a new Windows Laptop, just I was impressed with the way the Mac handled itself.

    Sovran's picture

    I'm a convert

    I have to admit that I'm almost finished transitioning from PCs to Macs. When I was a die-hard gamer, I had no use for Macs. Now that I stick to pretty standard functions (word processing, spreadsheets, email, internet, multimedia), I've found that the sheer, intuitive simplicity of OSX is a real benefit. My MacBook (and my wife's Air, and my iPhone, and even her old 12" iBook) just does what I need it to do every time without complaint. My wife hardly ever turned off her iBook for the first 5 years she had it, but it just kept working without glitches. In contrast, the Dell laptop she had before that and the various configurations of PCs I've had on my desktop have all required various reboots, re-formattings, and hardware upgrades.

    You do have to adjust to doing things the Mac way. Customizability is definitely a PC benefit. If you can do that, though, and you just want a computer that works reliably, I really do recommend a Mac. It's less stressful.