Coping With Fear

I’ve come to the conclusion that my current computer situation is a problem.

Several months ago the hinges on my laptop seized. They are completely locked in place. This wouldn’t be a huge problem had I not attempted a repair and lost all the screws in the process of not managing to loosen the hinges.

At present, my dear and ancient laptop is lying on a table in two pieces attached to each other by a pair of tiny wires and a small ribbon. To use the laptop, say, to retrieve some document I desperately need, I must stand over it, bent at the waist to view the screen. I cannot write on my laptop.

There are two desktop computers in my house. The first belongs to my fiancé and actually sits under a real computer desk with a big old CRT monitor on top. The only seating options for this desk are an incredibly uncomfortable straight-backed 1950’s style kitchen table chair… Or the most uncomfortable office chair I’ve ever had the displeasure of acquainting my luscious ass with. It’s one of those mesh monsters with no padding, terrible curvature, and metal armrests which are covered in electrical tape to keep them attached.

My fiancé’s computer is not an option.

And then there’s the computer I started my novel on… In Open Office because my laptop is the only computer with Storybook on it and my only Internet source is my cellphone.

I started my novel on a computer called Bob. Bob The Media Box. Bob only runs Linux because HP is dumb and had ASUS (or Acer, I forget) make them a motherboard with a built in network card Windows doesn’t recognize; so when I reinstalled Windows, Windows offered me thirty days to register… Which quickly lapsed and locked me out of said operating system when I could not offer the machine Internet access to download the required drivers within the proper OS.

Yes, I am a nerd.

In any case, Bob gets our lone LCD screen because Linux + Bob’s video card + our giant tube TV don’t play well together. When in use, the flat screen lives on a little plastic table (next to my decapitated laptop) between our large coffee-table and the entertainment center where Bob lives. Yes, we have to climb over cables to go to the bathroom.

All this means that I’m currently trying to write a novel from my couch. The computer is ten feet away, the monitor five. I use a wireless keyboard across one knee and a doorstop book on the center cushion, my right knee positioned near my shoulder to keep my leg out of the way and me curled up comfortably. I’m forced to use a bolded twenty-eight point font, which I still have to squint at because my glasses are scratched and in need of an updated prescription.

And that’s only half the problem. The other half is, well my other half.

Actually, I’m the problem. The trouble is I can’t seem to write on a screen he can plainly see while he’s sitting a couple feet away and looking in the same direction as my fumbling attempts at fiction. He’s already gone to bed, but I did write most of my last post with him next to me. Like I said, my only internet is my phone. I can keep the screen of my phone to myself while I tap away at the little on-screen keyboard.

Strange, isn’t it? I can share all the words about myself, my insecurities, my shyness, my struggles, and my few accomplishments in a heartbeat on this blog… But I can’t write while my fiancé can see the screen.

I doubt I could continue this blog post if he, or anyone, we’re looking over my shoulder either. It’s like I’m hoarding all of my words. Absolutely no one can see them until I feel they’re ready; or, at least, until they’re complete.

I am incredibly insecure about my writing. I pour my heart into everything I write, everything I create. I am significantly more insecure about my fiction, because it is so new to me, than anything else… Except, perhaps, my angsty teenage poetry which I have dragged with me from state to state for fear of my parents stumbling upon it in my old bedroom. No, I will probably not ever destroy it; it’s excellent reference material should I ever have or write an angsty teenaged girl.

At the moment, I don’t have a job. One would think that means I have plenty of time to write while my fiancé is out bringing home the bacon. This would be true if I could stop being so damn lazy, keep a regular schedule, wake up before noon, stop needing four hours to become fully conscious, and stop feeling like I need to use the hours between when my fiancé goes to bed and when I do to “wind down” by playing video games and watching Stargate on the computer I should be using to write…

It also seems that my muse believes the ideal time to use her little hemlock wand to throw creative lightning into my brain is approximately five minutes before my fiancé gets home from work and all day on his days off. Perhaps it has something to do with the weight of him on the other side of the couch, like there’s some cosmic scale his sitting there balances perfectly. Or maybe it’s Murphy making true with his law and snickering somewhere saying “Hah! Now you are near desperate to continue that story and have a million new ideas for it but won’t be able to muster the courage to do it!”

Stop being lazy, stop procrastinating, stop distracting myself, stop staying up till six in the morning writing blog posts and playing video games, stop being afraid of people reading my fiction, stop being insecure, and find a magic money tree so I can have a functional laptop and a home internet connection like a normal person.

That’s one tall to-do list… I’ll start tomorrow.

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8 comments on “Coping With Fear
  1. cue4u77 says:

    Do you plan to post a small piece of your novel on word press? I would like to see your style of writing. Everyone has one and it’s very intriguing to view everyone different “writing signature.” lol. Great blog, keep it coming!

    • Paige Nolley says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Glad to hear I’ve gained your notice.

      I do plan to post samples once I have a better idea where the story’s going and have a larger body of text to choose from. I’m actually debating going in and editing a micro-memoir I wrote for a class something like seven years ago to read more like a story and posting it here soon. It would, of course, be a writing sample, as opposed to a snippet of my work in progress.

  2. I had exactly the same problem with my old computer – I ended up buying a little folding card table from IKEA for about £5 – I was able to put this right infront of me while I sat on the sofa. I also found putting a cushion between the keyboard and your lap lifts it enough to make it comfortable.

    I wrote three novels this way – all while watching Star Trek repeats. 🙂

    • Paige Nolley says:

      Hah! Good idea! If I can either find a spare monitor or build something to hold my laptop screen where I want it, a little folding table could work quite well. And I bet I have a friend with an old tv tray they don’t use anymore…

      Now to find the damn screws for the laptop and the other wireless mouse for Bob.

      Thanks for the idea!

  3. I hear you, sister. The quickest way to make my words DRY UP is to look over my shoulder while I write. What’s up with that?

    • Paige Nolley says:

      I have no idea. I have a tattoo artist who will throw a giant tantrum if you try to take a picture of the tattoo he’s working on before the session is complete.

      I think maybe we just don’t want people to know that we sometimes write absolute dribble in the first draft.

      Also, I just scared my dog by squeaking and flailing a bit when I saw you’d commented on my blog. 🙂 Absolutely loved A Gathering of Light. Thanks so much for stopping by.

      • Trish says:

        Aww! Thanks! I found your blog because you rated it 🙂
        I would love to read some of your work in progress, if ever you want to share. I’m working on the third book in the series right now. If you can call thinking about it all the time and losing sleep over it “working on it”. Ha!

      • Paige Nolley says:

        Somehow you landed in my spam folder. 😦 I do everything from my phone, so I don’t check my dashboard often. Wish I had sooner.

        I posted a teeny tiny snippet yesterday. Haven’t been making any progress the last few weeks. Not fun. And now my fiancé’s pressing for a zombie novel on top of what I’ve only just started. I can do zombies. I love zombies. But all I have for that story is a paragraph… Not that I have much more on Sleeping Lady.

        If I don’t make headway on Sleeping Lady soon, I’ll fiddle with the zombies.

        And I’d love for you to read some of my work! Well, when I have enough that I like enough to show to anyone.

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