I wonder if there was ever a time when a writer blamed their procrastination on not having the best lightweight typewriter? Alternatively, they had a large, powerful unit with sharp keystrokes complete with plentiful ink to keep the letters striking the page for years to come. Instead of focusing, the author would proclaim it was useless to attempt working as their surroundings were just inadequate. Their stalwart machine was neglected, and no words were written.
Shamefully, this was almost an archaic version of me. For several years I have owned a powerful desktop. It was purchased with playing virtual reality in mind. So, it’s the ability to handle word processing is unquestionable. I also have an extraordinarily comfortable chair. If I close my bedroom door, there is nothing to distract me from working except my bed, television, and a delightful cat. These are surroundings that I would imagine many people envy; however, recently, I haven’t been successful at concentrating in this environment.
To combat my procrastination, I started to write in an external location and work tirelessly for a couple of hours. I found the best site to be a place where coffee was sold. I mentally associate the two. I suppose there is a reason why writers in coffee shops are a cliche! For many reasons, I think designating time that is only for writing is essential for any writer. It would seem that for now, I had sorted out an effective system, and I was producing content once again.
Naturally, I had to find something else to be irked about.
My “new” issue was that my remote tool for writing was my iPad. Granted, this hardware is more than capable of word processing a draft. With Office iOS and Scriniver iOS, I had everything I needed to write Dylan and Olivia’s story (Fighting for an Escape). That was until my brother came to visit in early November from the UK.
While here, we went to the Apple store so he could purchase a new phone. The store was busy, and we had a lot of time to kill. I started exploring their products and debated if I wanted the iPad Pro or the MacBook in the future. I should explain – my iPad belongs to work, and eventually, I’ll have to return it. When that time comes, I knew I’d need some sort of portable device. I was searching purely within that timeline, not for immediate purchase.
So, after trying out the devices and discussing its primary use, my brother rightfully pointed out that the most significant feature I should consider was the comfort of typing. This led me to disregard the iPad route, and due to cost, I didn’t feel the MacBook Pro was worth money for my use. I’d settled on the MacBook Air for the time being, despite its known butterfly keyboard issues.
The next day, we went to a big box store, and that was when I touched a Surface 3 laptop (SL3). The inclination was instant. I understand that the Alcantara (fabric) top isn’t for everyone, and the bounce of the keyboard is also a preference, but I was in love. It is also touchscreen – something I kept trying to utilize with the MacBook Air! Due to my iPhone’s face ID feature, I and a fan of this feature on Surface products over typing in a password. Laziness? Yes. But these days, its features like this that can make all the difference. I left the store, believing that the SL3 was the laptop for me. What sealed the deal was that my desktop also runs on Windows, and this would limit compatibility issues.
Knowing that the SL3 was the product to beat, I went to another big box store that had a more extensive selection of computers to test. I knew that I could get the same specs for half the price (10th Gen i5, 8GB RAM, 128 GB SSD). The trade-off was weight and build quality. I desperately wanted something lightweight as I foresee taking this laptop out and about!
After over an hour of testing approximately thirty computers from HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Sony, nothing beat the SL3 for me. Bless my roommate for holding off starvation while I tested, and retested the top five until I ruled the product out for one reason or another. Finally, we went to dinner, and I tried not to monopolize the conversation with a computer debate that had already been adjourned.
You might be wondering how I was going to pay for a laptop that wasn’t a “planned” purchase. I am lucky that my fall birthday and Christmas combo means that my family can come together and cover the cost. Each was excited that this is what I’d put the money toward and made sure I had the funds before the American shopping day of the year – Black Friday.
I could write paragraphs expressing the excitement I felt the day I got the laptop in my hands. Or perhaps describing the wide-eyed happiness captured on a video that I sent to my family so they could understand how much I appreciate the gift. I sense, however, that the process of writing about how I chose my new writing tool less than subtly conveys that.
It’s been a few weeks since the Silver Surface (yes, that’s what I named her) came into my life. She’s traveled to New York, been to a few coffee shops, and is now a constant in my work bag. I sit on my couch and do typing practices while watching TV – something I could never do before.
“That’s all well and good, but how is the writing going,” you may ask? Brilliantly. I mentally feel as though I must justify this “toy,” as my mum refers to it. I enjoy writing on it far more than the clunkiness of my desktop. My typing skills (speed and accuracy) have improved already.
I have plans to publish two books in 2020, and my Silver Surface is what I am going to use to produce both of them.
There are no excuses for procrastination now.
What do you prefer to write on? Do you need a specific environment to get the best out of yourself, creatively? Comment below and let me know!