Sometimes I am a forgetful fool. Yesterday I was at my buddy Jim’s, where we began recording what will be a weekly podcast series covering ground similar to our book, A Year of Hitchcock (Scarecrow Press, 2009). It was a fun project to dive into. While I’ve done radio before (doing the “color commentary” for a local station’s Election Day coverage, that sort of thing), I had never done podcasting. They’re similar, but not quite the same.
Anyway, I the laptop and some recording equipment up to his place, we yammered for a while about Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, had lunch with the wildly talented Chris Knight (who we tried to convince to be a guest on a future show), then I went home.
AND LEFT THE POWER SUPPLY FOR THE LAPTOP THERE.
See, the thing is, I need a laptop. I can’t write without one. Oh, sure, I could use the whole “the wife needs the laptop for her work” angle in this gripe session, but I’m not here to write about her, and were I to do so it would make me appear thoughtful and caring. I prefer to maintain the illusion of distant selfishness. It would ruin my hard-earned reputation if people knew I cared.
Anyway, the laptop. Can’t write without one. Yes, I could write on the desktop computer, but then I’d never get work done. Too many distractions. Music and games and a billion websites and gosh, shouldn’t I organize those files?, and on and on and on.
First and foremost, I am FANTASTIC at putting off work. Just gloriously great at it.
That’s why I sit at the kitchen table with a laptop and little else. In some ways it’s a psychological thing. When I am sitting in that spot, it’s time to work. The moment I sit down it just clicks into place. I do this almost every night and work for an hour or three. Maybe it’s tied into my youth. I did my homework at the kitchen table, where mom and dad could see me working. When I got my own desk in my own room, my days of doing homework were all but over. I was assigned homework, yes, but I just didn’t do it.
So it’s the laptop + kitchen table to me. It’s a key ingredient to staying productive. The setting, those tools, the specific time and place, and most importantly making it a part of my routine. Without this I’d be one of those people who talks a lot about writing instead of actually doing it.
And that means for the next few days, until Jim gets it mailed here (because I’m not driving four hours to pick it up), I will not be very productive. That stinks, because I’m on a roll with the comic anthology I’ve been putting together. I’ve got plots bouncing around in my head, and artists I need to provide material to, and just general stuff I need to do. I’d also like to get to work on revising a young adult fantasy/adventure novel I finished last summer. The agent hunt must begin.
I’ll make do. I’ll work at my desk. But I won’t like it. And I for damn sure won’t get much done.