What is the one thing you cannot live without?
Well this is easy. Think about it? What do I talk about constantly, how to do I communicate to you guys and, most importantly, how do I approach the work which I believe will become my career in later years? I write it all. But I don’t write it by hand, as I’m sure you know. I write it on a computer.
I am a touch-typist and since my GCSEs I have been steadily increasing my ability. So now I copy type at about 69 wpm and type spontaneously at about 71 wpm. I do this on my computer.
Right back at the start, when practising typing at school, you may already know from some of the pages on this blog that I was two-finger-stabbing my way through the stories I had in my mind at the time. Learning to type just helped me do that so much faster. Then my mother bought a computer which helped me no end in school and of course it gave me a chance to practise what I was learning, do homework and the like. It also lead me into the world of online RPGs which was easy as the internet began to take off (I’ll always remember having to rush conversations so the dial up wouldn’t cut me off after the two hour and thirty minutes limit, and then rush back on again). But all on a computer.
When I finished To Be A Teenage Vampire, that was on my computer and the only reason I managed to do it, I think, is because I was able to type it. If I hadn’t, then it simply wouldn’t have been as easy (or possible) to do.
At university I didn’t have a computer and had to do most of my work on campus until my father gave me bits of his to make one up. That was like a crack in the dam for me; as soon as I got that PC (even without a working mouse) I was off and it was easier than ever to get my coursework down and, of course, to keep writing. That was about the time I started writing HouseMates.
When that computer finally died and I took the plunge to buy my own (with help from my mother) the damn cracked straight the way through and burst. I was on it every second I had to spare, surfing the internet, writing up my novels, playing through RPGs, playing PC games like Solitaire and Pharaoh. I’m surprised my housemates ever got to see me. Then when university was done and I took the computer with me to my first flat, the computer was my lifeline. All my friends had moved away, I was still growing to know people at work, but the computer gave me email and chat rooms and forums so I could stay in contact with the rest of the world outside and not become a total hermit. And of course continue to write.
My computer now is a means for me to express my feelings, write my ideas, share my ideas. I can use it to run my radio shows, I use it to write and store my novels. I use it to talk to you fine people all the time and I use it to stay in contact with my friends. Of course its the internet that enables me to do a lot of that stuff, but think about it; using a phone to visit sites like Facebook and Twitter is all well and good, but I can’t write these words on my phone. Not in the quantities I can as I’m typing. I’d never manage. In fact, I’d probably have worse RSI than I do currently and it would be in my thumbs rather than in my wrists. I wouldn’t be able to write quite as much as I do, or if I did it certainly wouldn’t go from my head to paper quite as fast. All in all, I would not be quite the same person I am now.
Perhaps it does, but its the truth. Point proven a couple of years back when my computer did actually die. On the one hand, I had a cluster of housemates, access to a laptop and working internet, so I wasn’t completely cut off. But being unable to use my own machine for the two weeks (I think that was it) that it was out of commission until I could buy a new one, was a horrible experience. I couldn’t write except by hand. I couldn’t play music except on my CD player. I couldn’t spend the amount of time online as I had been used to and, frankly put, I don’t ever want to have to go through that again.
Heh, and I bet you thought I’d say something like ‘family’ or ‘love’ didn’t you? :p
My 80 Post Challenge is brought to you with help from Tom Slatin’s 80 Journal Writing Prompts.