As a writer and a mum, my top tip would be you have to just get on with writing wherever you are, whenever you can. To paraphrase a famous saying, the road to Hell is paved with lame excuses. You can’t find time/motivation to write? Then break down why it is you can’t and do something about it. Treat the problem holistically. We all have the same amount of time; but the reason you haven’t published your novel yet is due to not enough bum on seat/fingers on keyboard action. Identify your time stealers and work on making them less distracting. I’ll talk more about this another time, but for now, I’m going to talk hardware.
It’s often been said that the great thing about having a laptop is that your office can be absolutely anywhere. I’ve tried practically all the rooms in my house, but I’m often distracted by housework that needs doing (and in my house, there are MANY distractions in that respect.)
So I ventured outdoors. I often sat in the wendy house of a local play park while my son played nearby. But if I got interrupted when another child came to play, I would clear off (it’s only fair.) Then there came a time when I got stuck in between the little wendy house chair and the table. It was time to go on a diet. Or find another location. I chose to find another location.
But the screens on most laptops are rarely anti-glare, and unless you can turn your screen brightness up to 11 while it’s plugged in (outside?) you haven’t a hope. The battery would last about 5 minutes and you run the risk of losing all your work. My fantasy of sitting on a beach with my laptop will have to remain a fantasy. I don’t want to get sand in my laptop crevices . Who does?
But that’s the problem with laptops. The name itself. Laptop. You really shouldn’t put a laptop on your lap. This consumerist, throwaway society we live in dictates that most electrical products only have a life of about three years, even expensive ones. And to speed things along, things like laptops tend to have weak points that screw up the motherboard (I almost sound like I know what I’m talking about don’t I?)
The first thing to go on my last three laptops has been where the power cable goes into the machine. I recommend you always keep your laptop still on a table so the cable isn’t being jerked around.)
My friend Leanna owns a brilliant solution – a digital pen (aka computer pen). It writes on paper like a normal pen, but the words can be digitised into files that can be uploaded onto your computer. Writers get the best of both worlds; the feeling of pen to paper, without the grief of typing it all out again.
I got a little notebook computer and now I sit in the car writing while waiting for my kids to get out of school. It’s the best part of my day. No distractions, I can sit and write solidly. It’s a wonder I remember what I’m really there for. One day I’ll forget to pick the kids up, I just know it.
I’m going to have to wait a long, long time to buy one of my own, but Samsung have brought out a series of new laptops with an anti-glare screen. But if you’re looking for the pony’s cahonies of laptops to use in the great outdoors, theMacBook Pro 17 is highly recommended. Maybe my fantasy of sitting on a (stony) beach writing the last chapters of my novel might become a reality after all.