Saturday, September 30, 2006

Do Not Disturb: I'm Taking a Nap

I would never call anyone a nerd. I admire such people. I call them “tech savvy.” I am not tech savvy.

Yes, I have a website that I maintain myself, all 50+ pages. But it is a very simple website. I have a blog, an easy to do blog.

But I have to force myself to learn new things. I just got a new camera. A teeny lightweight digital camera, hardly bigger than my cell phone. (Incidentally, don’t cell phones get smaller and smaller? Pretty soon they’ll be nothing but a bud implanted in your ear.) The camera has more functions than I’ll ever use. I can turn pictures into cartoons, artwork, wallpaper, 3-D images, watercolors, and on and on. Hel, I just want them to turn out clear with people’s heads attached. So far, I’ve taken nine pictures and only two of them came out blurry and everybody had all their body parts. Right now I’m charging the battery (forgot to do that before I inserted it).

Here’s another example of how non-tech savvy I am. I signed up for an online critique class with Ray Rhamey. He has a great blog on subjects like editing your work and helpful hints like how to set up bookmarks within your document. It’ll only last one day, but to get ready I had to set up MSN messenger. Then today we did a test run to make sure we could all get into the chat room. (It’s good there are only four students and Ray, ‘cause today we kept getting off subject. We’ll have to be more focused for the actual class.) I couldn’t find the chat room. I could IM the other members, but had to have someone send me an invitation to join, then voila I’m in. Luckily, one of the other students is definitely tech savvy. She pointed out obscure things like a whiteboard available to us if needed.

What is all this leading to? Well, just like I have to be dragged into chat rooms, I sometimes have to kick myself to get started. I’ll reach a point where I’m stuck in my writing. I can waste a whole day – make that a week – with things to avoid writing. Three techniques usually work for me.

1. I force myself to sit at the computer and work or I will take pad and pen and start listing possible directions the manuscript or scene could go.

2. I read a book. Sometimes fiction, but often one on writing. A book on writing, whether it’s on writing in my genre or how to write a query letter, will usually trigger something that will send me back to the manuscript.

3. I take a nap. For me, that’s not procrastination because I do focused imagination or dreaming. I see the scene in my head and let it run.

As for today, reading the manual on my camera is doing nothing for my writing. I think I’ll take a nap. Don't wake me. It may look like I'm sound asleep, but I'm really watching the movie of my book playing out on the back of my eyelids.

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