When the Tools You Use Don’t Serve You

As you know from last week’s post, I was without a computer for several days.  And I discovered two things:

1.  I couldn’t get my stories on the page without a computer.

2.  That has to change.

I have a friend who writes longhand on legal pads.  Piles and piles of legal pads, filled with scrawled sentences and paragraphs.  Every time I see those yellow pads all I can think of is how cramped her hand and fingers must be.  Because I know how quickly my muscles lock in pain when I write by hand.

Now, I’ve never been the first kid on the block to jump into using a computer, buying a cell phone, or anything that’s state of the art or the “latest and greatest.”  In fact, you’ll have to drag me kicking and screaming into the new operating system on my new computer.  My current slant on technology is that if it ain’t broke, don’t mess it up fix it.

I work faster and smarter when I’m already comfortably familiar with my tools.

So when did I reach the point where the thought of writing on paper until my computer gets back from the shop sends me looking for something else to do?  Like cleaning house.  Or scrubbing toilets.

Like I said, I don’t like it, and my attitude has to change.  How would I have accomplished anything a few years ago, when the electricity was off for over two weeks, if I had quit when the battery in the computer did?

I guess what I’ve learned is that it’s always a good idea to review how the tools I use help my productivity, as well as how they hinder my creativity.  I don’t want to find myself sitting around some day because my tools aren’t working.  And that applies to any tools in the cloud, writer’s prompt and outlining tools, brainstorming programs, or the next must-have app.

So I think I’ll be writing something by hand each week.  Exercising that manual tool I’ve been neglecting for a long time.  Maybe not an all day writing jag, but I’ll write until my hand cramps up.

What is the writing tool without which you couldn’t work?  And how is that tool helping your writing process?  Can you see any way it hinders your creativity?  Let us know in the comments.