by Bobbie Christmas
I devoted an entire chapter to my Bill of Writes for writers in my seven-award-winning book on creative writing titled Write In Style: How to Use Your Computer to Improve Your Writing. Special to SPAWN, I have agreed to list and explain each item in my Bill of Writes through a series of articles. Below is number four in my Bill of Writes. Watch for the remaining items in future newsletters.
You Have the Right to Buy the Equipment You Want
Many years ago my sister Jean came to America to find a good laptop computer, because the prices and choices were better in America than in Australia, where she lives. My brother Barry took the two of us to several stores, while Jean pondered her choices. At that time I had never considered getting a laptop, but watching Jean and Barry discuss their functions and practicalities whetted my appetite. I could not justify spending the money, though. My office is in my home, and at that time I had a fully functioning Mac desktop computer, and did not have as extensive a travel schedule as my sister did.
Jean set up her laptop in my spare bedroom, and I watched while she loaded software and put the machine through its paces and extolled the virtues of owning a laptop. Her office went with her, no matter where she went. Soon my heart ached to own a laptop too.
Jean returned to Australia, and I spent months researching, wavering, studying brands, and considering their advantages and disadvantages, before I gave myself permission to buy a laptop.
At first I played games on my new toy. I had little other use for it. Soon I found that when clients sent me PC disks I could easily work on them with my laptop. I did not have to convert the files to Mac and convert them back to PC files when I finished. One good project performed on the laptop paid for my new equipment.
Seven months later, I took my laptop to Australia and spent a month with my sister while I wrote the book proposal for what turned out to be Write In Style, the first book I ever sold to a traditional publisher. Not only was I able to write my book proposal, but I was also able to stay in touch with friends and maintain my business by email, even though I was halfway around the world.
When I later broke my leg, instead of closing down my business, I was able to work on my laptop, even though I could not go down the stairs to reach my office. Today, several iterations of laptops later, my laptop is usually on, and I have two offices in my house—one upstairs and one downstairs, one Mac-based, and one PC-based.
You never know when you will need equipment. Follow your urges and buy what you want, and soon you will need it or find uses for it. You have the right to buy equipment that makes your writing life easier, more pleasant, and more successful.
Bobbie Christmas is a book doctor with twenty-five years of experience and is the author of Write In Style: How to Use Your Computer to Improve Your Craft, winner of seven awards. Her website is www.zebraeditor.com.