So, just a few notes ago I was remarking on how lucky I felt to be living in Santa Fe, and what a positive effect it had on my writing. Fast forward a few months and now here we are, in Colorado—a move that was conceived of by, well, me.
Although I still feel as though New Mexico has captured my heart forever, our migration north was motivated by many factors: affordability, education, the chance to garden again. Though I looked forward to the move, I was also apprehensive about uprooting in the middle of working on my story collection. Would the move negatively impact my writing?
The short answer is—yes, it did. Focusing on paint chips, settling Lu into her new school and unpacking all worked against me as I tried in vain to pick up where I’d left off. When I finally did have time to write, I loathed the pages I produced and despaired of writing anything decent ever again.
Still, I wrote. And wrote and wrote and wrote. I crumpled pages, cursed my computer and took up writing on Lucy’s old portable typewriter, just to see if it would help. The surprising thing was, it did! For me, staring at a blank page on a typewriter is far less intimidating than sitting in front of a blank computer screen. For the first time in months, I felt I had the freedom to make mistakes, to take bigger risks, to start over after getting lost in blind alleys. For a few days I pounded out the beginning of a new draft, then took the work upstairs to my computer for completion. Words flowed. I was amazed.
All of this has made me wonder about the creative process, the shifts in consciousness that have developed as we make technological gains. For now, I’m okay back on the computer. But part of me wonders: should I stick to the typewriter? What do you think? Are there any non-computer tricks you use to get back on track?