HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Workman

It's hard to be a writer when your tools are absolutely rubbish.

It's not my fault. Every time I sit down to start writing - and I mean writing properly, because blogs don't count and everyone knows it - my tools make it entirely impossible to be creative. I sit down to write a perfect sentence (grammatically faultless, insightful, profound, never before written) and my chair is too high.

So I lower my chair.

And then I sit down to write the same perfect sentence, and my chair is too low.

So I raise my chair.

And then I have to go to the shops and buy a cushion for it, because I can't concentrate on the perfect sentence when my butt hurts.

The perfect sentence is still there, though, waiting to be written, so I sit down and decide that it is about time I wrote it.

But I can't, because the space bar has broken on my laptop and alligetisalotofprosethatlookslikethis. So I email home to England so that I can get my desktop shipped over to Japan, because I have suddenly realised that a bestselling novel is never going to be written with a broken space bar and a computer I have to crouch in front of like a big literary spider, and what I really need is my computer - my precious computer - and I can't write a single solitary word of a bestselling novel until I get it, because what is the point inwritinganovelthatlookslikethis?

Although it would still be better than anything Stephanie Myer drivels out.

So I wait a month, and I spend a fortune (my dad spends a fortune) getting my computer sent to Japan - a computer with a perfectly respectable space bar - and then I discover that the keyboard is entirely unworkable.

Literally unworkable. The keys are too high, and too sticky and it feels like playing the piano. It is a veritable threat to my health, this keyboard. It is going to give me arthritis. I cannot concentrate when I am being given arthritis.

Never mind that I wrote six chapters of the novel in England on this exact keyboard and it was thoroughly easy and painless. It was a fluke. I was numb to pain: I worked in the reception of the NHS.

So now - of course - I have to wait to receive my brand new, expensive, state-of-the-art keyboard before I can start writing the perfect sentence in the perfect book, in the perfect life that has to - absolutely has to - be mine before I can do anything.

The problem is: my heartbreak is now over, or the short-term type is; the incessant Yokohama rain has stopped; the long working Yokohama hours have stopped. I am in the sunshine by the sea: happy, free, with plenty of time on my hands to write the damned book that is going to mean I can write and write about writing and procrastinate before writing forever. I just don't appear to have a computer that will do it for me.

So - until the keyboard turns up in a few days - I'm delaying the start of my masterpiece again. Because at some stage - when I have replaced every single piece of technology in my house and possibly both wrists and arms, just in case they're getting in my way too - I am going to write the most perfect sentence that anybody has ever written, which will be a part of the most perfect book that anybody has ever written, and will result in the most perfect book that anybody has ever read.

And - if I don't - it will be all the fault of these goddamn tools.