Friday, February 18, 2011

Computers and Writing Routines

We have painters and carpet layers at work this week (that is, at my Wednesday and Friday job - I have a different job on the other days). On Wednesday when I arrived everything was being packed into boxes, and to add to the chaos, my computer had refused to start and was off site for repairs. So I gathered a few files and took them home, where I was able to do some work by logging on to the new computer database which is hosted at the head office in another city. Today I arrived at work with a car boot full of files, to find that our main room had been emptied out, and staff were perched in any odd corner they could find. I tried to find a corner for myself, but there was nowhere left. My computer is the server for some of our databases, and it needed to be close enough to the others so they could stay plugged in. An hour or two in a small room that was going to be taken over by the painters by noon was all I could manage. So I did the essentials, gathered up more files and headed home again.

Even though the database looks exactly the same, it feels strange working on my computer at home. It set me thinking about the importance of place in routine. When I am at work I focus on work, I get absorbed in what I am doing and the time often goes quite quickly. On my home computer it seemed different. I was more inclined to check my personal e-mails, take a few minutes here and there to look at websites, get up and walk around and so on. I did work longer into the evening though, which made up for all the mini-breaks.

Still, it seems that the work computer triggers work thoughts, and the home computer triggers thoughts of surfing the internet, checking e-mail, and playing sudoku. Poetry is another matter. I've been trying to set up a regular poetry writing routine but I don't have a particular poetry writing place. I remember a questionnaire put out by the now inactive site Readwritepoem, and one of the questions on it was "what's the strangest place you ahve ever written a poem?" When it comes down to it, all my poems are written in the same place - in my head. I might start off by free writing, but most of the work seems to get done while I am driving or walking or gardening. When I get to pen and paper, or the computer, I am setting it down, rather than actually writing. That's all very well, but what do I do if nothing comes? I can't help feeling that there is something I could be doing to prompt poems to show up in my head more regularly, but I'm not yet sure what it is.

So, what about you? How do you write, and where?

9 comments:

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Catherine - just wanting to let you know we're thinking of you, aware of the shock and distress you're dealing with up in Christchurch. Take best care - sending love, Claire

Joan said...

Are you OK Catherine. I cannot believe what has happened. Take care .. love and prayers..

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Catherine, hope you're okay, that's one horribly big earthquake,

Deb said...

Here echoing Crafty's concerns.

Mary McCallum said...

Hope you're safe Catherine. I added a postscript to your Tuesday Poem post about the quake .... take care.

Joanna Preston said...

Hi Catherine, hope you're ok.

joannejohns said...

Worried about you like everyone else! Hope you're okay and considering moving to a less shaky city ;)

Carmi said...

Hi Catherine. I hope everything's OK with you and your family in the wake of the latest quake. I pray New Zealand recovers from this.

I hope you can post an update soon, as it's clear from your comments that many of your friends around the world are worried.

Joseph Harker said...

Like everyone else, hoping you and yours are all right... please do post an update when you can, though I imagine there are rather more serious things to deal with than checking in with blog groupies. :\