Wednesday, December 4, 2013

4th Most Traumatic Event

I realize this doesn’t rank with a death in the family, divorce, or even moving, which are considered the most traumatic events a person can go through. But for me, a writer who spends more time on her laptop than anywhere else, including bed, buying a new laptop has nearly driven me to anxiety drugs.

When I bought my old laptop nearly 7 years ago, I was about to leave Los Angeles with this crazy, wild idea that I could write romance novels. I’d started one already, and had big dreams for more. I figured that buying a top-of-the-line laptop would make a statement to myself (and maybe the rest of the world) that I was serious. I wasn’t sure exactly what the future would bring, but I hoped it would include lots of writing and travel and hopefully some real-life romance. It was me and my laptop, taking on the world, trying to make those crazy dreams happen.

Well, they happened. I met my husband, we launched our Alaska-Hawaii existence, and I wrote like a madwoman. I joined RWA, I began to learn the business, I wrote more, I started getting contracts, I wrote more. I wrote so much that I had to replace the keyboard on my laptop, and even so, today the tech at the Apple store guessed I was a writer based on the hole I’d worn in the space bar. I was the girl on fire, writing under two names, book after book after blog post after Facebook update. When I bought my old laptop, I didn’t have a website or a Facebook page. In fact, “Juniper Bell” didn’t even exist.

In other words, that laptop has seen me through an entire life. New name, new career, new husband, new home. Part of me sees no reason to upgrade, except that I need something with better battery life, and the new generation is far superior in that respect. More power is nice too, and let’s face it, in the Mac world 7 years is considered “vintage.” Replacing my beloved laptop (though it’s not going anywhere, I’ll still keep it as a backup) is a little like a divorce, a death, and moving all rolled into one traumatic event. I have to move all my stuff, and say goodbye to a beloved companion. At least there are no custody issues.

Even though the new laptop is a sleek, crisp, stunning 13-inch Retina display MacBookPro, I don’t have the kind of history with it that I have with my old one. It’s such an intimate relationship—me and this tech masterpiece, communing with each other for hours and hours, day in and day out. So here’s my secret fear: what if all the good things that came to me while I wrote on that laptop were thanks to it? What if the new one doesn’t have the same magic?

I guess there’s only one way to find out. I appreciate any good wishes (or anti-anxiety meds) you care to send my way.

What sort of computer do you use, and do you have this kind of attachment to yours? Am I simply being overly neurotic?


Meg Benjamin said...

Good luck, kid. I sincerely adore my MacBook Air, but I still have my old first-generation Mac laptop and state-of-the-art (7 years ago) desktop model since the hubs prefers them for himself.

Skylar Kade said...

I'm the opposite--always really excited for a new laptop...but then it takes me weeks to really start using it because it's such a pain to set up!

I think the new MacBook Airs are sleek and sexy, totally worthy of a kick ass romance writer! Good luck :)