Writing on the Move

With the upcoming move, I’ll also be changing a lot of my current habits. In my experience, every time I’ve moved, my routine has gone out the window and I start again. I see this as a good thing, because we often get stuck in a rut and complain about “the same old same old”, but we never do anything about it. We always intend to, but it doesn’t happen. Moving makes you change it.

Anyway, packaged in this move is a good deal of commuting to work. When I tell people the details, their eyes go large and their mouths drop open, because they are gob smacked. OK, are you sitting down? I’ll be travelling two hours (each way) to work each day. “Are you kidding?” is a question I’ve been asked a fair bit in the last six to eight weeks. I just smile and say, “I never kid.” 😉

Yes, that’s a lot of travelling and anyone in their right mind would avoid it. Obviously I’m not in my right mind because I’m willing to do this. But the way I see it is that I’ll be sitting on a train and if I use the time effectively, this could be a very good thing! I could do exactly what I do at home, but on the train instead. In fact, I might (and should) even do more on the train as it’s uninterrupted time with no distractions. Being a writer, I am looking for ways to make some of this time my writing time – maybe the morning trip when my fellow commuters are quiet and sleepy and I’ll catch up on some reading time on what I think will be the noisier trip going home. Reading and writing have always been two of my loves, yet over recent years I have found that both have slipped further and further away from me. The commuting will bring them back to me and, believe it or not, the prospect is exciting!

The reading part of this scenario is easy. I take a book on the train and read it. No surprises there. However, I’ve been thinking about how I can make the most of my new “writing time”. Years ago, I would have bought myself a notepad or exercise book and written longhand. These days, I hate doing that. It’s fine for planning, but not effective (for me) for writing. So I started looking at mini notebooks (the laptop kind). Not only would I have all my files with me, I could happily type away to my heart’s content. Perfect!

Once I got the notion that this would be the way to go, I started checking them out. They are small, light and would provide exactly what I need. But…to buy one would set me back around $600. I could get an Asus EeePC for $327, which has Linux instead of Windows (I don’t have a problem with this), but the keys are quite small and I believe it would hinder my typing to the degree of being frustrating. Acer, HP, Dell and Toshiba have their own versions out, with larger keyboards. However, the problem is that I already have a normal sized laptop which works perfectly well (and is not even a year old yet) and I can’t justify spending $600 on a mini laptop. Admittedly, my current laptop is large and quite heavy compared to the smaller versions and wouldn’t really be suitable for lugging to work and back each day, but does that give me an open license to purchase another laptop?

Why not buy second hand, at a fraction of the cost? Sometimes I amaze myself at how brilliant I am. So I went to ebay (and a couple of other online auction places) to check out what bargains were available. In my mind, I’d be spoilt for choice, but in reality I discovered that purchasers on these sites obviously haven’t done their homework and they were buying used good for almost the same price as a brand new one. In many cases, purchasers of the Asus EeePC were paying more than shop prices! What’s wrong with these people?

Now I’m not sure what to do. I can see this travelling time being a perfect time to write, but I’m loathe to spend the money to set myself up because I don’t know how long I’ll be commuting. If I don’t buy the mini notebook, I know the new habits I form after I move will be detrimental to my writing, but if I do buy it I might only get a few months use out of it. Then again, I might love the routine and not want the commuting to stop.

I guess if I buy it and then stop the commuting in coming months, then I could put it up on ebay and hope some fool gives me my money back…or more!

1 thought on “Writing on the Move”

  1. Best of luck establishing some routine with the commute. I tried (unsucessfully) when living in Campbelltown and working in Parramatta, but I was just too tired being someone who stayed up way too late.

    Logic tells me the mini-laptop isn’t worth it, but hey I’m a gadget freak and it’d be too tempting for me to give in a buy it on impulse.


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