| David Gane
One week. Woohoo!
objects, pictures, or documents
I just finished How I Write: The Secret Lives of Authors, in which Dan Crowe and Philip Olterman ask writers:
Can you think for a minute about which object, picture, or document in your study reveals most about the relationship between living and writing, and then send it to us?
These kind of questions can be tricky, because they are linked to a writer's process.
There is a story—I don't know if it's apocryphal—that Stephen King is often asked what sort of pencil he uses, as if utilizing his tools, you'll unleash a similar muse.
Yet, I think Crowe and Olterman's question is more personal. It is the rituals we create within ourselves to write.
Sure, there were triggers I could relate to: James Flint's yerba maté, Jane Smiley's hot showers, or Matt Thorne's walking. But the one I connected best with was Efik Shafak's portable home.
My ideal situation is flexibility, so I feel my little 11 inch, MacBook Air that I bought when I knew Ang and I were going to write our first novel is my thing.
I used to have an iPad, which I loved, but it could never handle long Google documents before running slower and slower and I'd have to ask Ang to let me break our writing into smaller chunks in order for me to keep writing to the end.
It's my own personal, portable desk. All my files are available on it, whether it's what Ang and I are writing now, or our first script we wrote years ago. I have access to all my music, so I can put on headphones, and close off the world to do my work. I love the tight keyboard and always am thrown off when I have to use a wider one. Best of all, it's compact, so I can put it in my sling or in my backpack and carry it wherever.
the tool, not the object
To go back to the original question—what reveals most about the relationship between living and writing—I am not attached to my computer as a personal object. I have it all backed up, so if something were to happen to it, I'd wouldn't really be at a loss. I'd go out, buy a new one, and carry on.
My computer is a tool to get the work done. As long as it doesn't get in the way of doing the work, I tend to be happy.
Whatever allows me the flexibility to move and travel and work and live life is the object for me.
hey ang, thanks for the book. next time I see you, i'll give it to you to read.