Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Winter of My Disc Content

The month of November was once again full of significance for me. Not only did it begin with the event of the election full of such profound symbolism for the path I’ve been on for twelve years, but it was one of the most productive in terms of new attitudes, new skills acquired and most important of all, the highest word count of new material other than my journal in this first year of rededication to my avocation after the two year hiatus imposed by the loss of my computer and paper files in 2001. I am most pleased with the rebirth of my two web sites, Joywrite and Joyread and this, their newest sibling, Joystory. And now that they are posted and I find I am not ashamed of them, it is time to learn the new skill of promoting them. But that is going to have to take second place always to the imperative of producing new content for them

And for a time, I need to declare securing the safety of my work product a very close second to new production. The events of November 17 re-sensitized me to the fragility of paper files and the ephemeral nature of computer files. I need to dedicate some serious attention to finding ways and means of backing up my files in multiple formats and multiple locations so that I am never again faced with such a serious loss of morale that work stops and life loses its passion for years. Nor ever again forced to risk life and limb to rescue my files. This time it turned out I was not in real danger (at least from fire, though in my panic I could have seriously injured myself even fallen and succumbed to hypothermia before I was found) but I believed I was and chose the safety of my files over my own. So, in honor of the first day of winter, I have declared this the Winter of My Disc Content and am requiring of myself to have solved the problem before the crocus break ground in February.

Even as I make this commitment I am feeling overwhelmed by it. My time on the computer is so limited and my projects are proliferating as well as word count. And just as I got the ball rolling so well on my three web sites, my use of the computer, which is not mine but my in-laws, became even more curtailed when the living room couch became my sister-in-law’s bed. Now I am working only by the light of the screen and typing slow and careful to minimize the clicking of the keys on this noisiest keyboard I’ve ever worked with since my last manual typewriter. This makes it quite difficult to compose new material because I am forced to type soooo much slower than I think. Slower even than writing by hand. (Which is why I have been spending most of my sessions reading articles and occassionaly blogging them. It is not my intention for this site to be primarily an amature pundit zone.)

Although my sister-in-law has graciously said that my working at the computer doesn’t bother her, I’m not so sure that is true and I can’t help but feel that her paycheck-job trumps what is essentially my hobby at this point. But in spite of my guilt feelings I continue to work several hours each night. And sometimes on into the morning hours after those with paycheck jobs leave for work. When I can get a few tasks requiring light and/or rapid typing done. But then I am contending with a very loud TV as my father-in-law enjoys his Westerns and Game Shows. Nor can I be online except for very brief excursions after six when phone calls become more likely. This forces me to split my sleep schedule into two or more naps instead of one normal length sleep. Don’t know how long I can keep that up without doing serious damage to my mood and energy levels which are essential resources for my work. If I believed in Santa I would ask for a laptop and a connection to the net that doesn’t share a line with the phone so that I could work at my own discretion. But wishing for that is about as helpful as wishing for a cure for my RP in my life time. And I must keep in mind that I still have things better than many. I think especially of one of my favorite bloggers.

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