I was a reluctant convert to laptops. For a while, laptops meant creative writing, desktops meant scholarly. Over the years, there have been so many iBooks and MacBooks, I’ve lost track of when I started trying to be creative on a desktop. Blog writing is different, of course, because if I took it seriously, I’d want it to be scholarly. Instead, I don’t take it seriously and it’s somewhere between pragmatic and creative, which I suppose means pragmatic and scholarly are on opposite ends, which doesn’t make sense. Of course, I also don’t like the idea of two whiches in one sentence. Yet that sort of nonsense is the kind of nonsense Maugham does often enough to be annoying. And it’s not a question of grammatical correctness because I don’t care. Not really. Not when writing for free. But also because Maugham talks about not caring in Summing Up; he’s going for how the sentence reads. And, whether we like it or not, a semi-colon and a dash do different things. Anyway. I’ve had problems writing, creatively, with desktops. I wrote the entire first novel on a laptop, I wrote the entire second novel on a bluetooth keyboard not seated the desk. Laying down. I like to write, creatively, laying down. And I’ve been trying to break myself of that practice for six or seven years. Not because there’s anything wrote with it, but because it wasn’t always something I did. Quality aside, I wrote standing up when I worked at the Options Exchange and had to say a text document I’d been working on to a floppy disk or something. Right? We still had floppy disks in 1997, didn’t we? We were savages. No wonder we let the Internet happen the way it did. So stupidly. But I hate the habit. I hate having such a severe creative writing habit. I tried doing it with the iPad with no success; even though I wrote every Comics Fondle response on the iPad. I didn’t like splitting—iPad for Comics Fondle, iMac for Stop Button. It seemed like I should be able to control it. But then I stopped using the iPad as much because I got a laptop. And my Comics Fondle responses have suffered. The laptop didn’t actually do much for creative writing, but it did do a lot more than an iPad could do. It changed my habits. It renewed my interest in the desktop. It pulled me away from the iPad and comics. Summing-Up and Stop Button have things in common. Longer posts, needing to do research; longer posts means needing distraction, research means web browsing, new ideas. The work spaces have their separate advantages, their separate drawbacks. I’ve got some ideas for a way to even things out. I just go the idea writing this post. Sometimes I prefer just ignoring the reasons for the process quirks and obnoxiously running with them, but it seems like not understanding them means not making sure they’re functioning as well as possible. Why wouldn’t you want the ideal writing situation? I used to hand write then type it into WordPerfect. I only got into computer word processing because of screenplay formatting because I was one of those. And I loved academic papers so I became a Word citation snob. But I went to MFA school and I let the citation snobbery inform a formatting snobbery. Only once for one of my stories and it wasn’t successful, but I learned about how I confused readers. I learned how I read differently than other people. And I was able to use it to control reader experience; it’s distraction through confusion and artfully done. It’s like appreciating the magic trick’s solution, which is something I brought to Stop Button and Comics Fondle. Cynicism but somehow admirably sincere cynicism, which is also my first novel and pretty much every short story I’ve ever written. But it’s not the second novel. And because I’m not in MFA school, it’s taken a while for impact of the writing of the second novel to play out. It helps I hate writing query letters. Again, understanding this stuff makes it easier to break into its pieces and how they function. It’s not iterative, it’s cannabilistic, it’s destructive. It’s reductive; it purifies but unintentionally, disinterestedly. It’s hostile.

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