Chose Your Weapons!

This title was inspired by a book I’d just read and reviewed about women in the military. One lady in particular was a Marine pilot and flew Cobras (gunships) in Iraq.

The Cobra is a two seater attack helicopter, and needs two people to operate it. One fly it, and one to target and drop the ordinance (bombs). As a consequence, the cockpit is tiny and crowed with equipment buttons and switches.  So, one must carefully select what one carries on board and must properly stow all of your equipment close at hand. Why? Because you don’t have time to hunt and paw through things when you are in a fire fight. . . . .

::Picturing some women tossing their pocketbooks for their keys, change, or glasses::

Not that I’m likening writing to war. . . . . but in a way I am.

When you are ready to write, are you really ready to write? Is you computer all booted up and ready to go?

I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve thrown a fit a hissy fit because my automatic online backup slowed my computer down to a crawl or froze it to where I couldn’t access the internet and/or write. Of course this meant the ideas that were hot and fresh out of the oven, went scattering into the wind like spooked chickens.  While I fussed at my computer and damned it, Carbonite, and the internet all to the ninth ring of hades.  In the end, there was no avoiding it.  I had to put on my geek mage persona to set things right.  Which meant no writing for me. . . . . . .

I got rid of Carbonite, by the way and now use MyPcBackup with no freezing or slowdown problems. Fancy that. . . . .

Back to the subject.

Is your computer and all of it’s peripherals ready?  Printers, software, camera, microphones?  

Are youready? Do you have your Big Chief Book with all of your codes handy just in case you have to visit a site that your browser doesn’t have auto access to?   If you use prescription reading glasses, do you have them handy? If you like to sip water, juice, coffee while writing, you have a cuppa nearby? If you like to snack, do you have a healthy snack nearby?  Notice I said healthy snack. . . . . .  

If you like to listen to music while you write, do you have your MP3 player close or do you have a radio/stereo setup close to you and on your fave station or playing your fave music? Is your environment’s temporature correct. If it’s cold in your “office”, are you dressed warmly enough? If it’s hot, do you have air conditioning, a fan or a window open so you have a nice cooling breeze. 

Last but not least, did you go potty?

Don’t laugh!  Personally, I’ve had more ideas go out of the window after having to make the forty yard dash to the “necessary” or “the “back house” as an Italian co-worker calls it.  And right in the middle of a good sprint too!

One thing I’ve recently added what I call my “bridge” (remember I am a “Trekkie” to the bone), is a timer. When I’m at home I try to spend a limit of two hours at a time on the computer. After the two hours are up, I go do something else for two hours or so then come back. Why? Because I found myself spending an entire day on the computer, not going out to work out, do errands, clean, cook. I was becoming a digital hermit or hobbit!

Being that I am poor and cannot afford slaves. . . . . and these things don’t get done by themselves. . . .

So, be sure to give yourself time outs. Like they say in baseball: “Get up and stretch”.  I say get out of the house! You’ll have a much fresher prospective towards your project when you do. Sometimes even a short nap will work.

Another important part of being prepared is having the proper supportive equipment. Banging away on the computer keyboard, and using the mouse, or mouse pad are considered repetitive action motions. Which means we can severely injure ourselves if we are not properly equipped.  

We avoid injury by using a proper office chair with lumbar support for the back, foot rest to elevate your feet/legs, ergonomic keyboards, ergonomic mouse pads, or wrist rests, to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome. All will save undo wear and tear on our precious limbs, for those who have made and wish to make writing their livelihood.

I hope this has been helpful or at least provided a laugh or two.  If so, I’ve done my job. . . . . .  :+)

                                      Gunship Cockpit

The “Necessary” or the “Back House” is the Bathroom.


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