This is a story about a new MacBook. But, this is also a story of so, so much more. I won’t rewind too far, just to February, right around the time I started this blog. I knew I was supposed to write something, but I didn’t know what I was going to write. In fact, I was procrastinating on writing, and I decided to gather supplies. In my mind, I needed software (Scrivener) and I needed hardware (a laptop). We have a very nice desktop, but I convinced myself that I needed to accomplish 99% of my writing at a coffee shop. In fact, I had amassed Starbucks cards and squirreled them away for the sole purpose of using them for weekend writing sessions.
At the time I started writing, our “office” (aka our third bedroom) was a holding space for items that didn’t happen to have homes ever since we moved in three years prior. It also is where our oldest takes her quiet time surrounded by paper, scissors and coloring supplies. I couldn’t imagine attempting to start a novel sitting in the same room as my daughter. So my husband pulled our desktop out of the office, and I sat in an upholstered rocking chair with the monitor balanced on a tray on top of an ottoman. It wasn’t ideal, but it allowed for peace and solitude.
From the beginning of this leg of my writing journey, I prayed about getting a laptop. Since our desktop is a Mac, I wanted a MacBook, so I could easily sync Scrivener and not have to purchase two software licenses. But, Macbooks (as everyone knows), are not cheap. There are PLENTY of other slim laptops that are hundreds of dollars cheaper. I couldn’t justify the expense (especially since I was determined to not let any financial burden of my writing fall on our general household expenses). So, I waited and I prayed. I prayed and prayed each month. “God, just give me a small miracle and make a way for me to get a Macbook.”
Months passed, and I didn’t buy a laptop. But, I started amassing words on my work in progress. Then, we painted the office and decorated it, and we made it a space that I could relax and concentrate. We moved the desktop from our bedroom back into the office. I still didn’t want to disturb our oldest during her quiet time, so I didn’t write during nap time/ quiet time like I had hoped. I shoved writing in after bedtime and on weekends. And somehow the words kept growing. I still didn’t have a laptop for my “necessary” weekend trips to the coffee shop.
In that time, my husband got a keyboard for his iPad. It didn’t have Scrivener, but I could use Google Docs, so I headed to my first writing-dedicated outing to the coffee shop, about three or four months after I started writing. It was a disaster.
In theory, Google Docs should work, but I had a few things against me. First, iPads (and their respective micro-keyboards) are NOT easy to type on. In the short term, it’s fine, but it’s not conducive to hours of writing. I fought with the typing and then I had to deal with how to find my edits. I wrote all edits in red type (again, formatting text on iPads is not as easy). Then, I came home and transferred my edits into my Scrivener file. Somehow I lost hundreds of words in the process. I still don’t know where those words are.
So, I ditched iPad writing after a few hours and went back home. I sat down at my desktop and worked. And I worked and worked and worked. Then, I started sitting in the office during quiet times and typed with headphones in while my daughter made crafts or played with toys. She will still stop me occasionally to show me something, but for the most part, she has respected my writing time (which is a LOT to expect from a four-year-old!). So, during quiet times I added even more words.
And, now, today, I have around 83k words on my novel. Eighty-three thousand words that I typed without the use of a laptop. Eighty-three thousand words I didn’t think I could write without a laptop. I just knew my life with my kids was too hectic to write in.
I was wrong.
I used my stage of motherhood as an excuse not to write. I used my lack of a laptop as an excuse. But, that’s all they were, they were just excuses. Over the last five months, I have proved to myself that I can write with determination, hard work, and hundreds of hours in front of a desktop. I can do this writing thing. I am a writer.
And, today (yesterday at the time of this posting), I walked into a store with my husband and kids, just to check on prices, and walked out with a MacBook of my very own. As we were driving home, my husband said some of the best five words I’ve heard “I’m so proud of you.” I sat there for a minute (secretly misty-eyed), and I realized, “you know what? I’m proud of me too.” After all of the years of excuses for why writing was a dead dream, I am looking at finishing my first draft in under six months.
And now, I have a new “friend” to move forward with in the editing stage.
This MacBook is a miracle, not just because of my possession of it, but because it represents months of determination.
I am beyond blessed and grateful with how far I’ve come.