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When Writing Routines Get Broken Up

goat-dancingI like to think of myself as fairly flexible and resourceful, but sometimes I wonder.

This morning, for the second day in a row at about 6:45 a.m. my internet and phone have gone down. I use the same cable service for both.

Yesterday when this happend I got through to the company on my cell phone and they “reset the modem” from their end and everything worked fine. When I asked what had happened I got typical customer service gobbledygook about technology which I ignored.

Today I I reset my own modem, twice, restarted the computer a couple of times and half an hour later called again.

This time the customer service rep said she couldn’t reset my modem virtually and I’d have to wait up to 24 hours for a tech to call and not only that I’d have to talk to the internet folks as well. I was on hold the the internet folks a couple of minutes and they have an automatic message suggesting I unplug the modem from the wall.

If your office is like mine, figuring out which black cord goes from the modem to the power strip ain’t easy. Before I got that done a gal came on the line and shortly there after the modem lights all started working.

No, I don’t know if she did something, I jiggled something, or just held my mouth the right way.

I can’t think what might happen around me at 6:45 that would cause a cable modem to quit. Power surge or dip? Lights and other appliances show no signs of it. Something the cable folks are doing? Maybe.

Whatever it is, it throws me completely for an hour or so and I get nothing done much even when it’s all working again.

In theory I think change is good. It’s possible being thrown offline two days in a row will end up being good for me. On the other hand, I’m much more comfortable now that I’m getting some of my work done even if it’s almost three hours late.

Why the goat? That’s the goat I dance with when stuff gets crazy!

How locked in are you to your writing routine?


Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Lou Paun

    Oh, the hours I have wasted with help desks! My home is located in a cable ‘trouble spot’ that the company has never been able to diagnose, let alone repair. I finally switched to DSL. It’s slower, but so much easier on my nerves! There were always backup places to work, but not knowing if the internet would be out for an hour, a day, or a week was just too stressful.

    • Anne

      I hope I don’t have to switch, but I’m willing to… ah the drama 😉

  • Louise

    I don’t even have a writing routine! At the moment, I have a day job in a kitchen and my shifts change every week so I just write when I’m not working there. I’m just starting as a freelance writer so giving up the day job isn’t an option for me right now, but this lack of system works for me.

    • Anne

      Louise, your lack of a system may indeed be your system for the time being. Good luck.

  • Ed

    I used to fume and fret over such interruptions to my daily routine. Now, with a few (okay, many) gray hairs, I take the flaky Internet connection or printer jam as a sign to slow down and remember why I became a freelance writer: to enjoy the closeness to family and break the chains of 9-to-5 restrictions. I know we all get into deadline thinking where the least bump can throw us into a tizzy, but it is especially at these moments when we need a heavy dose of perspective. It’s difficult during those times, but it helps to think what is the most terrible outcome: you lose a day’s work; you lose a client; you hurt your professional reputation. But you won’t die (except for some of the really demanding clients) and you likely won’t be on the street and your family and friends won’t abandon you. On the other hand, stress from worrying and fretting over things which you have no control, is directly linked to heart disease and death. I’d much prefer to grab another coffee and go for a walk.

    Ed’s last blog post..Chicago Sun-Times Files For Chapter 11

    • Anne

      You’re reading my mind… I did little writing yesterday. Same today and over the weekend… realized I was feeling written out and I trust my process enough to honor it.

  • The goat dance – do you promise to put that up on YouTube? 🙂

    After my power issues last spring, I located a few contingencies. The library, the coffee shops, the local Burger King – all have WiFi. The trouble begins and ends with the stuff locked on the hard drive, however. It’s a great case for an external drive. Seriously, I’m relying too much on the Mozy online account, which does not back up my emails, which is where my info usually is.

    Either that or the workaround, which is to save copies of my emails to my online account. Ugh. What a mess THAT would be!

    Lori’s last blog post..Meet the Author: Colin Galbraith

    • Anne

      youtube and goat dancing… got to find a goat first 😉
      I use carbonite for my offline backup… I hear mozy is good too.

  • It is always so disorienting when stuff like this happens. My “a” key quite on me and we remapped the keyboard. Whenever I am caught without a computer, it makes me realize how beautiful going offline and writing with a pen and paper can be but still, there’s always something I need to do on it that makes me feel antsy!

    Katherine’s last blog post..From the Writer’s Desk – June 2, 2009

    • Anne

      lol, only it isn’t exactly funny.
      I seem to remember a science fiction story or book where everything was the same except the letter j was missing… a great thought experiment.

  • My writing routine was recently broken when my laptop crashed. I was on deadline and panicked. Thankfully, I was moved to top priority at the computer shop because this laptop is used for business purposes–I had my computer back the next day. I was able to meet (and beat) my deadlines even though that happened. It’s such a blessing that everything went as smoothly as it did. I’m not going to focus on the alternative; it would have been awful! LOL


    P.S. Love the goat photo. I have a goat named Nancy. When I find a male, I’m going to name him Drew and the pair will be “Nancy Drew”. 😉

    Michele’s last blog post..Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing Contest Giveaway!

    • Anne

      awwww… how about a pix of nancy while we wait?

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