TECHNOLOGICALLY UNTETHERED

Writing Space – Where do you produce your best writing — at your desk, on your phone, at a noisy café? Tell us how the environment affects your creativity.


If you’d asked this question a year ago, I would have said “my office,” because that was where I did everything. These days, I do everything on the laptop in the living room, often with the television in the background and dogs jumping on and off the sofa.

75-OfficeHDR-CR-2This probably doesn’t sound like an ideal arrangement for a writer but it suits me — at this point in my life. As recently as a year ago, I would not have been able to write like this. Even now, I can write much faster in a less distracting environment … but it seems I can write anywhere if I have a:

  • Computer
  • WiFi
  • Comfortable chair.

Note: If it’s morning, I also need coffee.

You’ll notice the list is bulleted, not numbered. This is because I don’t want to imply an order to these requirements. I need all of them, but not necessarily in sequence. (Once a tech writer, always a tech writer.)

The rest of the stuff I need is in my brain, which is convenient because I don’t have to remember where I left it.

WiFi and laptops changed everything. As long as I had to be wired to the network and the only powerful computer I had was on the big oak desk, that was where work had to be done. I worked at home much of the last 15 years of my professional life and built a structure at home to accommodate it. I also needed a door to close when I had to work without interruption.

The world, my life, technology … everything, really … has changed. I’m not on anyone’s clock, not even my own. I don’t have deadlines except for those I create for myself. My granddaughter grew up. My husband settled into retirement and developed his own rhythm, avocations and interests. The phone stopped ringing.

It’s a quieter life, even with televisions and nutty dogs. WiFi and a laptop let me do whatever I want anywhere it’s comfortable.

We used to dream about “a portable office.” I was working at Intel while they were refining wireless technology. It wasn’t entirely reliable yet, but I was assured it would be very soon and then, everything would be wireless. I was dubious, but here we are. Aside from needing to plug into an electrical socket, we are free to roam.

Roam was not built in a day, but it’s here. Now, if we can develop a way to get electricity without a cord or build batteries that work like the battery Jeff Goldblum had in “Independence Day,” we will be totally untethered.

I would also like to grow wings and fly. Is Intel working on that?



Categories: Writing

Tags: , , , , , ,

20 replies

  1. I’m also a couch/living room/TV kind of writer. I only pause the TV when I’m making my final read-throughs.
    “Roam was not built in a day” 🙂

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  2. I guess Intel was better at predicting the future than AT&T was. I did a post once on AT&T’s “You Will” series of ads they did 20 years ago that predicted a bold new world of technology…. but that bold new world still had payphones in it!!! How did they of all companies, not realize the cellphone revolution was on the horizon!?!?

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    • There would be a lot more hi tech companies if they had been better at predicting the future. DEC was huge, Massachusetts’ biggest employer with more than 30,000 employees at its peak. Gone. Wang was one of the first arrived and first gone. For that matter — Grumman. They built the first space shuttles. I was there when they were working with NASA. Gone and they were one of Long Island’s biggest employers. I worked for ALL of them. They all took wrong turns in the road and dead-ended. AT&T is still here. No small achievement considering.

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  3. I like the Roam thing too.

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  4. Actually yes, I do believe Intel is working on that. Many things. I agree, as long as I have a comfy chair, laptop, and Wi-Fi, I can get about anything done. I am not good at tuning out TV’s or loud music, but it’s just me so I can easily turn that stuff off. The one distraction that will NOT be ignored is Kizzie. Especially if it is storming. If it is storming, I drop what I’m doing and go find a blanket and toss it over my legs…she snuggles up and then she is good again. Until you have to get up to use the restroom or get something to drink. I kind of baby her through this, because it’s really not her fault she is this way.

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    • If there’s lightning, I run around turning ALL the computers off and unplugging them too. We’ve been hit by lightning three times in this house and it’s taken out a couple of computers, a router and a modem each time! No surge protector is good enough to protect from a lightning bolt. That’s a LOT of juice.

      One of my dogs is totally whacked and as soon as there’s a storm, he runs outside to bark at the thunder. Bonnie likes to watch storms from the back of the sofa in front of the picture window. The other two figure it’s as good a time as any to beg for treats. But they think that all the time.

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  5. Roam wasn’t built in a day… OK, that was funny!

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  6. I don’t require much. Just the ability to focus.

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  7. Currently desk less at the moment….

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