Creativity and equipment failure

As I wrote the last two posts on the increasingly severe and frequent computer problems I’ve been having, I clicked the "creativity" category in addition to "publishing" and "web/tech." I knew it felt right to consider this discussion part of "creativity," although obviously I haven’t been talking directly about creativity at all. Yet the critical topic for me is creativity: access to the tools that I need to do the work I have planned, on the one hand, and the need to use creative muscle to get through the logjams, on the other.

Faced with equipment failure or health challenges (or both, as I have been), I could shift directions and be creative in other ways, of course; that would involve abandoning massive amounts of work already done and commitments to other people. My preference is to stay the course.

We need materials and tools, and sometimes we are tied to deadlines and a change of activities will result in major consequences down the road.

I’ve just ordered a new computer. In terms of cash flow, the timing leaves a whole lot to be desired. In terms of work flow, the timing of not having access to adequate equipment is worse. Fortunately, I just need the box. I’ve got the monitor and all the other peripherals in place.

I spent some time online and found a computer that was in stock ("ships in 24 hours"), was just a box (i.e., did not require me to buy a whole system), has the appropriate capacity now and some expansion headroom for the future, runs the operating system that I need (no small matter in the current market and not available locally), and, while not budgeted for, was quite a good deal, looked at from a long-term perspective. While it’s true that my secondary, not-quite-seven-year-old computer gives me access to e-mail and the web and some basic programs, it’s also true that I click on Eudora to pick up my mail in the morning and then go do yoga and have breakfast and read the paper and it might have displayed the messages by the time I get back.

Running an independent publishing company and being a writer are challenging enough. Attempting to do these things without a fundamental set of tools, even for two weeks, is foolish. When the other computer returns, hopefully with all its so-called brain cells intact, it will be moved to a new role, upgrading the image-processing aspect of Nomad Press . . . i.e., it will replace my daughter’s nine-year-old desktop with one that’s only two years old and still under warranty.

One thought that came up during this overly extended ordeal was that I’d love to take a week or two and make a couple of artist’s books. I’ll need to keep that idea on the back burner . . . well, maybe in the pantry, to be pulled out later. Right now, I have deadlines. But I should be able to progress with plan-B work options for a few days and then . . . oh, start loading software and fonts again. But onto a different machine.

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to being able to process photos again. . . .


3 thoughts on “Creativity and equipment failure”

  1. I drop by your blog occasionally to remind myself that one small business is amazingly similar to another. Thanks for the smiles, the wisdom and the mature perspective!

  2. I’m sorry you had to spend the money on a new machine, but–it’s so worth it. Your sanity is precious and you deserve a functional set of tools with which to work. I’ve been reading all this and wondering something. I have a 5 year old computer which is now terminally slow. I’ve replaced a broken CD drive myself, I’ve bought the eternal harddrive to back everything up, and I’ve mostly loaded up necessary software on my laptop. I hope, when my desktop dies, I’ll be ready. (we’re never ready for a death, but maybe prepared?) What I wonder is what has happened in the last year to make my computer begin its dance towards the abyss? Some jump in software or memory? Who knows…and you have spent way more time on the details than I htink I could bear!

  3. OOps. That was external hard drive, not eternal hard drive. Wow, I am dealing with some big issues somewhere in my subconscious, huh?!

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