Obstacles to Writing


I returned from the Looking Glass Rock Writers Conference with several goals in mind for this month:

• Revise my short story
• Select one short story and three poems to submit to a literary magazine
• Read Marjorie Hudson’s short story collection, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas

Then my new computer crashed. Josh at Goo Roo computer service in Pine Level reloaded it twice with software and twice more it crashed. After the third time, I returned the Lemon Lenovo to Goo Roo. Gary, the owner, is sending the Lemon back and ordering me a new computer (under warranty). He said he would have it loaded with software and ready to go by tomorrow. This back-and-forth ordeal has taken three weeks.

Meanwhile I’ve been using an old Lenovo with missing keys, a loose electric cord socket and a battery that doesn’t hold a charge at home, and a notebook computer with a jump drive at the Selma Visitor Center. It also has a loose cord and old battery.

Losing access to my new laptop has made me realize how dependent I am on one device for everything – work, email, writing, photo storage, flyer creation, connections to social media, history, security, church, community, and more. It is my work station, my post office, my social meeting place, my media center – everything.

I’ve even been depressed, thinking, “Why don’t I just give up writing? Become an old lady with a landline and a marble covered composition book. Use a pickup and just drive around the county doing volunteer work. Help my church and my neighborhood. Plant a garden. Swim and lift weights at the health facility. Let go of writing. Read other writers and review their books on Amazon. My friend in Asheville just sent me an autographed copy of her neighbor Terry Roberts’s new book, That Bright Land, that he signed at Malaprop’s bookstore. I should quit writing stories and poems.


I can’t even sit in a church pew, listening to the sermon, without pulling out a pen and writing something in the margins of the bulletin.

To my dying day, I’ll be typing or squirreling away notes. That is how I process life and create: I write. I may not be published, but I will always be a writer.

So I’ll get my new computer back, transfer the new drafts from the jump drive, and persevere in working on my writing goals. I’ll continue to read North Carolina writers like Marjorie Hudson and Terry Roberts. I’ll reap tomatoes from my first tomato plant and keep donating time to the community.

I am a working writer.


One thought on “Obstacles to Writing

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  1. Yes you are, and that’s the truth — those of us who can’t stop writing it down, processing life that way, interpreting and examining and drawing insights that way: we are writers. A gorgeous thing.

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