ness talks about life

how to survive without a laptop

Well. So much for posting twice a week. I do have a reason for my absence; my laptop (or rather, the laptop belonging to my brother) decided to retreat behind an eternally black screen. I was not overwhelmingly happy with this decision.


You know, like ‘party like there’s no-‘ fine. my blogging skills are rusty.

It is a second of extreme crisis – that moment when you realize that technology has Failed You. History fans out before your very eyes. (Interestingly, history is mostly represented by Mongols). How on earth did they survive without a laptop, you demand of Wikipedia.

(Oh. Wait. You can’t look up anything on Wikipedia. Your laptop is as responsive as a stone.)



After brief moments of panic in which the future is hopeless and your life void of joy, you realize that … you can survive this. The Mongols did. The Vikings did. Robin Hood didn’t need twitter or, or a blog to have his valiant adventures.

(Actually. He didn’t exist. Probably. Except in your head. Diverted, a moment of quiet, sad reflection is spent on this thought.)

You can survive this absence of technology.

You can use your iPad, kindle, and phone.

You can cope.


Suddenly you find that you aren’t wasting time, whiling away the hours surfing the web. (You are versatile – you find other ways to waste time.)

Instead of being distracted by your blog, you writeย Greenwood unintelligibly by hand, your letters formed with grace and skill that a drunken chicken would be proud of.

You write twelve pages.

And then, you snap. You’ve had enough. Why?

  1. You have to edit a project
  2. It just … is a different experience, writing without a laptop (You like it. to an extent. but not to a very large extent. And certainly not for an entire six months)
  3. You are never – in a million years – going to be able to reread your handwriting


It doesn’t have to be flashy. It just has to have Word, a (working) screen, and a keyboard. (Definitely a keyboard.)

Yes. It will cost money, and yes, Dickens and Austen authored books without the aid of computers (and yes, that makes you feel like a second-rate writer, but … pfft. Time travel. They could have time traveled.Hypothetically speaking.) but you know what’ll it save you?

Squinting at your own handwriting.


So, I have a new laptop. His name is Ivanhoe. He is fast in the way of glaciers, with more memory than a gnat. But he has Word, a screen, and a keyboard. And so life is good. Nay. Life is beautiful.

13 thoughts on “how to survive without a laptop”

  1. I’m so sorry about your laptop perils but delighted that you have rectified the situation, and delighted in all other ways too because this post is hilarious and glorious and makes me laugh (aside from the tragedies associated with it, naturally). If you got this funny by reading Heyer, I def need to read more Heyer. XD

  2. Haha!

    So, NO, I refuse you permission to feel like a worse writer than Austen or Dickens because you use a laptop.

    For the last year I have been working on a historical novel which is set during the same time period/setting as Walter Scott’s COUNT ROBERT OF PARIS. That book doesn’t have a great reputation anyway, but even if it was super, it would still be miserably historically inaccurate.

    With my 21st century technology, I can read detailed military histories. Obsessive scholarly articles. Eyewitness travellers’ accounts. I can sift through eyewitness accounts from people who experienced Byzantium at its height and had hissyfits with their emperors. I can pull up pictures and maps of long-ruined historical places. Heck, I can travel the length and breadth of Asia Minor virtually from the comfort of my office chair using my smartphone and a Google Cardboard.

    No, it’s no substitute for actually being there, or owning a time machine for that matter. But it makes my book 10 times more accurate and authentic than anything Scott was able to come up with.*

    *this is a Good Thing.

  3. This reminds me of when I was stranded in Paris with Bear and I had to book all these flights and look for a dog friendly hotel and all this info on my cellphone… would have preferred to use my laptop but it wasn’t with me :/ hahah. I don’t know how people were without them.. but you can’t miss something you don’t know

  4. NOOOO! My dear girl you are braver than Frodo himself facing the treachery of a lifetime without a laptop. Seriously, I don’t know how I could do it!! I’m glad you were able to get a new one. And that the beauty of life has returned to you!!! May Ivanhoe last a thousand years!! (or at least a generous life for a laptop) ๐Ÿ˜‰

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