Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Last Saturday, I tackled something that has stood in the way of my writing success for a long time. Every time I sat down in my chair and faced the blank screen, it mocked me. Distracted me. It was a symbol of chaos.

It was the mess of cords that run from my computer to the outlet.

With a couple of spare hours in the afternoon, I rolled up my sleeves and got down on my hands and knees and systematically unplugged every cord, then fed it behind the desk, in a clean and orderly manner. Motivated by the lure of positive energies in my corner, I broke out the vacuum attachment and pulled every last speck of dust off of the corner, the carpet, the computer. I even consulted my Feng Shui manual and added a couple of enhancements: the logo of my dream publisher, an owl mobile, an inspirational quote, bookmarks from authors I respect, and the Cartier pen I received for hitting the 15 year benchmark at my day job. A magnifying glass and a flashlight, to represent the mystery genre.

I polished the glass of the desk top surface. I dusted every surface, organized the bookshelves next to the desk, tossed old paperwork. I stood back and admired my new workstation. It was inspiring. I knew it would make a difference. My energy level jumped, just by looking at it. I couldn’t wait to get in there, to write, to query, to network. But first, I had to leave my new sparkling writing area and run a few errands.

When I returned home a couple of hours later, I sat down and tried to print something. No dice. I checked the connections and the power source. And then, the mouse became unresponsive. And after a power off and power on, an error message that the fan had failed within the computer and it would automatically shut off. And then, it did.

Being one who enjoys the occasional odd and Mulder-esque hypotheses, I wondered: had I changed my energies so much that, in effect, my system became too hot to handle?

I’ve always been a driven individual, from an early age as a competitive swimmer, when I attended practices designed for me personally, at the ungodly hours of the morning when the sun, and almost anybody else I knew, wasn’t up yet. It was the price to pay to succeed. But when my hard drive literally crashes, is it a metaphor for my internal drive, a warning sign that drive is only part of the equation for success?

It’s something to think about. Which is good, because I’ll need something to think about while my computer is out getting serviced, and the Feng Shui manual can only provide so many distractions.


  1. I was excited to read that you had turned your office into a place that would inspire and then...
    I'm so sorry about your computer, hope they can make it all better quickly.

  2. Ah, Diane, if only it was so simple!

    A trip to Staples, an hour and a half on hold with HP, and a barrage of twitter posts to document my anger-slash-meltdown later, and I'm right where I started. Wait - I guess better - b/c I determined the most energizing shade of aqua to paint the walls of my office.

    Thanks for the visit and the comment!