Mailvox: tools of the trade

LB wonders what I use to write:

Thank you for the near constant intellectual stimulation you provide. I’m a long time fan of yours and have often wondered something. You often write about your adventures in writing and I can recall several instances when you have answered readers questions about your particular methods. What I don’t remember ever reading though is what you use as the tools of your trade. I’ve noticed that I seem to get the very least accomplished when using my Windows 7 laptop, and that I seem to get the most accomplished when using a composition book and a pen or the ColorNote app on my Android phone. What do you currently use and in what proportions?

It’s a pretty simple answer. I use my Dell XPS laptop running XP and LibreOffice 3. Nothing else. I’ve used the laptop long enough that the paint is worn off three of the keys, but it works fine for my purposes. I’ve written 52 columns, three short stories, hundreds of blog posts, and 626 words per day on the current novel with it in the last year, so it would appear to suffice. The only change I’ve made in recent years was to switch from OpenOffice to LibreOffice following Oracle’s decision to interfere with the OpenOffice board. I find that the key to getting work done on your laptop is to ignore the Internet and refuse to get sucked into doing “research”. Sure, you can use it to look up a name or a piece of vital information, but then, get back into the word processor right away. I’ve found that for me, the key for staying focused is maintaining a spreadsheet that contains both my word count progress and keeps track of the various organizations. So, no matter if I want to know how many more words I need to write today, who was consul five years ago, or how old a character’s uncle is, I have the information readily to hand.

And since we’re on the subject, I’m expecting to see the cover of the book next month. It’s being done by the same artist who did the SE cover, so I have great expectations of it.