Writing this post on my old, beat up laptop, I have a strange sense of nostalgia. Why? It’s the last piece of substantial writing I’ll ever produce on this machine. This past week, I finally decided to retire it. It’s been a good run, but it’s time to put the old girl out to pasture.
Although I’m excited for my new one (it’s another Dell), when I think back on everything I’ve accomplished with this computer, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride. In the past five years since I was first given it on my birthday, it helped me start and finish college, write and publish my first novel and complete the draft of a second, larger one.
I wish there were some way of knowing the number of words I’ve pounded out on these keys. Together, they made a tapestry of the written language: essays, responses, reflections, novels, short stories, blogs, social media posts and much more. Sometimes those words weren’t any good, sometimes they were decent and, on rare occasions, they were great.
I won’t be throwing it away, though. I’ll transfer all my work to the heir and keep this one around. It’s more than a piece of electronic equipment. Just like a singer with his guitar in a smoky bar room, a bard and his harp from ages past or an artist and her favorite set of brushes, this laptop was my partner, the channel to release my talent and passions into the world. That makes it more than a hunk of plastic and circuits. In a way, it’s an extension of me and my abilities.
Although I’m saying goodbye to one instrument, I’m also taking up another. When I think about the stories I’ll write on my new computer, I can’t help but feel a thrill of excitement. This old friend was with me in the beginning and we’ve weathered many a storm. For as far as I’ve come, there are still many, many words to go. I’ve taken my first steps into this world of an indie author and I’m hungry to learn and write more.
Who knows where I’ll be when I’ve worn down the letters on my new, shiny keyboard? Until then, I’ll keep on writing — word to sentence, paragraph to page and chapter to book. Back to work.