Where are my quills?


If I was a real Elizabethan writer, and not an Elizabethan wannabe, then I’d be content to discard my dull goose feather and sharpen a new quill, then pull out a new sheet of parchment.

But Elizabeth II is on the throne and computers are more than just a quaint novelty. In fact, I’ve become addicted, whether for emails and accounts, or for writing. I can’t even throw the polyhedral dice to slay raiders without a computer.


However, I’m forced to scrawl the first draft of this post without the security of my desktop, relying on my pen not crashing. Yes, my hard drive crashed for the third time in two months. So I’m feeling very insecure – more than I did when the old year ended.

Back in December, the insecurity was just about my writing. Was it worth reading? Was it worth spending time on? Or was it best to spare the readers from what might well be dire? I know too many excellent writer friends to muddy the publishing water with my attempts.

I was thinking of having a New Year sale… of my unresolved ideas. But second-hand goods are hard to flog – I learnt that trying to re-publish my first novel; but then few people bothered with it when it first came out in 2013. Anyway, as I’m struggling with the new plots, they have little value.

Fortunately, or not, my desktop resolved the issue by dying upside down, falling to the dreaded blue screen of death. I couldn’t face asking my technically-proficient wife to install yet another hard drive, so I bought a new machine. Now, for the third time in two months, I’m re-installing all my favourite pieces of software, from Office to Star Wars: The Old Republic.

However, I still need to decide if I’m cut out to be a real writer, rather than a dabbler in ideas. Only then can I install something like Scrivener. Is that going to be my 2016 resolution?

Is there an answer in the following? (And who said it first?)

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”



The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with other writers – aim for a dozen new people each time.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

And be sure to check out our Facebook group –https://www.facebook.com/groups/IWSG13/

The awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG are L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, and Michelle Wallace!

11 thoughts on “Where are my quills?

  1. That sucks about your computer crashing.

    When I write by hand, all of my thought come out incoherent. More like shorthand. And then I don’t want to go through the hassle of making it digital. And my handwriting gets really messy. And my hand cramps.

    Thank goodness for computers.

    I hope your new system works out well for you. I’m not a Scrivener person myself. I like yWriter and Microsoft Word.


    • My handwriting deteriorates very quickly – and it’s hard to add new thoughts to a scrawl.
      So many people use Scrivener that it’s good to see someone using something else. I’ll check out yWriter.


  2. Fear really sucks, doesn’t it? It robs us of all the good that awaits our hard efforts. I’m really sorry about your computer crashes, but good luck with your new one. I say: do what feels right to you, but sometimes the stress and pressure of needing to write can weigh down our gift to write. I use both Word and Scrivener.


  3. Pingback: Where are my quills? | THE DUSKWEALD

  4. William Shakespeare must have been an interesting man, don’t you think? I wonder how he’d take having to scribble on a keyboard. Or maybe he’d have a Mac because he’d discerned they were more reliable than anything of the many other PC brands. I’ve had my ole faithful since 2008. Before I went through a computer every 16 mouths or so. Sometimes they’d last 2 years if I babied them. Who wants to baby a computer these days. Macs are tough, Roland. They’re still a pain in the butt, but they certainly withstand a lot more abuse. I’m computer addicted, too! Bought my first computer in the mid 80s when the screens were 12″ and very yellow. We’ve come a long way, baby? Did Shakespeare coin that phrase?


    • Shakespeare might have made the right decision and gone Mac. Back in the late 70s when I had my first computer, my experiments were with non-Windows operating systems, lie OS2. I was tempted with a Mac but persuaded against them, back then, and then stuck with PCs. But yes, they seem to have a shorter shelf-life. Problem with Macs is that you can’t easily upgrade them with new parts – and they are not gaming machines. Maybe I need a Mac for writing etc., and a PC for killing marauding monsters. Sure Shakey must have coined an appropriate phrase.

      P.S. Glad someone recognised the references to the Bard.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.