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  • Writer's pictureAlec Peche

The music of writing

I'm a little more than a third of the way finished with my latest book, THE GIRL FROM DIANA PARK, book 3 in the Damian Green series. I've struggled with writing for the last few months for a variety of excuses, but knowing that they were excuses didn't move me beyond the wall of not writing. I finally found two things that jump-started my progress: a picture of a frowning Elmore Leonard and a mechanical keyboard.

I added the words “Get your butt in the chair and write” to his picture as a reminder that if I'm not sitting, attempting to write, then I'll have zero output. It's as if, he's scolding me for not writing more. The first step is putting yourself physically in a position to produce. That gave me my first production boost. 'A word after a word after a word is power' (Margaret Atwood). Finally, my power meter is spiking.

The second boost came from a mechanical keyboard. I'm of an age that I took typing in high school and paid for college papers to be typed by professional typists. Now despite writing a million words as a writer, and after another career in business in which I wrote something everyday, I still have to look at the keyboard keys to see what I'm typing. A writer site mentioned a mechanical keyboard as a writing tool. I'd never heard of such a thing as I've never played video games or coded on a computer. I did a Fortran class with keypunch cards in college. I remember being underwhelmed by the use of keypunch cards as I could always figure out in my head faster than the time it took making keypunch cards to make the computer think. For this blog post, I looked up the Fortran and was surprised to find that it is still used by IBM. Who knew? But I digress...

The picture above is my new mechanical keyboard. I'm guessing the flashing colors mean something to gamers, but they serve no relevance to me, other than to look happy while I type. What I liked about the keyboard is the loud sound I make hitting keys – it makes me feel productive to hear the speed of the key-stroke. The sound of the key-strokes is like the music emanating from the creation of a story. This is probably not the keyboard for anyone writing in close physical contact with someone else. I daresay that if I took the keyboard to Starbucks, all of the patrons would be staring at me in no time, and someone might actually ask that I leave.

While I was researching mechanical (or WASD) keyboards, I also did some research on the online games that people play and the amount of money the best players can make. It's astounding. I also watched a few YouTube videos on gaming and how to cheat. There are multiple ways to cheat, and you are generally banned by the game maker if you're caught cheating. One famous player wrote his own code to add a bot to his screen to improve the accuracy of his rifle shots in a game. Don't worry Damian Green doesn't cheat at video games, although he does enter an illegal gaming casino in search of answers about Hermione's parents.

Stay cool,


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