Today was one of those days when I thought I might have to start kickin’ it old-school.

Not even halfway through the afternoon, my brand new modem/router went on the fritz. Suddenly, I couldn’t work. My day was already well-planned out, with social media posts for both my own accounts and a client’s accounts – mainly Facebook and Twitter, but also Instagram, and, of course, this post right here on the ol’ blog. Without warning, I couldn’t use the internet on my desktop. I couldn’t use the internet on my smartphone, because it’s also set up through my company wifi network. And I couldn’t even call for service on my landline because, yeah, the modem/router. Argh.

Of course, if I’d thought of it, I could have switched my smartphone wifi off and gone pure data suck, since I use a different provider for the smartphone than the landline and desktop setup. But I never even thought of that. I was in full apoplexy mode, calling my wife at her job from my smartphone to get a customer service number, because we don’t even own a Yellow Pages book anymore. All of this made me miss the old days, when I did everything with pen and paper or, at most, an electric typewriter. I am proud of myself for resisting the temptation to throw my iPhone across the room.

Nonetheless, something good came out of this jarring experience. I remembered that I wanted to blog about an article I’d seen recently that discusses a variety of benefits to writing by hand. I find this topic fascinating as a writer, not only because I want to keep my brain active, but also because I have some experience with writing books both by hand and by typing. You see, I wrote my first and second novels, Brothers’ Hand and Jana, respectively, by hand. However, I wrote my third novel, Miles of Files, entirely on the computer. It seems there are a variety of benefits to using the old pen and paper, from coordinating your left brain and right brain to improving your memory. Cool! (For writing an entire novel, though, I gotta say I love the iMac.)

Having everything stop working made me think about that article, but it also reminded me of what a fortunate thing it is to be a writer. If I want to write something, and all the electronic toys in the world are out of order, I can still do it. Even in the event of a major power outage, I can write with pen and ink by candlelight and feel like, I don’t know, Thomas Hardy or something.

Oh, and the end of the story? After two tech support reps couldn’t figure it out, and we set up a service call a full 48 hours from today, my modem/router started working again. No explanation, no idea why it went out. Maybe some Halloween gremlins? Anyway, I’m typing fast here, just in case. But if the thing goes down again, I’ll most likely go old-school and pick up that pen and paper.

Miles of Files: Where Did It Come From?

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