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Belief in Magical Accessories

There's nothing much going on in my life at the moment, beyond the usual routine and angsting about whatever I'm publishing or trying to translate at the moment, so I thought I'd talk about a little something that bothers me about humanity.

The belief in talent by osmosis via Stuff. Stuff, in this case, is either a particular piece of hardware, or software. Something that somebody famous uses to do the thing you love. Now, quite a lot of people believe that if they have that Stuff, they will magically become as talented as Famous Person and their metaphorical ship will come in.

I'm not entirely certain that anyone knows that this is complete and utter bullshit. Famous Person probably worked their arse off at whatever thing they do for years before they could justify the purchase of the Stuff they use to do the thing. Nobody buys Stuff and becomes instantly talented. Sure, Famous Person makes it look easy, but having Stuff does not a talent make.

Sorry, but it takes learning how Stuff works and then doing something cool with it.

For example: For absolute years, I wrote fictions inside palm-sized notebooks I picked up in dollar shops, and preferably any pen I could get for free. This was because I was as broke as fuck, and couldn't afford anything better.

For a while, I had one of those palmtop assistant devices that were hot in the mid-90's, but writing in that, transferring files, updating everything and keeping versions current was a royal pain in the butt.

Then I got hold of a much-abused and possibly third-hand laptop. Comparative paradise, but I still had to hook one up to the other to transfer files around and actually distribute those things wherever.

What I have now is a pre-loved Macbook and everything I'm working on saved to the Cloud thanks to Google Drive and Google Docs. I've gone through MSWord (the Windoze system around it died too often for me), Text Wrangler, Pages, and MacDown just to name a few. Now I use StackEdit as a Chrome add-on to edit everything in MarkDown which is amazingly similar to how I used to encode my ASCII fanfictions back in the day.

I am by no means a Famous Person. I do allow that I could be in the future. I will forever list my useful toolbox as: an imagination, a means to write, and a means to carry that with you wherever. The rest of it is just details.

One writer I know of wrote a book by painting it. Having a keyboard didn't allow them to properly process things at their best speed. Some writers dictate everything because (a) they can't type, (b) they can't type fast enough, or (c) drastic hand pain. I've done something like this with speech-to-text when I borked my wrists up. Speech-to-text is still a pain in the butt.

I prefer not to do it. Someone else may have an absolute ball. Q: Who's wrong about this? A: Nobody.

Famous Person makes it look so easy because they were years at it before they found the Stuff that they worked with best. That Stuff may well fit you like a barb-wire undergarment that's two sizes in the wrong direction.

First, above all things, have an imagination. Then do something cool with it. Learn the skills you need to do the thing. Try different Stuff to do that thing with. Find what fits.

And keep going. Persistence is key to making it somewhere with the thing you do.

I... am still persisting.