Afraid of My Laptop

Taming triggers that paralyze the muse.

Jessica Ball
Oct 4, 2019 · 2 min read
@wasdrew on Unsplash

Every word I write is picked out on my phone. 3 1/2" of purposefully restricted functionality.

Stories’ threads are lost in draft before I can bang it out on my little Samsung padded room.

Forcing myself to face the trigger of writing by struggling with an alien input tactic is… working.

Windows Madness Edition

I’ve written most of my life, countless hours clocked by lightning fingers on ashy keyboards. It was a way to escape or to dive in and analyze.

I took a year away from all places, activities and people triggering. Time to heal, for one more last chance to get my mind together and put the past in its place. Slowly, I’ve begun to tread back into old bits of myself. Skills, hobbies, haunts.

But the laptop?

The memory triggers stored in the sight and sound of creating on a computer? Overload and I’m lost. No matter the project, my mind types out just four letters.

P,t,s,d,p,t,s,d,p,t,s,d…

I only use it to pay bills now.

Writing: gateway back to visual art.

I can feel my plan to aggravate myself and my muse into using productive tools working. Stories’ threads are lost in draft before I can bang it out on my little Samsung padded room.

The plan is to produce so much content on this thing that I develop a new mnemonic for creativity. Something laid over old triggers when I put fingers to keys. A lifeline, an annoying shield between the writer and her recoil from the craft’s associated trauma.

The muse is thoroughly sick of my shit and proud as hell.

I plan to get so sick of slowing myself down that the frustration trumps fear, to conquer myself through writing again. But that’s not the ultimate goal, no.

I need to paint again, to draw. I want to put tool to paper and see the visions in the grain instead of ghosts behind my eyes.

So I drive myself crazy pinking out a war against autocorrect and my ability to hold a concept long enough to thumb it down. I go back after forgetting (again) to reassign tags through desktop mode instead of mobile.

I produce content beneath my skillset and grin at my aggravation, knowing that I’m tricking my subconscious into taming monsters. The muse is thoroughly sick of my shit and proud as hell.

Get it together, girl. We have worlds to create.

And she winces, then grins shyly back and takes my hand.

Healing Trials

Personal studies in analyzing and taming trauma.

Jessica Ball

Written by

City mouse in a country house, training the trauma out of the family tree. Sharing 20 years of intentional observation with my kids and the eternally curious.

Healing Trials

Personal studies in analyzing and taming trauma.

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