April 14, 2023

L - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...a Laptop + BONUS


Usually when we imagine writers at work, we see them plucking away at a laptop in a coffee shop or in a dusty room or at their kitchen table, deep in their story. But owning or using a laptop doesn’t make you a writer. Writing with any writing utensil/device makes you a writer.

When I started writing seriously, I wrote by hand, filling up dozens of notebooks with three books in a series. After I would finish one book, I’d have a blast typing that story up, day after day, using my family’s only computer, which we had because my mom (fortunately) inherited money and bought it. Gosh, that was so much fun. I would rock out to music while reliving the story I wrote over the course of a year or more. That was one of the times when I truly felt like a writer.

I didn’t even own my first laptop until 2015. Yes, really.

Before then I’d been using that very same computer my mom had bought. I used it for over a decade. I completed several full-length books on that computer, most of them going over 100,000 words. I wrote four eBooks and one print book on that computer, which were all published by The Wild Rose Press. 

Although I have since replaced that PC (it ran XP, and I had to upgrade it after learning many programs would no longer support XP), I didn’t get rid of it. My mom uses it to write her stories because it still works. It just no longer has Internet. I have an incredibly soft spot for that old computer and feel so fondly toward it whenever I log on to assist my mom with a Microsoft question. Actually, when I log on to that computer, I find it easier to use and easier on the eyes. If XP hadn’t gotten the boot, there’s a good chance I’d still be using that old computer today.

But you don’t even need a desktop computer to write. Many writers use tablets. Typewriters are trendy and less distracting. Danielle Steel still uses her typewriter to write, and it works for her. My mom crafted her original children’s stories on a typewriter, and I wish we had kept it, but we eventually got rid of it when we moved from here to there, because it was clunky and outdated.

Someone on Instagram told me she doesn’t have any sort of computer and has written whole books using a writing app on her iPhone. You don’t even need to have an active phone service to use your iPhone, just WiFi access. Your iPhone could even be an older version, too—no need to upgrade it to more expensive versions. Using an app on your phone would be easier than a typewriter, too, since you could email the work to yourself and retrieve that email from any computer in order to format it and get it ready for beta readers and/or submission for publication.

At the very least you need paper and pen/pencil to write. Then later, if you need to type it up, you can use the public computers at your local library or borrow a computer from someone. Once, I went to my sister’s house in order to type up my work.

Don’t think having a laptop will make writing easier for you or will make your words flow. It’s just not true. It may make you look like a writer and feel more like a writer, at least for a period after buying your first laptop, but laptops do not define writers. Nor do they make writers.

If you don’t have the money to afford a laptop and don’t own a desktop computer, that’s okay. You’re not alone. Many writers are in the same boat, but they all find a way to write anyway. Whatever you have to do to write, you’ll do it. Whatever you have at hand (no matter how little), you will make it work. You are a writer. You will find ways to write. It’s what you do.



L - Lexie Daily

Lexie Daily has not shown up yet in the Patreon-exclusive Avrianna Heavenborn novellas, but she will eventually because she is Avrianna's best friend. They met in foster care, where they were both teenagers in the system. Lexie was the only person in that facility who was kind to Avrianna. Other kids there bullied and ostracized her, the people in charge ignored her, and security there harmed her for fun. Lexie protected her the best she could as a teen herself, a human, and a ward of New Vida.

Up until recently, Lexie Daily was known as Summer Daily, but then I realized I had a lot of characters with S names, so I changed it.

In the original series, when she was known as Summer, she was fashioned after someone in my life. When I rewrote the series, I played surgeon and divided that character into two people--Lexie and Veena. (Stay tuned for V - Veena Miller).

If you become a patron, you'll be able to get to know Lexie and all the rest of Avrianna's found family.

You can read Universal Killer, Cocky Killer, and all future Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.


  1. My first computer was in about 1998 and ran Windows 95 and you had to learn more than you wanted about computers to keep it running sweet. A few years later, my late sister took me along to a writing group where I rediscovered the joy and freedom of creative writing and soon began on a novel - still to be finished. I wrote on paper because I am just too old to have grown up with keyboards and be better than two finger typing, so it takes me as long to transtype (I think I invented a new word there) from longhand, but I still prefer to do it because it flows better when you are not tempted to edit as you go along...
    I since woke up from a dream which I knew was meant to be an idea for the opening of a science fiction novel and whilst my first one is a modern historical and I have darted about in my writing of it, this new idea was written, sequentially, to completion, from start to finish. I began by recording the dream so as not to forget it but then decided to experiment with Dictation apps since they had improved, and continue to improve, so much. It was marginally better than my typing speed lol.
    Which is the subject (LOL) of my A to Z post today

    1. I remember the late 90s computers very well. Such fond memories or that clunky, weird device. lol

  2. PS - I see you are a fan of the Wizard of Oz so you may find my "F" post interesting

    1. I do love Wizard of Oz. :) Thank you for commenting, Frewin!

  3. Hi Chrys, so true a lap top does not make the writer. It is handy to take it on the go. Although, that said, I mostly keep mine in my studio. Love that you handwrote your first books. That's a lot of writing by hand! My hand gets crampy, so I am glad to be able to type out as I think my stories through. I have an old typewriter from the 1930's but it's not functioning. I will have to get it fixed one of these days. I want to use it for writing messages and putting into journals
    Love that you would still use the old computer if you could. Congratulations on your new novellas and interesting characters!

    1. I struggle to write by hand now. I miss the days when my hands didn't cramp.

  4. We got our first computer in like 1988. That was pre-internet. I find it easier to write on computer, but that's mostly because I get such terrible writers cramp that writing longhand is out of the question. And I learned to type. But, I know people who swear by writing longhand. It's amazing what devices one can use to get stories written. And they get more accessible the more the technology evolves.

    1. I don't write longhand much anymore. Mostly when I journal.