I think a freelance writer's biggest fear must be computer problems. Without our computers and Internet access, we're pretty much useless — we can't communicate with clients, research, or write efficiently. (Phoning clients, driving to the library, and writing by hand all take much longer — not to mention, not many clients will accept a hand-written manuscript!)
I bought a brand-new laptop in the fall of 2005, just before I started freelancing, and so far I've been pretty lucky. I've only had one real crisis: My laptop fan stopped working the following summer, and the entire computer had to be sent back to Averatec to have it replaced. My battery also finally started to lose capacity a few months ago, but it hasn't been a major problem, just a little inconvenience.
Yesterday, though, I experienced the full panic of computer problems. While preparing a post on a client blog, my computer crashed and spontaneously rebooted, something it's never done before. It took me an hour to get up and running again, as Outlook took forever to load on startup.
I was ready to pitch my laptop through the nearest window at that point, so I took a break to run an errand and ride my horse. After dinner, I got back on and rewrote the blog post (which, naturally, I'd lost). While attempting to publish it, my computer froze again. This time it took fully two hours to get back up and running, as I did a System Restore as well; by the time I finished, I was too tired to do anything more than rewrite the post and publish it (no problems this time) before I went to bed.
I did set my computer up to back up overnight, but when I checked it in the morning, I found that the backup had taken considerably longer than it was supposed to. Certain things were still running slow, too. As a result, I've spent much of my time today renewing and updating my antivirus software (which I hadn't done in two years — whoops!).
Hopefully my computer crisis is now over, and I'll be able to get some good work done today. After all the excitement last night, I'm a little behind, so I need to get crackin' if I'm going to meet my deadlines tonight and tomorrow!