Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How We Write

At the beginning of last week through the beginning of this week, I ran into a dilemma. More specifically, I created one with my own clumsiness. Yes, I broke my iPad Mini.

Believe me, it was the end of the world. I am a perfectionist, and the sight of a cracked screen, no matter how usable it is, brings chills to my spine. I needed this to be fixed! Needless to say, I couldn't do it myself, and ended up damaging my device beyond repair.

I was shocked to find that I wasn't mainly upset because my gaming and entertainment device was now rendered useless - I was upset because my main ability to type on the go had been taken away.

Most of my novel Macyntire & Hough was typed on my iPad Mini using one of the many typing programs. At first I was skeptical about being able to use the screen's keyboard, but after a few days of using it, I became very fast and loved being able to see the word count and only the blank page as I worked. Moving on from my last novel, I began the next and started setting goals for myself (which I've already failed on some of them, but still trying to get back up there!). I wanted to type 1,600 words per day. So far I've had three days with that amount, two days of typing notes and outlining, and one day off to recharge my brain from a busy day at work looking at a screen.

I did end up getting a new iPad, and it now has a fancy case to protect it and makes it easier to hold, but I have to think that if this accident didn't happen, I might not have really considered the way that I've been writing. How easy is it to just pull out the iPad when I'm waiting in line somewhere and type out a few paragraphs? Or when I'm waiting to close down the movie theater in the evening, waiting for folks to finish their movies? It's so convenient, and has been a good use of otherwise wasted time. I used to do this with an old-fashioned notebook, but now I am enjoying being able to skip the retype business and just export my text and format it from there.

How do you type? Has your process changed with the advent of new digital technology? What do you think about the changing times for writers?