Friday, July 30, 2010

Tech Savvy or Old-School?

I, like several writers I know, love our laptops, but what's good for one writer isn't always right for another. But just like judges and editors have their own taste, so do authors with their laptops. Some like the older large screen laptops, others are swapping them out for netbooks. Then there's the whole Windows versus Apple debate. The new wave is also finding nifty ways to use the new iPad and the Fly pen, which combines the feel of pen on paper with a high tech conversion.



Some writers still have to scribble with a pen or pencil and paper. Whether it's a particular color of legal pad or their favorite composition book/journal they take everywhere to jot down scenes and snippets, there's something about the moment of creation that helps their flow. I have several note pads and pens in my car in case I have an epiphany. In fact my mother even bought me a erasable board that hooks on my sun flap. My brother-in-law told her it was going to get me killed. So far, I've still driven responsibly.



Most writers simply have a way that works for them, and without those tactile cues the muse just won't visit...and the words won't get onto the paper (electronic or real). Personally I was ecstatic when I got to transition from my mom's old typewriter, which thankfully had correction tape, to my first DOS based PC. Editing wasn't quite so horrible and I didn't fret about getting things just right. I knew I could go back and change it without too much trouble.



Now I'm known to take temporary possession of my husband's netbook...just like right now ;0) I'm not crazy that it doesn't have a CD or floppy drive, but it does have a USB port for back-ups. And though the screen is smaller, it is very portable. Much like the AlphaSmart and NEO which were built for classroom teaching and therefore almost indestructible. Considering the places where authors sometimes travel, that's one big plus. Imagine jogging on a treadmill, cozied up in the local coffee shop with a cup of joe up close and personal, in the park on a cool summer day or in the field doing hands on research.



No matter where or what you write, how do you choose to record your thoughts?

2 comments:

Stacy McKitrick said...

I do most of my writing on my laptop (or the computer at work - shhh!).

I do carry around a steno notebook to jot down ideas as they come to me (because I've been known to forget too easily).

I did write some of my first book long-hand. While it's not my FAVORITE way of writing, it was kind of neat as I transcribed it. I could self-edit as I went along (provided I could decipher what I wrote!).

Nayuleska said...

For health reasons, I write using a laptop. I have a lovely wide screen, Windows (shudders at Apple. I can use a Mac. I prefer Windows (although I love their ipod/itouches).

I use MSWord (just - I had been using Open Office which is also great (and free).

I love having multiple windows up, so I can check back on previous chapters.

I print out and make brief notes on a hardcopy when I do my editing, then transfer the notes to the wip.