Everybody has their favorite method of writing. Some have a couple. Your preference is not the same as everyone else’s, and that’s okay! We all have our method of doing things. Do what works for you!
There’s desktop computers; laptops; iPads; smartphones; pen and paper; hammer, chisel, and stone. (Did I miss yours? Comment below!)
I think every option has its pros and cons. Let me highlight a few below.
Laptops are usually the most popular. It’s fast and easy to get your words down, you can (usually) take it with you wherever you go (unless you have my POS laptop, but I covered that in a different post), and you should have enough hard drive space for everything you need to be successful. But, in some ways, being able to take it wherever you want can be a con. I used to take my laptop to coffee shops but I would spend the entire time on Facebook. I seem to have my writing space figured out where I am very productive. Just because my laptop can come everywhere with me doesn’t mean it’s the best idea to do.
Desktop computers on the other hand cannot be moved, and if you are a writer who needs to get out of the house to write, these are not convenient. If you’re someone who has one writing space and that’s it (i.e. ME), these can be great. You can have a bigger computer screen, which leaves more space to have more windows open. It has even more hard drive space for all your writing-specific computer programs (or The Sims). I think the lack of mobility though is the ultimate downfall of a desktop computer.
Smartphones are the most convenient writing tool. The majority of people nowadays have smartphones, and for the most part, they’re never more than 5 feet away from you. I think my iPhone is great for jotting down some notes on occasion, or a quick scene or character sketch that pops in my mind, but that’s about it. The screen is small, the touch keyboard is easy to trip up on (I do it often), and the punctuation isn’t always convenient to the letters you’re typing (especially on iPhones).
iPads are a huge step up from a smartphone. I carry my iPad everywhere. The battery life on it is amazing (as long as I’m not watching Netflix), and even if it is dying, I have a 10 ft. charging cable for it. I bought myself a good Bluetooth keyboard with hard keys (I hate those silicone keyboards. I canNOT type on them at all). A huge con though is (unless you have one of the newest generations of iPad) only being able to have one window open at a time. My iPad is the iPad 2. It runs slow as heck anymore, so switching between apps constantly takes longer than I would like it to.
Pen and paper is classic. I always felt like my best writing was done on pen and paper, because you write slower than you type, so you think about the words a little bit longer as you write them down. You can have several different notebooks open, with outlines, sketches, etc. You can scratch out words but still be able to read them should you realize they weren’t that bad (versus deleting them forever). But if you need to do research, you still need a computer. It takes way longer to hand-write a novel than to type it. And, no agent or publishing company is going to accept a handwritten manuscript anymore. So you’ll still end up needing to painstakingly type that baby up later on.
Hammer, chisel and stone is a little too classic. I mean, it will take your entire life to chisel a novel into stone. You need to probably move into a cave to even have enough stone to get it all down. Should you mess up, or decide you hate a sentence, have fun chiseling a line through that. A pro though? Your work will always exist for the world to see. The scientists of the future will possibly be analyzing YOUR story. So write something that’ll make them question everything they thought they knew about our time period.
Me personally? I flip between a laptop and my iPad. When I get a new laptop, I’ll probably be 100% on that. I really just hate this laptop so much. All I can use is the Internet. No other software will open anymore. What a waste, isn’t it?
I like the iPad, but like I said, it’s old. I should have never updated it to iOS 9. G-docs doesn’t really agree with my keyboard often (delete tends to delete more than just the last character). WordPress gets so behind when I’m typing. I’ll write a sentence and it takes 10-15 seconds to catch up! BUT it keeps me focused. If Google Docs is open, I’m not constantly flipping between it, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. (because it takes like 30 seconds to open the new app and have it refresh). My focus is on Google Docs. And sometimes, I do need that kind of focus. I’m easily distracted. That’s why I turn my phone over when I write, so I can’t see any of the notifications popping up on my screen. I have all push notifications turned off on my iPad.
Maybe having a laptop where I can’t use any other software is a good thing though. I don’t know how much time I’d probably waste playing The Sims or Rollercoaster Tycoon…. I’m still saving up for a new one though, so, I guess we’ll find out sooner or later.
What do you do your writing on? Any of the above? None of the above? ALL OF THE ABOVE? What do you like/not like about your method?