Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writing Constantly in the Technological Age

Not too long ago, I made myself a writing mantra: write constantly. Because writing does not always imply actual physical writing, but also the thought process that goes behind writing, this works particularly well for me. Take this week: I'm getting ready for a teacher's conference, pulling together several new author interviews for this blog, and preparing report cards for my students. The best writing I've done is thinking about the plot of the next few chapters while driving my car or taking my shower. I figured out a way to show the world building, and a way to develop a plot twist that I'd been struggling over.

But, for obvious reasons, writing down these writing thoughts while driving or in the shower are somewhat difficult tasks to do. The paper gets wet. Or I crash the car and take out a chunk of rural NC in a fiery inferno of not-awesome. You get the picture.

This is where I love technology.

I want to be the writer that always has pen and paper handy, but the truth of the matter is, I'm just not that organized. At least once a day, I have to run through the house, trying to find my glasses. So keeping up with my glasses, a pad of paper, and a pen? Way too stressful. My life can't take that kind of complication.

You know what I do keep up with? My iTouch.

It's like my Apple laptop, but palm-sized. And it has a very well organized application called simply: Notes. And guess what? You can type notes on it. Quicker than I could click open a Bic, I've got all my ideas right there on the screen. ALL OF THEM. When I use paper, I grab whatever scraps I have--receipts, grocery lists, even tissues (not used. You know, unless it's an emergency). And, typically, I'd lose the paper. Now all my notes are RIGHT THERE. Electronically organized. WITH DATES.

It's so simple. It makes writing constantly a bit more doable.
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