Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Technology and Writing

One of the best things about being a writer today is all of the fascinating gadgets and tools that are out there to help shape your craft. A lot of people are stuck in the old paper and pencil trap and feel that is the only way to truly get any writing done. Since the advent of computers, it has transformed writing. For the first time, writers didn't have to worry about rewriting and carrying around hundreds of sheets of paper. Writers can now edit on the fly with word processors and move details around at will.

The most recent piece of technology that I have found to be useful is the iPad. I've read a lot of things about how horrible the iPad is for writing, but I beg to differ. For the past two years, I've worked mostly on the iPad to write my current project. It is especially useful for editing and revising. Rather than having to be stuck at a desk or table with your bulky laptop (assuming you haven't purchased an ultra-light laptop), you can sit comfortably in bed, on the couch, or even at the coffee shop and browse through your story, making necessary changes along the way.


It's most useful for those spur-of-the moment ideas that tend to hit you when you don't have your laptop with you. I'm notorious for popping up in bed in the middle of the night and wanting to make a quick change that I just thought of. The thought of opening my laptop and waiting for it to boot in the middle of the night is agonizing. With the iPad, I just pop it off the stand, make my change, and drop it right back in. Done! It truly has been a lifesaver for me and my writing.

The other complaint I hear is that people don't like to type on the iPad. I tell ya, I had a bit of trouble at first, but now I've gotten to where I can type on it pretty well and if typing on the screen is uncomfortable, there's always that nifty Bluetooth keyboard. There are so many tools on the iPad that I've found is helpful in organizing my thoughts, planning scenes, keeping track of plot points, and even throwing together some rough ideas for artwork. If you have any thoughts on the iPad or other technologies, please share! Perhaps you can inspire a writer to try some new tools!

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