So you know I told you on Friday about my New Year’s Revolution? Well..here’s the thing. What I didn’t tell you was that I’d just bought myself a secret weapon in order to help me achieve the goals of the revolution. My secret weapon looks like this:
And it is already changing my writing life, and a few of my prejudices about what a writer should and shouldn’t do.
My pre-iPad writing habits:
- I have a great idea for a story! But I’m in the middle of the supermarket/at a friend’s house/in the middle of the desert/somewhere else where I don’t have my laptop with me. Never mind, I’ll just write down my idea on my phone (using my trusty Evernote app), and then the next time I can get to my laptop I’ll write some more.
- I could just write it down in my notebook, using ye olde pen and paper. But then I’ll still have to type it up later, because I like having all my writing in one place, and I find the words flow more easily when I’m typing than when I’m writing longhand.
- But of course it takes me a while to get round to turning my laptop on, and even when I do there’s other things that need to be done first, emails that need an urgent reply, Facebook photos that need an urgent comment, awesome articles that need an urgent tweet; and it’s all too easy to let myself get distracted by the interwebz, because by the time I’ve actually got round to having my laptop in front of me, it’s usually several hours after the initial idea, and I’ve sort of lost interest in it. It’s still ok, I still think it has potential as an idea, but the urgent fire has gone, and with it my ability to withstand the temptations of a broadband connection.
- So I have a lot of Evernote notes that contain brilliant ideas, that haven’t been developed. (I can say they’re brilliant because no one else has seen them so no one can disagree.)
- I also have a massive sense of guilt that my brain appears to have no trouble producing story ideas, but I have a lot of trouble actually getting round to writing them.
Since I’ve had my shiny pretty new toy, here’s the new writing life:
- I have a great idea for a story! But I’m in the middle of the supermarket. No matter, as soon as I get back in the car I’ll start writing down the idea and developing it a little.
- I’m home! And here’s my iPad, and I’m just a click away from carrying on with that idea.
- I’ve arrived early for a house viewing – what shall I do with these ten minutes? Oh yeah..turn on the iPad and write a few more sentences.
- Even if the ideas aren’t flowing at this moment in time, I have all those notes I’ve saved previously with ideas..so I can have a look at those and see if they still have potential.
- End result: massive sense of guilt has been replaced by massive sense of achievement as I see the words I’ve already produced during the few days since I’ve had my new writing machine.
BOOM, as I believe the young people are saying these days.
What Mr Darcy has to do with my iPad
Well, Colin Firth doesn’t really have anything to do with this post, but on the other hand, I never need an excuse to gaze on this image once more:
(If you’re confused, read this.)
The wonderful Mr Darcy, played by Colin Firth, was very proud and extremely prejudiced. (But turned out to be a Good Egg in the end, you’ll be pleased to know.) And I, too, have been labouring under a prejudice – but mine is about writing, not whether Elizabeth Bennett might be a suitable wife.
I always thought that a Writer (you know, a real one, with a capital W) would write no matter what the circumstances. Would not be affected by the inconvenience of having to wait til they got home to turn their laptop on; would not care that they write better when typing rather than writing longhand; would simply get the words out in any way possible, because it was impossible for them to do otherwise. A bit like projectile vomiting. (SORRY.)
And I do still think that’s true, in a way, for some people. But I also think that we all need to do ourselves a favour. Whatever it is we want to achieve in life, we need to arrange our lives to take away as many obstacles as possible that lie between us and our goals. For me, I’m lucky enough to be able to afford a (not super cheap but extremely awesome) tablet computer, and that has broken down a barrier that was lying between me and Le Writing.
Now if you’ll excuse me, and even if you won’t, I’m off to write some more..