You might have noticed that I haven’t blogged in a while. A couple of weeks ago, I was too busy getting ready for my vacation in Savannah to do much writing, and last week, while on my vacation, writing was not on the agenda. My vacation was fantastic. I’d been really stressed at work and the week off was heavenly. Now I’m in the middle of my first week back in the office and it’s hellish. I was tempted to skip my Wednesday writer’s group to work late tonight, but as I mentioned in my last blog, I only skip for special occasions and work does not qualify unless I’m facing an urgent deadline. Also, I didn’t want to disappoint my many readers who have already suffered without a post for two weeks :).
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I enjoy writing on my Blackberry. For many reasons, I find it convenient. For one, the Blackberry is lightweight and takes up little space in my bag, making it easy to take everywhere, unlike a laptop. Additionally, I find the task of filling the small screen much less daunting than the large screen on my laptop. If you read Just Friends With Benefits, you’ll recall that the chapters are very brief. That corresponds to my writing style – I tend to write in short snippets/scenes and, with my Blackberry, I am able to compose the first draft of an entire scene while waiting on line at the Food Emporium.
Sadly, when I quit my last job, they made me return my Blackberry device and paralegals are not required to have Blackberries at my new firm. I did not want to incur the cost of the unlimited plan without any reimbursement from my employer so I’ve gone without for the past four months. Not having constant access to my work email hasn’t bothered me, but my desire to write has lessened due to the necessity to either write on my regular computer at home or the old fashioned way (pen and paper) on the road. I hate the duplicate effort of writing first on paper and then typing it again on my computer. And so I’ve stopped taking advantage of long lines to write in favor of reading or simply tapping my foot impatiently waiting for my turn (and sometimes cursing under my breath).
Since writing is my passion and favorite escape from “the real world”, this lack of desire concerned me, but since my second novel was already in revisions and I haven’t been writing much new material other than blogs, I initially decided to take my time deciding what to do until I was ready to start book #3. But I worried that I’d never be ready to write book #3 if I did not resolve the issue of writing on the road.
A friend suggested I buy a netbook since they are also lightweight and because he knew I wasn’t in a hurry to trade in my basic phone for a fancy one with apps. I considered the netbook option for a while, but couldn’t picture myself writing on a netbook while waiting on 2nd Avenue for the M15 bus. The Blackberry was perfect and I missed mine terribly. Although it was the oldest version from the 1900s and I was teased by friends and strangers alike, the keys were the perfect size for typing and I’d done some damn good writing on it.
So two weeks ago, I decided to join the rest of the modern world and upgrade my basic phone to a fancy device, except I chose the Droid over the Blackberry. I wanted a physical keyboard in addition to the touch and my choices were limited. I shopped around a bit and chose the Droid because the keyboard seemed easy to navigate and the screen was a nice size.
This is the first time I am using it to write more than a text message or quick email to a friend/Facebook status update and I regret to report that it kind of sucks. I am typing so slowly, making mistakes up the wazoo and I think I might have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I hope it is just a case of practice makes perfect because the contract is two years!
Some find my writing process – writing first drafts as emails to myself on a mobile device – odd. But it works for me. Or at least it did. I’d be curious whether anyone else does significant writing on a phone. If so, what device do you use and do you like it? Also, do you have any other “odd” writing habits, for example, only writing standing up (I heard you can’t get pregnant that way), writing only during a full moon or writing naked?
Come on now, don’t be shy – we’re all friends here!