I’m a writer. I’ve been seriously pursuing a writing career for 10 years, since I was 10. Since I was a little precocious girl, I’ve been doing research for my future career, which has led me to following the change from physically writing things out to digital.
Since I started writing at 4, I was doing research starting 1996, which meant just early enough to see the rise of computers, and the beginning of people outside of business men, carrying around laptops.
I’ve enjoyed them, I’ve enjoyed the organization that they’ve brought to my notes, the weird motivation that having a timer and goal obvious in your word processor gives, and I sincerely believed that I was going to successfully finish my books in them.
I’ve believed and trusted in all of these programs created by writers, or for writers, that they would provide me the tools that were necessary to write.
But I’ve realized something, I don’t need any of these fancy tools to write, most especially if I’m writing wireless (that’s without the laptop, but with the all purpose pen and paper). I’m going wireless, only second drafts will ever reach the computer.
I’m not saying that writing digitally has stopped me from successful writing well, I’m just saying, I think that lately it’s been hampering my development toward plot work, well-rounded characters and getting things done.
I’ve tried every single type of digital writing that you can use, and for the developer’s of these programs I have the utmost respect, but, there is no good way to plot, plan, outline, or organize in the digital format.
I’ve finally seen the light and realized why I’m having such trouble finishing my stories, unlike I did when when I was younger and writing away in my notebooks.
The problem with doing things on the computer, is that there is a limit to what you can do on it. You are bound, when planning by the width of the screen, by the terribleness of trying to draw diagrams in paint (which I’m actually really good at), of not being able to rip apart pieces of paper and past them back on, and whether or not you have a power source, eventually. And even with Microsoft Word/Open Office’s track changes format, it’s a poor substitute for writing in the margins, crossing things out angrily, and drawing arrows when editing to move entire chunks to different sections of the book.
I’m going wireless, save for blogging, for my writing of first drafts from now on.
Forget about all of the advice I’ve been reading, hearing and following. I truly believe that the only way to get stuff down, most especially when plotting things out, is to write it all down, and have the freedom to draw obnoxious diagrams that remind you of things, or helps you keep the tension up.