Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unusual Writing Locations

There are all sorts of places people believe writers tend to dwell: their home office, the coffee shop tables, the library, or even under a lone tree in the park on a bright sunny day... Well, I'm here to tell you that writing can happen anywhere with any tool capable of inscribing the written word. (And no you shouldn't use the custard from inside a Krispy Creme donut to write out your poetry. It would look cute, but it would also be a complete waste of something delightfully yummy.)

Case in point. My toddler daughter yesterday had a successful short surgical procedure done. While I waited I whipped out my cellphone and began to type out more of the YA fantasy I'm cooking. (I actually have two books I'm working on right now.) While she rested post-op, I worked on adding words to my manuscript. At the time, I really wished I would've brought my laptop, but then again we were only there for the morning and the idea of hauling my massive laptop along with her around seemed a bit too much. So all I had was either the mini notepad in my purse or my smartphone with its keypad. I wrote one paragraph in the notebook and then switched to the smartphone. Why write twice? Either way, I'd begun writing this way in the past, might as well keep truckin'.

Writing in the cellphone all began a few weeks ago when I was sitting at car rental place waiting to be picked up. I had nothing to do but sit and wait so I pulled out my cellphone, opened Microsoft Word on that puppy and used the tiny keypad to type out my words. At first things felt silly. Matter of fact it took me a while to get used to the lack of a quote key (") and some other quirks. (Maybe there is a quote and I need to hunt more for it. I dunno.) But after a while, the words kept coming. My characters, who likely laughed at me from a corner, now crept closer and started to speak. The scenes began to unfold and then bam, I had enough material to keep my fingers flying. That brought up another problem... I type much faster than the tiny keyboard can handle. Yes, I could do shorthand, but really, I plan to transfer that sucker to MS Word, so the less editing/translating I have to do the better.

After that day a few weeks ago, I continued to write more. At the store waiting in line, waiting for my husband's car to get an oil change, and now waiting for my daughter to recover at the hospital. I didn't need a cozy spot at the local coffee joint or the couch with my laptop. No fancy software required. All I needed was the urge to write and a spare moment in time.


Kristi said...

When I was doing my first NaNo, my son had surgery on November 30th(due date!). I did bring my laptop along to the hospital. His was in-patient and would be there for several days, so I had more of an excuse. The biggest problem at the time was lack of a WiFi network :) (Hubby stayed that night with son, and I got my wordcount uploaded just before midnight from home....)

I've taken the netbook along and written while waiting for car appointments and kids dance class, and in the car while on family road trips (with an inverter so I don't have to run on battery power).

Once upon a time, I used to use my palm pilot (We're talking ~2001) to scribble myself notes, but haven't had that ability for several years now. I used to be pretty fast with the stylus-text-entry-writing.

My previous cell phone had no such keypad functionality (it couldn't even send text messages of more than about 100 characters). New phone (of about 1 week) runs android and probably could be used for such an activity. I have some serious work to do to get used to the touch-pad typing though.

Sarah Bromley said...

I'm so glad to know you're writing again. :-)