Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Do You Embrace Technology Or Resist It?

Rubik's Revolution & Rubik's TouchCube
Do you embrace technology or resist it?

It seems everything is virtual, electronic, or computerized.  Nothing is off limits.  Even the Rubik's Cube.  It's now available in two electronic forms.

Yet, I prefer the old fashioned, mechanical Rubik's Cube.  I guess I'm a traditionalist.  Sorry to disappoint you, but I don't have an inkwell and a feather quill for writing.  And I don't belong to a historical reenactment society signing Benjamin Franklin's name on parchment.

When it comes to writing, I have embraced technology whole-heartedly.  I used to get a thrill from writing longhand.  It was just me against that blank notebook.  The physical act of my hand trying to keep up with my mind was an adrenaline rush.  After an hour writing that way, I'd flex my hand open and closed and look over the pages smeared by my palm.

Writing is hard enough.  I don't need to endure the pain of cramped hands and strained forearms.  Maybe it's just arthritis, but I embrace technology now.  There's freedom in not having to be constricted when I get in the flow.  I just want to get my thoughts down in a flurry of keystrokes.

Like most other writers I compose my stories on a computer.  But I also take advantage of a few other pieces of technology.  Each helps me in different ways:
  1. Email
  2. Portable keyboard
  3. Private blog
  4. Kindle eReader
1. Email:  Story ideas will come to me at inopportune times and I'm not always in front of my laptop.  I'm lucky enough to have a phone with email, so I can capture these tidbits before they fade and email them to myself for later.

2. Portable keyboard:  Whenever I'm traveling or otherwise out of my normal routine it's easy to make excuses not to write.  If I'm not in front of my laptop, I'm not writing.  But with my foldable keyboard it's more difficult to come up with reasonable excuses to not write.  I can synchronize it to my phone and compose without the overhead of my laptop, or worse yet the temptation of the Internet.

3. Private Blog:  I have set up a private blog.  This is for me and me alone.  Okay, so it's the virtual version of the leather-bound journal.  But the neat thing I discovered about this was that I can submit blog posts via email.  So it is a great way for me to jot down notes without having to worry about which scrap of paper or notebook I wrote something down in.

4. Kindle:  I just got a Kindle.  I love it because reading on it is like getting a massage for my eyeballs after a long day staring at my computer.  The unexpected use case I found for it was the ability to read drafts of fiction.  I can transfer documents to my Kindle and read at my convenience without having to print out reams of paper to edit my work or critique others'.

Technology is what works for me right now.  I still write longhand, but mostly for writing exercises or to jot down ideas.  In fact, there is a large following of Julia Cameron's the Artist's Way that advocates writing out three pages of longhand first thing every morning.

What about you?  How much writing do you do in a notebook?  Or do you prefer the keyboard?

Even Snoop Dogg enjoys new technology.  Here he is with the Rubik's Revolution.  Me?  I'm not as cool, so I'm going to stick with the original Rubik's Cube.

Happy Writing!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

(Another) 10 Ways Writing is Like the Rubik's Cube

Today, I'm continuing where my original post, "10 Ways Writing is Like the Rubik's Cube," left off.
  1. You won't ever get it right the first time.  (Just ask Hemingway about first drafts!)
  2. You can do it almost anywhere.
  3. Even a four-year old can do it.  (Dorothy Straight and the Little Solver)
  4. There are billions and billions of possibilities.
  5. You should do it to impress only one person...yourself.
  6. There is no right or wrong way to do it.
  7. You can always learn something new from the Masters.
  8. Competitions can be a humbling experience.
  9. Too much time away and you get rusty.
  10. Changing one part invariably affects the whole thing.
Did I miss any?