Saturday, April 29, 2006

Writing on the Go

By Danyelle Ferguson

Okay, let’s set the scene:

You’re driving to pick up your daughter from preschool and BAM! The next scene for your book finally pops into your head. You can see it all–the conflict, the conversation, actions of the characters involved, and the cliffhanger to get your reader to flip to the next page. You pull up to the curb in front of the school and . . .

One of the most annoying things I’ve come across as a writer is when I get an idea for the next part of my book – and don’t have anything to write it down on. To help other fellow writers with this frustrating occurrence, I’ve compiled a list of tips for writing on the go.

  1. Carry a pocket size notebook and pen in your purse or briefcase.
  2. Keep 3x5 cards the pockets of your jackets, jeans and in the glove compartment of your car.
  3. Invest in an AlphaSmart Dana. There’s no boot up time and it runs on Palm OS. I bought one about six months ago and cannot express how much I love it! It’s light weight and I carry it in my purse.
  4. Download a writing program onto your Palm Pilot or other hand-held device.
  5. If you hate writing on the screen of your Palm Pilot, try investing in a collapsible keyboard that hooks into your hand-held device.
  6. Try a voice recorder. Although you may feel a bit self-conscious when you first start using it, you’ll grow to love how you can get down thoughts while driving your car.

Try out a few of these tips the next time you’re waiting for your child to come out of school or waiting in line at the drive-thru. You’ll find they are much more accommodating than lugging a laptop everywhere you go. May your day be full of more writing and less frustration!


KB said...

When all else fails, there's the more traditional "Palm Pilot." Write notes on the palm of your hand, or your arm, or you kid's leg... This is especially handy late at night when you're too tired to get out of bed. :)

John Ferguson said...

I also like to leave messages for myself on voice mail. If it is a big idea you may need to leave several messages in a row.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Hmm . . . does that include your spouse's forehead? I bet that would interesting when he looked in the mirror the next morning!

Thanks for the comments!