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  1. Plaidman

    Plaidman New Member

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    Writing when you're not at home.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Plaidman, Sep 10, 2017.

    I have heard of some writers that carry a notebook or journal with them during their day to jot down ideas or write scenes that come to mind or other such things.

    Do you, as a writer, do this? Do you actually carry a notebook? Or, have you found an easy way of doing this on an electronic device? (Many of us don't walk around with our laptop all day.)

    Just curious. I have thought about doing this myself.
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I record ideas on a digital recorder on my phone - through blue tooth i can also do that when i'm driving.

    I do keep a notebook by the bed though for the ideas that spring into life at 3am
     
  3. Plaidman

    Plaidman New Member

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    I hadn't considered using a recorder. Do you ever feel self-conscious talking to your phone in public? But I suppose it really isn't any different than people that have telephone conversations while standing in line for coffee.
     
  4. Medazza

    Medazza Active Member

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    I type into emails to myself
     
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  5. A.S.Ford

    A.S.Ford Active Member

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    I have a notebook that I keep in my handbag at all times for any ideas etc. that come randomly to mind (such as, new plot or characters ideas that don't relate to any of my current projects, and any bits of conversation or text that capture my attention/imagination) but I also keep a particular notebook with me (whether I am inside my house or outside) that is specifically for notes or ideas for my current novel-in-progress
     
  6. Lemie

    Lemie Contributor Contributor

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    I can't type fast at my phone, so yes, I usually carry around notebooks when I'm out. Though for the 3am idea I'd take my phone. I can't write in a notebook in the dark and I doubt the boyfriend would love if the lights went on every time my mind worked overtime!

    I would never record anything since that would mean voicing my ideas out loud... around people. I wouldn't even do that in my lonely apartment!
     
  7. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Nope, cause when I am not home I am busy with work or other things. :p
    Though I do have a small notebook if I feel I need to jot something down
    that may or may not end up in the story.
     
  8. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Scrivener on my phone.

    Edited to add: Well that's when I'm out of either house or hotel. In the hotel this vacation I had iPad and Bluetooth keyboard. The extra screen size of the iPad wasn't all that useful--next time I travel without a laptop I'll probably just bring the keyboard and use it with my phone.
     
  9. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    If I'm away from home with enough time and opportunity to write I'll have my laptop with me. Otherwise I just keep it all in the old noggin until I'm back at my computer.
     
  10. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    If I have my messenger bag I have a notebook, but my phone's usually closer at hand. I don't mind jotting some stuff down in google docs or my little notepad app, but it's not real writing. I've done that as well, but it's garbage and I hate doing it - I'd rather write by hand then.

    I've used speech-to-text on my phone a few times for expediency's sake but I do get self-conscious about it, myself.
     
  11. Jipset

    Jipset Member

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    As far as ideas go, I rely completely on memory. Over time my brain usually filters out the less interesting ones by forgetting them. :p

    Taking a notebook or something out of the home to write can be really nice, though--I do that even with essays for school. Writing in different environments seems to really get the creative juices flowing no matter what I'm writing about.
     
  12. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    Laptop all day. And pen and notebook when I can't take the laptop with me. But usually both :)
     
  13. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I always carry a small notebook with me to jot down ideas or (more often) fragments of dialogue. But I've never actually 'written' when I'm not at home with my desktop computer. However, I also don't go away on holiday any more either. If I did, and I was actively writing, I would take our laptop with me. I used to wish I had a laptop, back in the day when I was going away for a couple of weeks at a time, and was right in the middle of writing my first draft. However, my budget didn't stretch to a laptop then. Now that we have one, I'm no longer going anywhere much, and no longer in the throes of first-time creativity either. Go figure.
     
  14. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    I carry a small moleskine and a pen... everywhere.

    Something like this guy: [Volant - Extra Small - Ruled - White]
     
  15. Partridge

    Partridge Senior Member

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    I've always had day jobs that involve being on the road, so I do actually carry my laptop around with me everywhere to write. A MacBook Pro isn't the lightest thing in the world, so it can act like a ball and chain at times - but it's worth it. If you can master writing away from home, it will do great things for your productivity. I reckon 75% of my first draft was done "at work".

    It can be odd doing writing in a cafe many miles from home (or even in a car park) but if you learn how to "get in the zone" pretty much anywhere, they'll be no stopping you!
     
  16. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    If I'm gone for a few days I'll bring my laptop and I usually have a notebook in my car for general scribbling. When I'm out of the house I'm generally too busy to get any serious writing done and even on road trips I'm usually the driver, so I usually plan my down time to catch up on my reading instead. Drafting and driving don't mix. Write responsibly.
     
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  17. Medazza

    Medazza Active Member

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    Yep 'at work' writing is the answer!
     
  18. AustinFrom1995

    AustinFrom1995 Active Member

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    I have a tablet I write on when I am on-the-go.
     
  19. Fiender_

    Fiender_ Active Member

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    I bring my laptop with me to coffee shops and on long car rides. The amount of work I get done... varies. The "out and about" mentality is usually more conducive to writing new stuff for me, than it is to revising. :)
     
  20. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    Gmail drafts are the best notepad app ever
     
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  21. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Can't say I often get random ideas - I tend to only get ideas when I'm actively thinking about it, preferably writing as I think. But I have and do work on my actual novel on my phone. I actually recently got a new phone that's got a screen that's like 6 inches wide, like a mini tablet really, precisely because I write so much. Truth is even if it's just Whatsapp or Facebook, my posts can get so long they separate into 4 or 5 paragraphs, so having a large screen just makes more sense, esp these days when I can't get to my laptop half as easily with a toddler running around.
     
  22. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    This is my gift and my curse. I get story/character/scene/plot/worldbuilding ideas constantly as I go about my day. I was caught a couple of times without my notebook, and really regret it. I remember having the idea, remember how awesome the idea was, remember telling myself not to forget it... but I can't remember what the actual idea was to save my life. After that, I made sure I had some reliable mechanism for jotting down the basics, to draw upon later.


    I seem to have four idea conditions:

    1. random (usually bad) timing, when I'm doing something in my daily routine
    2. whiteboarding... brainstorming / ishikawa (I literally have a whiteboard for this)
    3. while in the moment of writing a story element
    4. while editing / rewriting (going back and tinkering with a story element I thought was finished, but just realized would be much better if X)

    I'm jealous, because I find even a laptop screen too small... as if I'm writing through a mail slot. Maybe it's my age/eyesight.

    I installed Scrivener on my iOS devices, I have a wireless keyboard that works with them, but I just can't stand the form factor, and revert to pen and paper in those situations.
     
  23. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Ever thought of just getting an external monitor? You can connect your laptop through HDMI onto a big screen, think like a TV. You can have it as big as you like then :) Connect the laptop to a wireless keyboard and you could be sitting on your couch typing. A lot of IT guys prefer to use 2 screens.
     
  24. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    Yes, this is more about what I do when away from the office. Tiny screens just don't work for me, and I'm not going to drag an external display to the bubble tea.

    I have a good setup in the home office. Multiple displays. I actually put my writing display on portrait orientation to get more text on the page.
     
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  25. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    I travel a lot for work and I use both my phone and my Surface as writing media. In both cases they were both chosen specifically so they can be written on in large amounts with comfort. So I have a phone with a physical keyboard, a Blackberry KeyOne which I am extremely happy with. You can google it, but broadly we're talking about a phone much like any other except the bottom three quarters of an inch is a keyboard instead of more screen. I've always used Blackberries and I've always written on them when on the go and if you haven't used one then you're missing out. The feel of real keys and knowing exactly where they are makes it really easy to just type without thinking about anything except what you're writing. I find my phone is the best place to write on the go; I'm almost always on trains and jumping between them and so I need to be able to write standing up in a queue or whatever. I find that it works just great, not as well as a proper machine but it's god a good word processor and is very good at autosaving into my dropbox, so I can't lose anything and with my phone always in my pocket I can always just whip it out and dash off a few words if they come to me.

    I also have my Surface Pro 2 that is much more capable. The type covers are really very good, way better than most laptop keyboard, and it's also a really tiny machine. It's about the size of an iPad but it's a proper full powered windows machine that comes with games too. That means that while I do use it for work, or at least for writing fiction, I can also play proper games on it and that is why I always carry it everywhere when I'm on the move. It goes in my shoulder bag no problem, even carrying a separate mouse and the chargers and stuff. You can type nice and fast, I can have my word processor screen pink, as is my preference (seriously, if you've never tried tinting the pages in your word processor, give it a go) and of course I can much more easily navigate the huge documents that I create.

    For all laptop uses who don't always have a mouse to hand I strongly recommend a program called 'NeatMouse'. It lets you assign mouse functions to keyboard buttons so you can create a little pseudo-mousewheel which is really, really helpful when you have big documents. Even with a touch screen I can't navigate the scroll bars well and being able to turn PageUp and PageDown into a more usable scroll button is awesome.

    In a wider sense; yeah I like writing when I'm out and about. It really helps to focus the mind when you have nothing else to do except ponder your stories and your characters, and it makes me giggle to write my soppy romances on the train just to see if anyone sitting next to me notices the big beardy guy writing about a 15 year old girl mooning over a pretty boy.
     

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