Tools of the Trade
One of the great benefits of deciding to try your hand at writing is that the barriers to entry are practically non-existent. Your only requirements include something to write with and something to write on. You can get started in seconds with any old pen or pencil that happens to be lying about. Your paper needs only plentiful and blank.
Old, dodgy notebooks are even better than pretty, new ones. There’s less pressure to write ‘well’ in a dodgy notebook. For years now, I’ve been writing in the unused portions of my kids’ discarded school books. Does it feel weird to write hot and steamy romance in a notebook that’s covered in Lightning McQueen wrapping paper? Why yes, yes it does. But it’s cheap and it gets the job done.
The downside of writing on paper is that once your pen has touched down, and the words have spilled across the page, there’s no taking them back. You can’t hit undo. There’s no copy and paste. The only way to rearrange the words is with a pair of scissors and a whole lot of sticky tape. Oh, the inefficiency!
All of these issues can, of course, be solved by moving to a computer. This is certainly my go-to for editing and for those times when the words are coming faster than my hand can write. But the imagination doesn’t always avail itself to the clack, clack of a computer keyboard. Some words want to emerge quietly. Some words demand ink.
The solution to this (incredibly first-world) quandary arrived on my doorstep about a week ago in the form of the reMarkable 2 writing tablet. A gift from my wonderful husband, who I’m fairly sure was sick of watching me drool over the ads for it online. This baby is designed to feel like you’re writing on paper (it is a fairly decent facsimile). The words written with the stylus appear by way of e-ink (the same kind of ink used by kindles).
It’s worth a veritable truckload of cheap, spiral notebooks from the local newsagency, but… I adore it! It is every notebook I’ll ever need, all in one place. With the added bonus of undo, erase, copy, move and paste thrown in. I can convert my handwriting to text (also decent) and email it to myself for editing. And don’t even get me started on the calligraphy pen option. The wonders never cease!
Sometimes when it comes to technology, less is more. I certainly haven’t given pen and paper the flick entirely. But I am enjoying this new addition to my writing toolbox. With any luck it will even lead to me writing faster and publishing more often. That really would be a dream come true.
PS. How did I write this article I hear you ask? Okay, you probably weren’t asking, but I’ll tell you anyway. I wrote it on my reMarkable 2, of course.