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Writing away from the computer

     
6:26 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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When writing content, obviously you have creative moments and ideas away from your computer. How do you take advantage of those times? Does any one still use pencil and paper lol? I consider it, but the time it takes to write by hand is magnitudes longer than it takes at a keyboard.
6:35 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well, that's assuming one 1) is ever away from a computer, and 2) has creative moments. (Some days it seems that neither applies...) :)
How do you take advantage of those times?

I don't necessarily use all of them, but possible examples:
- small notepad & writing instrument
- PDA
- audio recorder (some cell phones have this fuctionality)
- call your home (or office) and leave a voice mail for yourself
- write on your arm, leg, or other body part not already covered with inspiration
- personal teleportion device that allows you to pop home to your computer, write your thoughts, then teleport back to where you were
7:44 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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One section of my site has book reviews, and I find it's actually easier to do my preliminary work on a book away from my computer. I write notes IN the book or on post-its and may even sketch out an outline before starting to write up the review itself. Trying to do that while on the computer is awkward. And even the smallest laptop I've owned is both larger and more fragile than a book, so working this way is more flexible.

Besides, we all need to spend time away from our computers! Walk around when you're thinking something out. Go to the library and read. You'll get some exercise and some contact with the real world. Rather than poking fun at the idea, I think you should be looking for ways to do it.

9:12 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Great responses! I wasn't actually poking fun at the idea, I was actually thinking about doing some writing with pen and paper.
9:18 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well, I actually started out serious, but somehow got distracted. (I actually use the first 2 and may use the 3rd since my new cell phone has that.)

One other thing (that I actually do use) is for when I'm at a computer, but not my own (e.g., cyber cafe or public computer)- I'll send an e-mail to myself with some short notes to follow-up on later.

9:26 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My methods are...
- Scraps of paper. Mostly envelopes, sometimes receipts
- Blackberry. And then I email myself the notes. Better than paper b/c I don't have to decipher bad handwriting or ink that got smudged in the rain
- If available, discuss with spouse, which will aid memory and maybe even elicit some creative input
8:16 pm on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Dean Karnazes did the rough writing for his best-seller (Ultramarathon Man) while out running all night long with a small voice recorder and then typing up his "notes" while on plane flights.
10:39 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You'll get some exercise and some contact with the real world.

I suspect there are some members of our community that would die from exposure to any sunlight or exercise :) On a more serious note, I use small legal pads I have scattered all over the house to write ideas and notes out, which I drop into a file called "bright ideas". I periodically comb through this folder when I need some inspiration and sometimes I am surprised at how good an idea is. Conversely, sometimes I think I was on LSD when I wrote some of them :)

I also use physical notebooks (the paper kind, not computer kind) to write out longer thoughts, ideas, notes from others, reading notes, etc. I will go back and read these from time to time, but I have not found them as useful as the small legal pad notes and the bright idea folder.

5:03 pm on May 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can't seem to take a shower or mow the lawn without an idea popping into my head. I keep a supply of 3 x 5 index cards and a pencil/pen in drawers all over the house, in my pocket usually and in my vehicle always.

When an idea comes up, I write myself a note that will remind me of the idea later when I am at the computer.

FarmBoy

11:24 pm on May 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hey, this was all helpful. I find it good to get away from the computer, to make quick notes by hand... to rest my eyes!
- Young spirited Grandma
2:40 pm on June 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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A voice recorder is a good idea. I tried doing some writing with pencil and paper, but it takes so long...
9:51 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I tried doing some writing with pencil and paper, but it takes so long...

Just think at one time we had to carve all our words into wet clay tablets and bake them the last :)

10:43 pm on June 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just think at one time we had to carve all our words into wet clay tablets and bake them the last :)

No .COM meltdowns, real estate bubbles, or Enron back then. Maybe they were onto something...
9:01 am on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I used to take a pen and small notebook to record such sudden ideas.
5:58 pm on June 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I use a notebook and post-its. Tried using OneNote 2007 on my laptop but the relationship just didn't last. Thinking about getting one of those Eee PCs and use for jotting down ideas.
7:01 am on Aug 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i mostly do the old school pen and paper. :) haven't tried the recorder though. i'm quite shy recording my thoughts when there might be someone listening.