Writers often talk about their inspiration, their process, their scheduling. But when writers talk about their tech there are few things they can describe.
Hand writing with pen and paper?
This is a dying art. And why not? More and more people are keyboard and computer literate. Why commit your writing to a single copy in a medium that cannot be sent to print without being typed into a computer at some point? Imagine writing a novel by hand (or typed with a typewriter), and losing that single copy. No backups. No cloud. All gone.
Typing into a computer word processor?
This makes editing much easier, and to send off your writing to be printed read, edited, or printed. But typing does not feel like writing to me. It’s not because typing slows me down. I can type like crazy and any mistakes are usually caught by spell checking. I just don’t feel like a writer when I am typing. I feel more like I am writing code (which I also do).
I rarely indulge in tech (my iMac and MacBook Air are from 2013 and 2012 — the Air with an upgraded SSD, and the iMac with maxed out RAM and a brand new SSD). But after a couple months of research and consideration, I bought a reMarkable 2 tablet. It is not a computer. There are no connections to the internet: you can’t read email, chat, browse the web, or use social media. It allows me to read PDF and epub books, though not your amazon books (unless there is a way to crack their criminal digital restrictions 😉 ). You can send web pages to it for reading later, draw using different pens, pencils, and brushes, and write. What you cannot do while using it is get distracted.
And write! I am writing again! With a pen, hearing the scratch of pen on paper. At my desk; on the couch; in bed; in the parking lot when an idea comes. And when I am done, I convert my handwriting to text and send it to my computer, giving me the best of both worlds.
This is not a paid endorsement or anything. I gave reMarkable (a good chunk of) money, and they shipped me the tablet. And this perspective might only apply to those writers who started in the paper age and found themselves missing something in the digital one.
If you too find the clacking of keys too mechanical, too digital a distraction from your writing, you too might find your may be reMarkable.