still is the written word

reMarkable 2 is… remarkable

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?

This makes editing much easier, and to send off your writing to be read, edited, or printed. But typing does not feel like writing to me; typing slows me down. Not physically, but creatively. I can type like crazy and most mistakes are usually caught by spell checking. But this speed comes at the price of not taking time to consider what I am writing. And writing without careful consideration can be dreadful.

I also don’t feel like a writer when I am typing. I feel more like I am writing code (which I also do).

reMarkable 2

I rarely indulge in tech. Especially for writing, since any old keyboard will do. But after a couple months of research and consideration, I bought a reMarkable 2 tablet. It is not a computer. Well, it is, a computer running linux, but there are no typical connections to the internet: you can’t read email, chat, browse the web, or use social media. It allows you to read PDF and epub books, though not your amazon books (unless there is a way to crack the digital restrictions on that thing you bought 😉 ). You can send web pages to it for reading later, draw using different pens, pencils, and brushes, and, of course, you can write. You can transfer your writing to yourself, either as a PDF of your writing, or as hand-writing to text translation. What you cannot do while using it is get distracted. It doesn’t even have a clock.

And I 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 2 (a fair chunk of) money for the tablet, a folio protective cover, and a pen with an eraser. But I am writing again, doodling again, just playing with words again. Like I used to do back in the days of paper. I also have a record of my written work, my actual, hand-written work for fans to see when I am famous (ha ha!).

If you find the clacking of keys too mechanical, too digital a distraction from your writing; if you find the allure of social media too strong to stay focused on your work; then you, too, might find your way to getting reMarkable 2.

1 Comment

  1. Ross

    I’ve thought about something like this. I feel adequately like I’m writing when typing my fiction writing, but still insist of my self that my journal writing is pen on paper in a notebook. Being from the paper age myself, I also still insist on reading physical books though.

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still is the written word