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  • Writer's picturenikiflorica

Notebook or laptop? My "canvas" of choice.

Christmas holidays have begun! The thought of the hours I have before me to sit down and WRITE is so exciting I'm not sure it's completely sunk in. I'm still a little stuck in the Heir of Ariad: Book Two department, but that's another post for another time. For now, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about some of the ways I get inspired to write.

#1: My "canvas". Manual vs. electronic.

Most of my writing for the Heir of Ariad: Book One was done on a laptop, and I must say there are a lot of pros to typing, at least for me. It's fast and convenient, I can try different wordings, phrasings, spellings, etc. without leaving a mess on a page, and I can edit as I go. For those reasons, all my good-copy stuff goes straight to the computer, where it's easy to tweak, move things around, and edit on the fly. However, there are some significant cons of computer writing that even I can admit....

For one thing, the internet is at my fingertips. How many times have I stopped in the middle of a chapter to go check my Pinterest feed, or watch the latest in a Youtube channel I follow? Sometimes having the infinite distraction of the internet so close while I write just wastes valuable minutes and makes me completely counterproductive. Frustrating and self-inflicted, admittedly, but true.

Secondly, a lot of authors choose to write their manuscripts on paper so they CAN'T edit on the go, and while that seems like an impossible task for me, I can see where they're coming from. I spend so much time reading over what I write, tweaking and perfecting wording, tweaking and perfecting scenes, always looking backwards, that it can take a lot of time to actually make any forward progress. If that's something you struggle with, too, it might be beneficial to write without looking back and save your edits for later. Try a typewriter! It's a great (and really fun) way to pound out stories without getting hung up on perfection and editing, especially since there's no backspace or "undo" button in sight. That way, you can focus on getting your story down first- step one of the process.

That brings me to the alternative- the tried-and-true, proven-by-the-greats, never-goes-out-of-style notebook and pen method. There's no comparing the two when it comes to inspiration- nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a beautiful notebook and trusty pen, or pencil, if that's what works for you. Whatever floats your boat. Personally, I tend to use this method for what I call "snippets". When an idea for a scene pops into my head to stow away for future chapters/books/stories, I go to my notebook to work it out first. Most of them don't make it into the actual manuscript, but it doesn't matter. They help me work out kinks, open up different plot paths, and teach me more about my characters and their relationships with each other. Sometimes I'll go back and peruse old notebooks for fun, and its amazing how much a story can change from the initial ideas and snippets that shaped it!

So, yes, notebooks inspire me more than computers ever could. While electronic writing is efficient and my fall-back for pounding out chapters, good old-fashioned handwriting is still my go-to for finding inspiration, getting the creative juices flowing, and spending time with characters. Everyone is different, and your methods totally depend on your personality and preferences, but for me, inspiration starts with a beautiful notebook. There's just something about words on a page that no screen or keyboard can beat.

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