Before I do that however I wanted to explain what led me to this process...
Writing is hard work and takes a lot of timeWithout stating the obvious, writing is hard work. Save for a lucky few writing is "not your day job" and chances are, you've got a huge amount of other commitments, and spend a good few hours a week either commuting or sitting on the sidelines of kids' football, music, dance or martial arts classes. This was certainly the case with me and, to some extent, this is what led me to the writing process I gravitated to...
Accept that your writing is going to be fragmented
I quickly realised that if I was going to draft a novel, then the only way to do this was to take advantage of, some of dead time and as a result I needed to be able
- to write wherever I was on any device
- to edit wherever I was
- to be extremely distraction free
Don't get tied to software - MarkdownBecause of the reasons above I wanted to avoid getting tied to any specific piece of software and instead chose to write in a lightweight format called Markdown.
MarkdownMarkdown is a lightweight markup language with plain text formatting syntax. Its design allows it to be converted to many output formats. What this means is that you can keep your manuscript in Markdown but edit it with lots of different tools at the same time.
|Example of Markdown|
- iA writer (Mac / Windows / mobile / tablet)
- Byword (Mac / mobile / tablet )
Using these mean I'm able to write a sentence here and a sentence there across different devices.
Use the cloud
In order to hope between devices you need to be able to have all devices have a single document. For this I make use of apple's iCloud to store the manuscript. which means whatever device I use, I can continue at the last place I left off.
If you're anything like me you're easily distracted - here using Markdown helps a lot as this means I can use what are called distraction free tools like iA writer
Use byword on my phone
and even use old-school tools like the Alphasmart NEO2
Because markdown is just text this means that I have total-freedom in how I write and can even sit in the sun on vacation and read what I'm writing (on an old WP)
Review and edit
To review and edit, I similarly try to steal back time. to review I typically email the Markdown to and old series 3 Amazon Kindle (keyboard) - this lets me have a soak in the bath and read back what I've written - if I do need to make notes the keyboard's there to do so.
To steal time during the commute I get a device to read it back to me.
Using these hacks I'm able to squeeze a minute here and a minute there in otherwise dead time.
Do I still need to sit at my laptop?
Of course I do, but given the amount of pressures and commitments al of us have, I really believe that working in this lightweight way has enabled me to finish a full length novel which otherwise, I don't believe would have been possible.
At the end of the day there are no rules - do what makes sense to you, I just hope these words give you food for thought.