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I have three different ways of writing. Most of the time I type my stories and notes straight onto my PC or netbook. At other times I pick up a ‘real’ notebook and write… and write…. and write!

My manuscripts have their home on my PC, organised in many folders and sub-folders according to type. When I am sitting at my PC I feel quite efficient. I have a small ‘workroom’ off our main living area, with desk, filing cabinets, and all those essential ‘office tools’ and this gives me the sense of actually working and (most of the time…) the attitude to go with it.

However, when I want to be a little more sociable (or it isn’t ‘work hours’), I have my netbook beside me, just in case something prompts me to take a note or two, or if I suddenly get the urge to go online and research something.

Of course, there are times when my ‘quick notes’ on the netbook turn into a full chapter or two, or a new character or plot outline. In this case, everything has to be copied to an external hard drive so that I can transfer it to a file in the right folder on my PC. No problem really, although a little frustrating if I forget to do this.

But sometimes I simply get the urge to write. You know, with a pen and using an actual paper notebook. πŸ™‚

In fact, when I write in my notebooks, I can write for hours. Words come easily, plot outlines make sense, characters leap from the page… That sounds good, right?

Well… yes and no…

You see, I have cupboards full of notebooks, bursting to the brim with plots, characterizations, writing ideas… You name it, you may well find it in one of my notebooks.
The problem is, that I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one!

When I write in a notebook, ideas flow, but not necessarily in any type of order. I do try to be organised by starting a new page with a new idea, but at the speed I write when in ‘notebook mode’, by the end of a brainstorming session I could have spread those disparate ideas across a number of different books.

Of course, the ideal solution would be for me to take each new note, type it up on my PC and save it into an appropriate, well-defined folder. And occasionally I do this. But most times typing up those thoughts and ideas and actually organising them (and correcting spelling and grammar mistakes, etc…) seems to take away some of their power and originality.

Or it could be simple laziness….

The good thing about my many notebooks is that I always have a source of inspiration for a plot, whatever notebook I pick up. So this strange, mass collection of writing isn’t that bad. But it does seem to be very wasteful of my time and energy which could be better spent getting my work ready for publication.

What would be so much better is if I could find some type of tablet which recognises my scrawl and turns it into print. Then it would simply be the case of transferring all those random scribbles onto my PC. No typing out already-written notes. No fuss.
(And a new tech toy to play with… πŸ˜‰ ).

There again, there may be a further problem. I’m left-handed and most of these apps appear to have been set up only for right-handed people. So it’ll take a great deal of browsing with my trusty netbook to find any tablets with handwriting recognition apps which truly allow for south paws.

Unless anyone out there has some suggestions?

I promise I’ll take notes. πŸ™‚

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