The magic of writing with two thumbs
Despite having multiple notebooks for different purposes, I am pretty convinced that I still write probably more on my phone. By phone I mean my Gmail, Monospace app, Evernote and Google Keep. And by write I mean from blurts of thoughts to stories of hundreds of words.
I use my phone quite religiously to record any thoughts that transit in my mind. Single lines of morning thoughts, jotting down ideas, ideas that are boiling in my head ready to be polished, plenty and plenty of awful first drafts. My phone, being almost literally one of the closest things to me, has turned into a candid recorder of my mind at its most tender, fresh, and raw state. And this is why my phone plays quite an important role in my writing life.
Our friendship started when I was still in college, stuck writing in Word doc when I then laid down lazily on college dorm bed and begin writing on my Blackberry. Surprisingly, I wrote probably 800 words uninterrupted within just 15 minutes and they actually flowed pretty well. I was surprised by this comical reaction from the mind as if it was just hiding this whole time and now excited to be found. Perhaps it’s the informal feeling of writing on the phone that makes the process itself less rigid. It could also because writing on phone has a slower pace than typing on a laptop, which permits our mind to explore ideas a little bit more. Whatever it is, I was pretty hooked by its impact. So whenever I began to feel stuck, I immediately switch to my phone to unlock more creativity.
At this point, I know that I’m most likely to start the first draft on my phone. Whether it’s just 150 words or 850 words, I’ve accustomed myself to start on the phone if writing on a bright white paper of Words Doc is too intimidating. And I can literally start anywhere and anytime, which takes away many excuses for not writing.
One key habit for a successful writing-on-phone approach is to put your phone to sleep aka on airplane mode. There’s nothing worse than having your thoughts interrupted by another thought. I’ve found that once you have this habit sets in place, it’ll be easy to switch to writer’s mode once you’re offline. It might even be good to keep a habit of being offline for few hours at certain times each day, whether or not you are writing. This at least will permit your mind to be with yo
u and you only.
Okay so I know it’s odd I’m writing a piece solely admiring smartphone in writing (not my first time). And it’s true that it’s stylish to write on pocketbooks. But it’s more about maintaining a tight responsibility and system for anyone who is trying to be a better writer each day.
With the phone as the most accessible object at this time in life, I have found this a
pproach deals delicately with various writers’ block, while also strengthens note-taking habits, which is undoubtedly critical to any writers.
In the end, it’s nice to find ways to write properly in the car or when laying on the bed. It’s nice to be prepared when the ideas pay surprise visits. It’s nice when you have a digital hide-out where you can instantly be in your own world and claim your time. Overall, It makes the writing process more seamlessly intertwined in your daily life and hopefully, helps you to be in the writer’s mode as much as possible throughout the day.
So go, write. Simply click airplane mode and write on.
Illustration by Elouise Renouf