Have your ever felt lost when you needed to write but had no access to a computer?
Of course you have your smartphone but chances are you don’t fancy writing on it except for quick messages.
Separated from your computer, you’ve two options. Train yourself to make them a part of your writing life and you’ll not feel the pinch when you don’t have access to your computer and even feel you’re leading a normal writing life without the machine.
Firstly, you get acquainted or rather reacquainted with something you’re familiar with – writing longhand. It’s very doable, if you’re resistant to it.
Nobody can claim he or she did not first learn to write with pen and paper.
Most of us have shied away from writing longhand in the name of convenience and expediency.
So the next time you entertain the idea of forgetting about writing or postponing it because you don’t have access to a computer, go longhand.
Rekindle your love for pen or pencil and paper.
It may feel awkward trying to write a whole article or a book chapter longhand when you’ve been pounding the computer keyboard for years..
It may feel tedious like shovelling gravel or as annoying as riding a horse carriage when you’ve been driving a Porsche.
Don’t fuss over the ‘lesser’ experience.
Just issue yourself a challenge. You’re going to write your next five or ten articles longhand.
You know that one advantage of writing longhand is you could do it anywhere – without having to worry about locating power supply or having enough battery power.
You could do it in any position – standing, sitting or even reclining in an easy chair at the beach. Even when you’re tired you could lean back on your sofa, stretch out out your legs and scribble a few words.
Many shy away from writing longhand because of their unsightly handwriting. I felt this, too, especially in instances where I had to write at top speed.
Sometimes it could be a chore trying to decipher what I’ve written.
To overcome the problem, I try to type up my work as soon as I’ve finished writing it.
This to a large extent minimizes the stress of having to read my ‘bad’ handwriting.
Arm Yourself With These Essentials
Get yourself a notebook and carry it around with you.
I carry a softcover notebook which I could roll up and slip into my pocket.
Get yourself a pen which doesn’t require you to exert pressure to get the ink flowing.
I use a broad nib gel pen (1.0mm) which I was told is usually reserved for signatures.
But I find that the size of the nib helps with word flow across the page.
I have even purchased a whole box of 20 refill units so that I’m well supplied and equipped for my writing adventures. Small size nibs don’t attract me to write.
I choose black ink as my notebook has light blue ruled lines. Blue ink doesn’t quite stand out.
I also write double-spaced as there would be enough space for corrections and improvements.
Another Piece of Advice
I try as far as possible not to write close to my computer lest I’m tempted to turn my attention to it and browse the Internet for information.
I detach myself to a different environment to be in a total pen and paper world.
If you’ve been writing sparingly in your notebook, do it often. Start every piece of writing there before going to the computer keyboard.
I admit it’s a slower process, but it’s a skill worth learning for a ‘rainy day’.
Paperless Writing Without a Computer : Do It While Taking a Bath or Driving
What if you’re away from your computer and happen to have no pen and paper to catch your ideas?
Well, you could do paperless writing. This is going to be tough at the beginning, if you’re not used to it. However, it’s worth trying.
You can do it anywhere and at any time, even in the dark or while driving.
Write Between Your Ears
You start writing in your head. Most of us have done this before.
We are going to meet someone on an important matter o we are going to do a presentation. We have what we’re going to say rehearsal in our heads.
So important is the matter to us that complete sentences gush into our heads.
This is also true when confronting somebody on an issue that affects us emotionally. We tend to ‘write between our ears’ what we’ll be saying before the encounter.
As mentioned earlier, this is a tough thing to do. Especially when it comes to writing on a dry subject, to one you aren’t emotionally attached.
But it’s definitely worth trying.
Start with writing the title of the piece in your head first.
Finding it difficult to move? Don’t imagine you’re writing an article. Don’t think of the page.
Imagine you’re going to speak to an audience. See the faces of the audience. Put in people you know who are good listeners or learners among them.
Close your eyes if that helps you visualize.
Then imagine you’re making a presentation. Think of the first slide you’ll show. See what’s written on it?
Say as much as possible in your head. Then move on to the next slide. Again say as much as possible without much thinking.
If you don’t make much progress, switch to the face-to-face mode. Choose your ideal listener. A person who’ll listen to you on the subject you’ll be writing about. Start with someone you know well.
Start with the person asking you questions:
- What are we going to talk about today?
- Why is it important to know this?
- How can we put this into action, step-by-step?
This will make it easier for you to say as much as possible about it.
Don’t worry if this exercise doesn’t go well. Keep trying. Devote at least five minutes a day to it.
You’re just practising a form of writing away from the computer screen, without pen and paper.
You don’t have to stress yourself too ,much over it. In the beginning, if you could write a few sentences in your head, that’s success.
The advantage of this method of writing without a computer is when you actually sit down to physically write, you’ll be much prepared and cut down on thinking time. Even if you didn’t completely write your piece in your head, the subconscious will have filled in the gaps in the interim and words will flow faster.
The above two methods of writing without a computer, if practised regularly, will keep you fully engaged with writing, putting you in the right track towards a productive writing life.