What's your favorite device to write on?

Q&A With Shay Each Sunday

Here is a longstanding question among writers—though we probably mostly have the same answer these days. A few weeks ago I did a blog on favorite literary device. Now, here’s the more literal physical device preference.

Q: What’s your favorite device to write on?

A: Laptop…all the way. I have a MacBook, but I’m sure any laptop would be fine once you’re used to it. I just went the way of Apple because it seemed that’s what most of the world was doing.

I do all of my writing on my computer. I like how fast I can get the thoughts out and how my hands don’t cramp up. When I’m writing by hand or in my phone the ideas come too fast for my fingers to keep up! My thumb will get achey when I type too much on my phone. The space between my thumb and index finger hurts when I write too much with a pen or pencil. Not on a laptop though. I can type very fast, though oddly I don’t technically use the correct typing form. I only use like four-six of my fingers, but it works—quick and cramp-free!

I also like to have a laptop better than a desktop because I move around to do my writing. I either write at home in various rooms and bring my computer with me wherever, or I go to Starbucks or coffee shops. I can bring it with me to work on the plane, etc. I definitely like the convenience of being able to move it around, especially since I don’t have an office. I’m not sure I’ll ever be the type to write in an office, it feels very isolated, but maybe that would be a good thing for productivity. What do you think about office vs. no office specifically for writers? Just like some of us work on different devices, some of us also thrive in different environments.

Even though I do all my main writing on my laptop—like the actual book or story from scene to scene, I write a lot of notes down in my phone when I’m out and about. I have also written some poems and very short stories in my phone, but nothing on the longer side, and nothing I haven’t gone back and edited once it was on my laptop (unless I posted it directly on Instagram or something, but I don’t usually do that).

Sometimes I use journals to write notes in or formulate a plan for what I want to do next in the editing process so I can see it written out in front of me, but it’s pretty rare. I have SO many pretty journals! Many were gifts (from people who really know me, I guess) and then some that I, like, had to have even if they’d stay blank forever. I feel like whatever I write in them has to be amazing and profound so I basically don’t write in them and I just admire them from afar. For the most part journals get used for my to-do lists—not amazing or profound. I’ll typically put them aside again though once I get through whatever plan I laid out inside, or even if I don’t get through it but it just helps me to write it out and look at it so I kind of have an idea of what direction to go in. Then, sometimes I’ll discover old journals way later and browse through them to see my writing about plot points I wanted to get down in my books, etc. and I usually roll my eyes because it’s stuff that didn’t end up in the book. Or stuff that ended up in there about 27 revisions ago and was since cut. Writing is so fun, right? Maybe I’d have more use for my journals if I actually ever kept daily journals! If any of you out there keep journals I’d love to know what you think the benefits are. I’ve started about 30 times and kept it up for a week or so and then fizzled out.

So, all in all, my main book/longer work writing is on my laptop. I don’t have a desktop, I don’t have an office. My phone is great for notes. Journals are questionable—possibly counterproductive—for to-do lists. And here’s a last little interesting piece of info about me—I’ve never typed on a typewriter. I would love to give it a try, but I think that would quickly be followed by stress about being sure not to mess up. Another thing that’s great about typing fast and for as long as possible is that you can make all the mess-ups in the world! What do you do most of your writing on? Are there any full length book-by-hand writers out there?! Maybe I’ll work on my hand writing muscles one of these days and become one—all in my pretty sparkly journals!