Wednesday 16 June 2010

Why A Netbook Makes Me More Productive

Way back in April, I posted a snippet of my handwritten scrawl, lamenting the reliance of a lot of writers on technology. Well, I'm about to do a complete U-turn and announce that this entry was written on a Netbook, while I enjoyed a mocha and a chocolate muffin in a particular coffee store that shall remain nameless as I don't want to advertise them (even though the gentleman barista did make a damn fine mocha).

My Netbook is great. I bought it so that I had something far more portable than my laptop in order to write during my commute to and from work. That's a good forty minutes of just sitting there, which I considered to be writing time wasted since my handwriting is entirely illegible when done on a moving train. My Netbook makes sense. I type faster than I can write, illegibility is no longer an issue, I can work on stories I've already started on my laptop (typing directly into a document is a lot easier than scribbling on a print out) and I save oodles of time by writing my blog posts on here and then uploading them when I get somewhere near an Internet connection. Typing out what I've written by hand just seems to be a waste of time.

I actually feel more productive, too. I wrote the next instalment of my web serial during my morning commute (which is far more satisfying than simply completing the sudoku in the paper), and I made my edits to my contribution to the Chinese Whisperings anthology during lunch. Now I'm writing this over dinner (yes, my dinner is a coffee and a muffin) and I intend to start work on the short story for my title swap with my good friend Sophie Bowley-Aicken on the way home. How's that for a day's work?

If you're interested, I got myself an Asus Eee PC 1001ha netbook. I love it. It's small and light, and it has a very comfortable keyboard. It's also got an Intel Atom processor, meaning it zips through tasks in no time at all, and the LED backlit screen makes reading what I'm writing a doddle. It's not too brilliant at playing back videos I've downloaded from the BBC to watch on iPlayer, but I do that so infrequently, it's not even an issue. As a laptop, it would probably be a poor investment, but as a Netbook, it's fine. Why would I want to run Adobe CS3 on a Netbook when I already own a laptop? No, this is my digital notebook that allows me to access the Internet. Can't say fairer than that.

I think it's fair to say that I'm converted. Now I can write in public. Doesn't that make me a real writer?


Laurita said...

I have an Asus netbook too! It follows me everywhere. Hardly heavier than a book but it can do so much. Sounds like you're much better at typing on it than I am. I haven't mastered that yet.

Hurray for you and your super productivity!

Icy Sedgwick said...

Typing while you've got one balanced on your knees does take some getting used to, but hang in there, it gets easier!

Alan W. Davidson said...

It sounds like the Netbook is really working out for you. I'm still old-school for now (or maybe I'm just old) and still write my stories on a notepad with a pen. When I type it into the computer I use it as a kind of 'first edit'. The only time I've typed stuff from the top of my head into the computer was during last year's NaNoWriMo because there just wasn't time to both write and transcribe 50,000 words into the computer.

Having said all that...I have been known to change my mind and embrace technology once in a while...

Icy Sedgwick said...

Don't get me wrong, writing by hand still has its attractions (after all, pens don't run out of batteries, and often I like to doodle as I write, which I can't do on the Netbook). I just like to try new things.

Though you will NEVER get me trying to write on anything with a touch screen. Keyboards all the way for me!

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