I drafted this the other day at a branch of Costa Coffee. The Writing 101 task that day was to describe how I write and what I write with. I don’t normally find cafes a useful place to write; over the course of Writing 101 I have mostly been working from home, either in the living room or sat on my bed. I can sometimes get some useful work done here though, such as drafting, taking notes on what I want to write, and setting out outlines for future blog posts.
In the past, when working on assignments for university, I have made good use of the university library. Which part of the library I use depends on what I need. There are some airy desk spaces near the lobby, each of which has powering USB sockets for laptops and mobile devices, and I found that space good for research and taking notes as it had a ‘hubbub’ about it that gives it a sociable feel, whilst not being too noisy or distracting. The more traditional desks and bookshelves part of the library can be useful but sockets are less available, and its ambience seems much more suited to focussed head-down study. It has all the journals in it that I could ever hope to use. I spent a lot of time in these spaces over the past year writing my dissertation and I expect to do so again over the next year.
I find I do most of my blogging on my Mac. Instead of typing directly into the WordPress platform, I prefer to draft my posts in a separate app then copy them across and do any final editing I need before previewing, correcting anything if necessary, then publishing. I currently do most of my drafting in Microsoft Word but I’m on the lookout for another app for this. Word is good at what it does, but I think it’s a bit too much for what I’m using and it isn’t very good at handling cuttings and notes. I’ve heard of a variety of different apps but I’m not in a position to spend much money right now, so I’ll stick with Word until a clear alternative becomes apparent.
I do the rest of my writing on my iPad. I’ve been keeping a journal using Day One for years and right now I’m writing into Word for iOS. I have the WordPress app installed so I can either copy and paste to it here, or sync my work to my Mac via OneDrive or Dropbox and finish it off there. I also wrote some of my dissertation on my iPad, before syncing it across to my Mac and pulling it all together there. I don’t use my iPhone for blogging but I have the WordPress app installed there too and it’s handy for receiving notifications, taking down brief notes and checking out comments.
I try to keep an eye out for better tools and apps for writing with but I’m limited to a student budget so I can’t spend much money, especially not to try out something that may or may not work for me. I also need to give my mac an upgrade soon; thankfully it’s old enough that that is still possible (the latest models aren’t designed to be user-upgraded). In the meantime, though, what I’ve got seems to work well.
Thanks for the positive comments the other day; I feel like I’m starting to get to grips with things again. I want to move on to writing something more substantial than Writing 101 seems to allow for, but now I’m getting back on track I feel more confident about completing the course. 🙂