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:~: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 :~:

Procrastination cures?

Procrastination cures?

I picked up a used Dana on Ebay a couple weeks ago. I was interested in an alternative writing source to my laptop for several reasons, but what made me finally decide to try out the Alphasmart was my recent bout with procrastination. I found myself avoiding the hard business of writing through the tough spots and knew I needed to make some changes. The Dana was only one of the many alterations I’m trying out, and I have to say, I love it.

A few reasons I wanted to try the Alphasmart:

~ My laptop is heavy. It’s actually one of the lighter models, but when you’re lifting it from the floor of a car or tugging it in and out of it’s case a dozen times a day (or more)…it really does get heavy.

~ My laptop has wireless internet. It also has other software. Way too easy to get distracted and find yourself 3 hours later thinking, oh, crap, I’ve got to pick the kids up from school already and I haven’t written anything new yet.

~ My laptop was taking a beating for the very same reasons stated in the first point.

~ I liked the thought of having a limited amount of material on the screen in hopes of keeping my auto-editing brain focused on creating.

Anyway…although I was skeptical about the value of the Alphasmart, it seems to work for me. I’m procrastinating less and writing more.

What works for you?



Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

How many lines can you see at once on the screen? I'm an edit as I go writer, too. Not sure how that would work for me. Although right now, I don't lug the laptop further than the couch and back. No sense with the little kids. I wouldn't get anything done "out" with them anyway.

Glad your *new* purchase is working out so well for you!

9:12 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Procrasination helps when you are trying to force the writing. Sometimes you just need to step back in order what your next step should be. It does not help when you've just lost your mojo to write. A day can easily turn into a week of not writing.

For me I find once I've past the first 900-1000 words I'm good to go. I can write up to 8k in one sitting, but if I only make it to 800 words and quit...I might as well just start again the next day.

Site note: I'm still playing Spider Soltaire as if my life depends on it.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought my Dana 4 years ago, and I love it! For one, it keeps me focused on writing and keeps me off the internet highway because I didn't order wireless.
As for the # of screen lines, about 11.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Hey E,

Anonymous is right - about 11 lines. May not sound like a lot, but it's a couple paragraphs. And if you want to reread or edit, you can just scroll up and do that. I just like the way it keeps me focused instead of my eyes wondering back over the previous pages with my laptop...just too easy to do.

What I've done on my Dana is to write single spaced. But when I import the words into my wip, it takes on whatever formatting I have there, so my work imports in the same font face, style, margins, spacing as my existing wip -- very slick.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Hi Mel,

I can't even imagine 8k in one sitting. I was noticing that after about 500 I get antsy and want to quit. But if I make myself stay put and write through the lull or the fear or whatever, I typically get to about 1500 and finish a rough/first draft scene.

This Spider Solitare is BIG right now. I've never even seen it, but the way others are addicted, I think it's better that I don't...I'm compulsive and once I get started on something new...forget anything else.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Hi Anonymous,

That's exactly why I didn't go with the wireless Dana -- and I'm really pleased with the choice.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Joan. At the time I wrote a response I couldn't remember my blog name or password. LOL. Still can't.
I agree on the choice. I've limited my time on the internet to 3X/day. It's too easy to surf and even checking/responding to numerous email accounts takes an hour. Next think you know, the day is shot. And no story writing. Surfing doesn't pay the bills!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Oh, now, see...spider solitaire gets me every time. It's the biggest time suck ever.

You're wise to stay away from it, J.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love my Alphasmart.

Same here, Elisabeth. I'm an edit as I go writer ... but with the Alphasmart, you're forced to just keep going (there are around three lines of text that you can see). When I transfer it to my desktop, then I edit away. Its also a thrill to see exactly how much you've written when you transfer it. I've written over 13 pages in one sitting without even realizing it.

My number one procrastination is Spider Solitaire. That game is EVIL!

Liz Kreger

12:24 PM  
Blogger Kendra said...

I won an Alphasmart at Emerald City in 2006. Lisa Pulliam was sitting by me and demonstrating hers when they called my name. I was pretty tickled

I tried carrying it around, taking it in the car when my husband was driving, or when we spent time at my parents. It just never clicked for me. Maybe I would have tried harder if I'd paid for it. Now it sits on my desk gathering dust. Maybe I should pick it up again.

It is cool to watch it all transfer to my laptop. Kind of a little rush.

2:25 PM  
Blogger MaryF said...

I don't like my Alphasmart - the keys are too stiff. But it works till I get my MacBook ;)

4:09 AM  
Blogger Linda Winfree said...

Well, I just bought one, too, J (or rather the DH ordered me one -- he thinks it will get me out of the office and into the living room with him when I'm drafting, LOL).

I'd played with Carol's some when she was visiting me. Hoping just being able to write without seeing everything will help.

I really, really want one of those Fly Pens, so I can write in a notebook and upload.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Joan Swan said...

Lin, which one did you get?

I'm enjoying mine. Wrote more over the holiday, carry it to work. I like the size of it, the light weight of it, the way I can only see a couple paragraphs at a time.

And Kendra's right -- watching all that work you've done upload into a WIP in Word is a real rush.

7:09 PM  

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