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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » What do you write with?

   
Author Topic: What do you write with?
skadder
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Just interested to know what you write with. Obviously we all use computers most of the time, but do you use other stuff? Blackberry, iphone, ipod touch, pda, pencil and notebook?


I am thinking of getting an Ipod touch as an MP3 player, but apparently you can download a hack to give it a basic word processor, which I thought would be great for taking notes--or doing short bits of writing.

Any thoughts?


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Igwiz
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I tried to go "old-school," with a pen and paper, and I still do that sometimes with outlining/brainstorming/plotting. But I write best at the computer, so that's what I stick with...
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KPKilburn
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When I'm not using the computer, I use a 21 year-old Staedtler Marsmatic 00 (.30mm) technical pen...

http://www.misterart.com/store/view/001/group_id/7549/Staedtler-Marsmatic-4-Pen-Set.htm

...and a Miquelrius pad...

http://www.shopmiquelrius.com/servlet/the-242/Miquelrius/Detail

I've had the pen since I started college in '86 and I bought a bunch of the notepads when I was in Spain a few years back. They last forever and are convenient to carry around. I use them to take notes for work also. I also have a bunch of leather-bound blank books from Italy, but they're so nice, I haven't written in any of them yet. I love European writing instruments and paper.


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JamieFord
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20" iMac G5. Microsoft Word. Diet Pepsi.


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DeepDreamer
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Pilot extra fine pens, various colors. Stenopads. Mountain Dew.

I do a little writing on the computer, but I find typing to be constricting - it's too neat and orderly. I prefer to write messily, with lots of scratch-outs and arrows pointing here and there and little notes to myself scattered here and there throughout. I've learned the hard way that if I'm not writing on paper, I'm not writing at all.


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Lynda
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A Windows XP desktop and a Windows XP laptop, diet A&W root beer and lots of good music!


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annepin
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Mac PowerBook G4, and Windows XP desktop, on occasion. Pen and anything available in my bag or pockets, from paper napkins to receipts. I try to carry a notebook around everywhere, and have several piled up around my bed, but invariably I'm caught without something to write with.
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JeanneT
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Windows XP desktop and Word mostly. Sometimes Dell Windows laptop when I want to go to a coffeshop to write.
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LCastle
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Honking big Alienware (XP) laptop at home. Ten-year-old Dell laptop (Win98) lives at work for when I can pop out at lunch. MS Word (still getting used to Word 2005, or 07, or whateverthehell the latest bizarre release is). The big fun comes with transferring files.

quote:
When I'm not using the computer, I use a 21 year-old Staedtler Marsmatic 00 (.30mm) technical pen...

We should start a club... I have a 21 year-old Staedtler Mars Micro mechanical pencil.

-Lisa


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TaleSpinner
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Pocket briefcase, takes 3x5 cards. I take it everywhere and write notes with a fountain pen, usually a Parker--nice change from all the high tech.

http://www.levenger.com/pagetemplates/navigation/preview.asp?params=category=11-76%7Clevel=2-3


Pat


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KStar
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I'm in love with my laptop. I use Microsoft Word, and a space heater for me feets and about three cans of Coke Zero per hour.
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wetwilly
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PC, preferably QuarkXpress but I recently made the inevitable switch to Word (which I hate, but I got tired of having to convert files whenever I wanted somebody else--like a potential publisher--to be able to open them.) I write with a paper and pen when inspiration strikes and I am nowhere near a computer, but only then.

Mountain Dew Code Red, and way too much of it.

4,129 songs on random (currently "Missing" by Beck).



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annepin
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I find too much caffeine disrupts my process--I end up pacing around in circles. I usually stick to two cups of tea. On the weekends I'll have a Guinness.

On the other hand, I'm constantly nibbling on things. I need to keep up a steady supply of food, especially in the mornings.


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Balthasar
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Computer.

MSWord.

Courier New + 1.25 inch margins + 1.5 spacing = 300 words/page.

Black Coffee

Silence.

A kitchen timer set for 60 minutes.

A plain calendar, on which I mark the days I write with a capital-W.

[This message has been edited by Balthasar (edited December 12, 2007).]


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MasterTrek
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Most of the time I use my laptop and Word 2000. Lots of music. Candy to get my brain flowin' for them high action scenes. And I have an idea pad that I carry with me for those little bursts of inspiration. But I would love to have an old Typewriter to write with too.
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InarticulateBabbler
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MSWord on 2 (Windows XP) PCs and a HP (Vista) Laptop. I'm fond of both Pen and Pencil on paper (I've made my living with mostly those tools). I used to bang stuff out on a word processor, before that a typewriter (I've had three different kinds, including the Royal), but, I'd write in crayon if I had to.
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lehollis
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For plotting and generating ideas, I use pen and paper. I like a good, smooth, black-ink pen.

For everything else, I use my computer. No brand name, I built it myself from parts.

I use MS Word, because I used to do technical support for the product, which means I know it inside and out, still. I plan to switch to an open-source alternative soon, though. I don't want to pay for upgrades that don't really add much to the product.


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Vanderbleek
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I use my LG vx9900 (also known as the enV). The word processor isn't great at all, but it has a full keyboard, and is great for just jotting things down.

I'm also a big fan of pencils and paper. Not pens though; I can't think when I write in pen.


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KayTi
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Toshiba laptop much of the time (MS Word 03)

Pilot ultra-fine pt black or blue ink on a Black n Red (quad ruled, naturally) notebook for longhand

The pocket briefcase talespinner mentions for quick notes (in an easy to access pocket of my purse)

A moleskine (quad ruled, naturally) tiny notebook for character ideas, observations of ppl in the coffee shop, story ideas/feeds, small stuff mainly

And a Palm Pilot z22 + wireless infrared keyboard at Starbucks, fueled by a double-shot short Americano (the only thing there I can stomach anymore, the sweet drinks are too sweet, the coffees are too bitter.) I wrote at least 35k of my 53k Nano project on this little combo, and it's just AWESOME. Something about the tiny screen where I can only see 3-4 lines at a time, plus the small but not too small keyboard, no internet, no distractions (my own music via iphone, can't stand the piped-in stuff at starbucks.) That's my most productive space.


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MrsBrown
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Word 2000, and lots of notes scrached out on on whatever scrap paper is handy. My typing speed is abysmally slow. I like speaking my ideas aloud, feeling the words, so for Christmas I'm upgrading from Windows 98 to XP, with Dragon Naturally Speaking ready to load and try out with a digital recorder. Someone here mentioned voice-to-text, and my research says its come a long way --- I have high hopes!
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Robert Nowall
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Mostly Microsoft Works-whatever-version-came-with-my-computer. For bouts of writer's block, I'll return to typewriters...for short bits or poems, pen and paper. But mostly Microsoft Works, right here where I am now.
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Antinomy
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Windows XP and cold black coffee -- too busy writing to take a sip.
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annepin
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I'll also add I've started using large sheets of newsprint for sketching out plot arcs and so forth, and for working out stuff that requires a lot of thought and non-linear connections. Also, I like to draw maps and such with a calligraphy pen.
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supraturtle
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I used to prefer monochrome, say a 286 with one of those keyboards that could double as a blunt assault weapon with the cord you could use to tow your car.
Eventually I got used to pretty colors. I use a current-model PC, Winxp with OpenOffice (and numberous stand-alone readers for crit.)
I still require a heavy full-sized keyboard and luckilly I ran a computer shop for years... got plenty to chose from.
Since I'm primarilly visual I also employ Paint Shop Pro's very nifty thumbs browser for my 'illustrations.' IE, still photos that often spark my ideas.
Of course I require constant streams of Internet radio, mostly SKY.FM classical (for reading) and BRAINGEL.COM for writing. This will be pumped through WINAMP no newer than version 5. I have some nice one-pound headphones that I tie to my head with an old field dressing bandoleer. Volume requirements must make the headphones' frame rattle against my skull.
Any office chair will do, as long it is broken.
Of course the coffee is a must: Old, cold and bold.
Staring from my monitor frame are small black'n'whites of Herbert G, Alan C, Jerome D, Jules V, Carolyn J... in his special place is Karl Edward.
So there it is, absolutely the best set-up you'll require to write terribly. (:

[This message has been edited by supraturtle (edited December 13, 2007).]


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dienstag
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A nifty little program called Q10. It's full screen so I don't get distracted by the internet. Oh, and it makes typewriter sounds while you're typing (which amuses me to no end).
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rcorporon
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I use my Dell notebook which is running Freespire Linux. I use Open Office to write.

If I'm writing by hand, just some standard lined paper and some cheap Staples pencils.


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SaucyJim
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Everything is computerized for me: I use my laptop for writing, plotting, brainstorming, and character sketching. I also try and back up everything on a regular basis or have hard-copies lying around for that inevitable disc failure.

The only exception is a little leather-bound notebook I carry with me everywhere, which I use to write down story ideas and stuff when I'm on the move and don't have access to my computer.


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Crank
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At home: Windows XP, MS-Word, various forms of metal at various volumes, and unfortunate amounts of caffeine.

In transit: I dictate into a digital recorder, then transcribe it on my home system at a later time. Before the digital recorder, I used to hang a small cassette recorder around my rear view mirror; it looked goofy, but worked well for me. To earn extra spending money, my oldest daughter has offered to do the transcriptions for me. I'm seriously considering it.

Out in public, with witnesses: I still enjoy the tactile sensation of pen to paper, so I like to keep a few notebooks nearby.

S!
S!...C!


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Zero
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Windows XP, WordPerfect, a quiet house, a closed door, a lot of movie soundtracks, and a Coke -- if available
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Leigh
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I'm not so different from many people, instead I prefer a cup of hot tea or coffee when I sit down to write.

I write mainly on my laptop, just a Acer Aspire 5310, 15.4" wide screen with Vista. I prefer to write on my laptop over my PC anyday. My PC is just random parts that work in unison to give me a pretty good system overall Built myself.


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MrsBrown
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I LOVE my Dragon Naturally Speaking! Its cool. I can see its learning curve in action; when I correct a word, the software gets it right the next time I say it. And its decently accurate right out of the box. I've not tried the digital recorder yet, BUT the instructions say I can select a word in the transcribed doc and request a playback of just that section of the "tape"; no having to find it by myself to play back.

For those of you who have Vista, I've read that it has a pretty good voice-to-text capability built in. Don't know if it will work with digital recorders, though.


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halogen
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Google Docs and any computer or laptop I have available. It took me awhile to get used to Google Docs but I like the ability to access my work from any location.

I tend to do that up until the 3rd draft, then I'll move the doc to Word for awhile to print, edit, polish. When it is all finished I put it back in Google Docs so I have the final version accessible.


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skadder
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I would like a secretary who could transcribe the rubbish that flowed from my mouth with out me lifting a finger. I reckon it would make my life easier.

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Marzo
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quote:
I am thinking of getting an Ipod touch as an MP3 player, but apparently you can download a hack to give it a basic word processor, which I thought would be great for taking notes--or doing short bits of writing.

I recently received an iPod Touch as a gift. As lovely as it is in most respects, Skadder, I don't think I'd want to use it for writing anything other than 'buy milk' or URLs. A little notepad and pen would work better, I think. Though maybe you'll like the keyboard better than I do? Not that I dislike it - it's great - just a little slow for writing creatively with.


I use an iBook G4, the program Mori for notes and TextEdit in another window for the actual writing bit. I keep everything in single-spaced 11pt Times New Roman while writing, and copy/paste it to AppleWorks and double-spaced 12pt Times New Roman or Courier New for editing. On the go I keep an idea notebook, but seldom actually write any kind of prose in there.

I tried a fullscreen program similar to the Q10 dienstag mentioned, but I found the full-screen you are writing and only writing now intensity a little too much for me.


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KStar
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skadder- I used to be a secretary who transcribed rubbish as it flowed from someone's mouth. I can't say I've ever hated anything more.
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MartinV
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Lately I find that my inspiration flees from me as I take the seat in front of the computer. Therefore I turned to writing with a pen. Nothing new for me - I have six full notebooks and one is half full already. I find that writing with a pen is emotionally more rewarding. And you have to stop to rest your fingers. That's when the best ideas come.
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