Friday, January 7, 2011

Technology that can free up writing time

With my New Year's resolution to make more time to write (sound familiar anyone?) I've adapted to some electronic devices that so far are really making a difference.

First of all, I bought Scrivener. This is a writing software program. I think it's brilliant. My YA has two elaborate worlds. This makes it easier for me to keep all the elements organized. So far my favorite features are how it separates chapters and how I can easily see all my chapters/scenes listed on a cork board. Yes, it is a cork board!! For this very visual person this is a major technology breakthrough and it is cutting down on the clutter in my office. I'm no longer laying out a million sticky notes! OK that was an exaggeration but still you get the point. My MG has a huge back story. It currently is on hold while I work on my YA rewrite but I can see Scrivener being HUGE in helping me keep those facts straight. I highly recommend this product!

For Christmas I asked my family for an Amazon Kindle. I never thought I would love an electronic reader but I do! Every morning I read the New York Times. Now with a 6 month old, an always changing freelance schedule, a non-fiction book on deadline and the constant want to finish and send off my fiction work I'm always looking for ways to save time. I never wanted to cut down on my daily news time but now I can read the NY Times on my Kindle. How does this save time? Well, it's a lot easier to make breakfast, put together bottles, etc. while reading from a small electronic device. So the Kindle has driven me to find more multi-task skills. I can already see how the Kindle will also save my house from the eminent invasion of my book collection.

So, those are two new things that I'm using to better manage my writing time. And, yes I still use the giant white erase board to keep my schedule straight. There is just something about having it large, in blue marker and on the wall that helps me keep everything straight. I know that there are neater and more effective ways to do this but the important thing is that I know what works for me.

What works for you? Do you have any technology discoveries that have helped you better manage your writing life. Do share in a comment.

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