Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Could You Write Your Novel on a Tablet?


Most writers work either in longhand or type their work straight into their home computer or laptop. However, those are far from being the only methods that people use to get their words down in black and white. Writers who have learned some kind of shorthand—for example Teeline or perhaps one of the Pitman varieties such as New Era or Pitman 2000—may find that filling a notepad with those apparently mysterious squiggles is the quickest and most efficient way for them to get their ideas onto the page. Then there are those brave—or, some might say, foolhardy—souls who compose whole novels on their smartphone. While that is certainly a resourceful use of downtime for any commuters who might be stuck on a long train journey without recourse to a pen and paper, writing on such a small screen is far from easy and probably sounds incredibly weird to most writers. Nonetheless, is easy to understand the appeal of having a tiny, portable computer that allows you to write on the fly, wherever and whenever the mood takes you. After all, most people do not spend their whole day in front of their PC and even a laptop computer may well be too cumbersome to take with you everywhere.

Rise of the Androids
Perhaps this is one reason why tablets of all kinds are gaining popularity. Thanks to their compact footprint, tablets, such as Apple’s iPad and its Android counterparts such as the Samsung Galaxy devices, are highly portable while still possessing a sufficiently large screen for comfortable web browsing, e-book reading and movie viewing. To date, relatively little has been said about the potential value of the tablet as a tool for writers, but it is certainly worth considering it as a powerful tool for creating documents of all kinds. With software apps geared to the needs of both business use and creative writing of all kinds, tablets are increasingly proving themselves to be a powerful aid for writers.

Looking After Your Tablet
The more you use your tablet, the more you may come to see it as a valuable ally in your writing work. However if you are going to carry it around with you, it is important to protect it from damage that may occur. Even if it is in your bag, it could be damaged if it is knocked or dropped and that may require repairs to the screen or internal components which could have been avoided with the right protection. You can protect your tablet with a sturdy cover. These are available in a wide range of colors and designs. If you live in a large city or town within the US, or if you are visiting any large city overseas, such as London or Manchester, stores devoted to tablet repairs  and tablet accessories will be within easy reach. If you are based in a smaller town, you may find you have a wider selection available to you if you order the cover online. It is not only the outside of the tablet which needs to be cared for. Like any other kind of computer, your tablet can easily become clogged with files that you do not need any more. This can cause its performance to become sluggish, unless you take the time to clear these unnecessary files every so often.

Writing Software for Your Tablet
Despite their surge in popularity, tablets are still a source of puzzlement to many of their users. Certainly, many people, especially those who receive their tablet as a gift and are not particularly aware of the technology may be delighted by its compact footprint and relatively large screen, but have insufficient awareness of the nature of the tablet to get the maximum benefit from it. Even writers who are used to creating documents on their home computer or notebook may not have considered the potential of their tablet as a tool that could help them as writers. However even a brief glance through some of the apps that are available for your tablet will be enough to confirm that there are now a great many productivity software tools for writers. If you need word processing software for your tablet, a good free one is Kingsoft Office.

While it may be slower as a writing tool than a traditional keyboard if you are a fast touch typist, many hunt and peck typists will see little difference between the speed with which they can enter text on a tablet and that on a traditional keyboard. Hardcore fans of texting may even find input on a tablet is faster for them. For portability and convenience, the tablet is a real boon to a busy writer who is looking to fit a few extra minutes of precious writing time into his or her schedule. The increasing choice of helpful apps available for tablets of all kinds can help you make the most of the writing time at your disposal.