Computers, Editing, and Writer Preferences

Saturday, April 18, 2009
What do you look for in a computer for your writing? Do you focus on its screen size, portability, storage capacity, or do you look for the operating system and software/hardware you can run on it?

How many of you write using handhelds versus laptops, laptops versus desktops? How many of you still prefer to do all your drafting in longhand and type it up only when it is necessary?

Lastly, when you write and/or edit manuscripts, what types of platforms do you use (i.e., Google doc, MS Word's Track changes, etc.)? Do some work better than others in your opinion?

I figured I'd make this an open post to hopefully get a good dialogue going, as while I love technology, I'm relatively a newbie to taking writing into consideration as I once again go in search of a new computer since mine bit the dust...the latter questions come from the fact I'm finding everyone seems to have different preferences when it comes to collaborative editing, and I would love to know what else is out there to try as I help other writers with editing comments.



LuAnn said...

When it comes to serious writing, I prefer my desktop computer. I have everything around me I need -- notes, dictionary, thesaurus, style guides, pens, pencils, notepaper. I recently added a 20-inch flatscreen, so now, I can have two documents open side-by-side. I use my laptop at times, too, but it's not the standard if I'm at home.

Elizabeth King Humphrey said...

Daily I use a laptop and, honestly, I bought one that I could use with my Adobe design programs. I purchased a netbook in January for its portability and will take it on short trips or to the library. I don't own a handheld and don't believe I will be composing on one, if I did own one. I enjoy writing longhand to engage my creativity, allowing me to doodle or play with words.

For editing someone else's work, I use track changes in Word (2007). I've used Goggle Docs but haven't used it enough to really have an opinion about it.

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

I found this site by google-ing on computers and writing, because I have a terrible time with my software on my Dell computer. I have not needed the help desk so much since before getting a Dell xp in 2005. For five years I was free of the constant tech support that had me on the phone with a headset hours each day--or night. Now, I have trouble closing a window with that x, have to go to ctrl alt del. and still can't close it, even with "end program".
I have begun this year, as a writer of 25 page novel chapters and short stories, literally praying for a solution to my cpr problems. And forever, my cpr has been so slow to shift screens, that I could keep a book by my side to stave off fury, as I wait for something to appear onscreen. My dreams of having internet in order to do research are just that--dreams. Anybody got really secure desktop computing going on, as a writer? I'm still praying--with my head on the desk in front of my glaring monitor.

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