In March of last year, I decided to stop typing my stories and novels into the computer and handwrite my first drafts. I had a slew of reasons for this, among them the attempt to limit my screen time (which has both worked and failed; more on that in a bit) and also to unplug myself from batteries and the like.

I've found I really enjoy handwriting my stories and novels. In fact, the experiment is still going strong, and I have no intent to stop it, even if I do get a new job where I'm in front of the computer less often.

What has partly failed is my attempt to limit my screen time. I have very little "internet" time as it is during the week; on weekends, I tend to be on my computer a lot more often. This isn't always (or ever) a good idea, since I don't get what I want to get done around the house.

On weekdays, I try to be off the computer by 8pm at the latest, or not even turn my computer on at all if it's a day when I work until 5pm and don't get home until close to 6:30pm. On weekends, it's fluid throughout the day. Some days, I'm not online very often. Others, I'm online much too often. I'm going to try to address that this year.

The only real drawback I have discovered in handwriting my books is the fact that some of my works-in-progress are in electronic format and handwritten format (I just started where I'd left off), so if I want to go back and read something that happened earlier, that's not as simple as it sounds if I'm not at home and near my computer. And I hate not knowing, or forgetting something pertinent, or leaving a blank line until I am home again and can open the file.

That's where my Nook comes in. I've found it invaluable for story storage--I can convert all my works-in-progress files to PDF format and load them on my Nook. Then, if I need to reread a paragraph or chapter (or even the whole thing), I'm all set. It's been very useful throughout the year. In fact, that's what I use it for, mostly, since limiting my screen time also counts when it comes to my Nook.

Obviously, the Nook also runs from a battery, so while it's a better solution, it's not a 100% perfect solution. But it's one I can live with as things stand right now. And since the weight of my Nook and a notebook are minimal and not even close to the weight of my netbook, I can save my back a bit of bother too.


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