No, I'm not kidding. This past weekend I did some writing on my phone.
I've been writing the current book (Terns of Endearment, in case you're curious) in Google docs rather than Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer. It's not that I prefer Google docs, mind you. It has its quirks and limitations. But it does have one feature that's very useful right now: maximum portability. Anywhere I can open a browser, I can pick up where I left off.
I first found this useful because my writer friend Robin Templeton and I have been having weekly mini write-ins. Usually on a Monday, sometimes on whatever other day works, we gather at a library that's roughly halfway between our two houses and write in companionable mostly silence for as long as real life allows us. Monday, because it's the start of the week, and somehow getting a solid session of writing in before the week is more than a few hours old jump starts your productivity for the rest of the week.
But after the frustrating experience of temporarily misplacing the flash drive on which I'd saved a whole day's work done at the library, I decided that copying the day's work into Google, just in case, was a good discipline. And that quickly morphed into writing directly in Google.
There's also the fact that I've been traveling a lot, including multiple trips to my late mother's old house, which we're fixing up both to vacation in ourselves and, we hope, cover expenses by renting it out to vacation-goers. What works well for a day trip to the library works even better for a weekend trip to Yorktown.
This past weekend, I was down there with my brother's family, including the two small dogs, Ginger and Maple. And for some reason, whenever I sat down at my laptop to write, the dogs wanted to be with me or, better yet, on me—possibly because the weather was the sort of hot, sticky weather in which cuddling small furry beings loses much of its appeal, and the dogs, being contrarians, sensed this and became clingier than ever. And there's also the fact that the dogs are sometimes a little stressed at being in what is still, to them, a less familiar environment, and that ups the velcro factor.
So I'd end up lying in the recliner, with both dogs happily draped over me, and fretting because time was ticking away and I had a quota to meet. Then I remembered that I could open Google docs on my phone. So I opened up the chapter I'd been working on when I'd given way to the dogs' clinginess, and began slowly but steadily tapping away with one or two fingers.
It's not efficient. It's not as much fun as when I'm at my home computer, with my fingers flying over the keyboard. But it does work. And Terns of Endearment is a good bit closer to being a finished book than it would have been if I hadn't tried this.
For my next experiment I might try something really wild and crazy. Like . . . I don't know. Pen and paper. maybe? Totally retro!