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3 old-school secrets to writing more

Spending your writing time on Facebook? Here's a solution.
Spending your writing time on Facebook? Here’s a solution.

Think you don’t have time to write? Wrong. There are 24 hours in a day, so if you write for one measly hour, that’s a mere 4% of your day. (Or 6% of your waking hours, if you get a full eight hours of sleep. Lucky you.)

Want to squeeze in more writing time? Take a step back to a simpler time with these writing techniques from yesteryear. 

1) Write longhand.

Ditch the computer and get a cheap lined notebook (Moleskine is a perennial favorite). Then arm yourself with a fancy pen, find a quiet spot somewhere, and start scribbling.

And notice that I said pen, not pencil. The act of putting down one word after another, in ink, forces you to keep moving forward.

Even if you write something truly horrible, who cares? It’s hidden away in your notebook, safe from anyone’s judgment. Promise yourself that you’ll fix it in the next draft, then keep going.

It works. Do it.

(Bonus: you get to shop for way-cool pens and call it “working.”)

2) Get a word processor.

At first glance, a laptop computer seems like a writer’s best friend. But is it?

Three words: Facebook. Twitter. Email.

They’re like quicksand. One misstep, and you’re sucked in forever. And suddenly, somehow, you have no time left to write.

Escape the quicksand. Get yourself a simple battery-powered word processor, like the AlphaSmart Neo. (Look on eBay.) I own several.

In fact, I keep one in the back of my Jeep just in case I spontaneously feel like writing on a mountaintop somewhere. (Or, okay, at Starbucks.)

3) Dig up a typewriter.

Yes, a typewriter. True writerly geekiness is as close as your neighborhood thrift shop. Like writing longhand, a typewriter forces you to keep moving forward.

Besides, there’s a meditative quality to writing on a manual typewriter. It requires patience, focus and good posture.

Finding fresh ribbons can be a bit of a hassle, but nothing says “Writer” like the clacking of typewriter keys, followed by that little “ding” at the end of the line.

What’s your favorite way to write?

Laptop? Notebook? Something else? Leave me a comment.

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