Disclosure: I am a member of the Verizon Wireless Lifestyle Program which gives me free access to mobile technology and other benefits. The opinions expressed here are my own, as is the cursing and the Spanglish. I am, as always myself. #VZWBuzz
When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any way you can. ~Samuel Lover, Handy Andy, 1842
I don’t remember when I first knew that I would be a writer, but it seems I was born with a pencil in my hand. My father once told me that I was about two and scribbling on the floor with a pencil. He said that he’d asked me what I was doing and I lisped, “telling stories.”
It’s hard being a writer though when one needs to support oneself and the writing. I have a lot of juggling to do, have become quite expert at it over the years. I have always worked full-time in demanding jobs. From working at Disney, to ABC Broadcasting, then onto being the GM of a trade magazine, my jobs amounted to long, stressful but rewarding hours. I’d come home, cook for and feed four hungry kids, clean the house, organize for the next day, sneak in a bath and some wine and every night, no matter how beat I was, I would write. In those days, it was a typewriter and/or ink-stained hands and smudged notebooks (I’m a leftie). Nowadays, it’s vastly different.
I still work a full-time job, I commute home for over an hour. I do freelance gigs at home. I write, on a laptop now (no more smudges!) but I write whenever I get a chance. I still come home and cook for the blog, myself, and sometimes for friends and grandchildren. I still sink into that welcoming bathtub, and I still write late into each night. There are however many more perks and a lot of things that make my busy writer’s life an easier one. Droid Turbo is my best friend and writing buddy these days.
The following is a typical day in my writing life:
- I wake up at 5:30 a.m with the alarm on my Droid;
- get up, log weight and sleep via my Jawbone Up app on the phone;
- Make coffee and breakfast, eat and drink same;
- Log what I ate on my phone;
- Dress, groom, pack up for work, hit the road;
- On the train, I’m using my phone constantly: take notes, check emails, check Evernote app for yesterday’s notes on stories, things to do;
- Get to work and do my job.
- While I’m working, I use the gestures to wake up the Droid a lot. Doing this tells me if I have pressing things to get to, emails to respond to, chats to answer, all while working intensely.
- Lunch hour? Um nope. I’m doing a Twitter party on my Droid, monitoring Facebook; making calls, checking Writer’s Market to see what I can submit stories to, which contests are open; I’m reading Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness, my literary and publishing blogs. I’m on Buffer scheduling Tweets of all my morning reading.
- On the commute home, I’m reading. If I’ve a story idea, I’m noting it, using the voice options on the Droid and saving those into Evernote.
- When I get home, I have dinner, straighten up, do whatever I need to for the next day.
- I go through my research books, make notations on index cards and put them in my card file.
- After that, I am writing. I’m currently working on a historical novel and there is a LOT of research involved. This is where the Droid Turbo really shines and saves my behind
- When bedtime finally happens, my Droid Turbo goes into sleep mode meaning I hear no vibrations, ringtones or anything else to disturb my sleep. If I wake up in the middle of the night with a story idea, I can sleepily gesture my Turbo awake and mutter the idea before rolling over and going back to sleep.
Back to my writing process… I’m typing on the laptop, mid-story…the last thing I want to do is pop out of my writing program to Google something if I have a question on the fly. Instead, I use Moto Home Assist. The phone automatically sets itself to home as soon as I walk in the door. If a text comes in, it notifies me by voice…”You have a text from Gianfranco Minuz, say Listen if you would like me to play it.” I say “Listen” and it plays. I then can answer using my voice while still typing away without ignoring someone who is important to me or leaving off my writing mid-sentence. Sweet!
I’m typing like a fury, deep into this world of war and tumult and all of a sudden, I think to myself, ‘crap I just wrote an oak tree into this setting. Were there oaks in this area of Mexico at that time? ‘“Hello Droid Turbo, oak trees in the Bahio of Guanajuato” Boom! A list of Google results shows up and I can lift my finger off my keyboard quickly and click something. Problem solved, answer found. I keep typing, creating, weaving my words into something resembling a story. While I’m typing I remember that I’ve yet to do grocery shopping for the holiday gifts I make for co-workers and friends. “Hello Droid Turbo, remind me.” A screen pops up, I can choose when or where I need this reminder, so I set where and add in my local market. I put down eggs, milk and butter using my voice and boom, next time I walk into my local market, the Droid Turbo’s GPS recognizes I’m there and reminds me of what I need from that particular store. Cool right?
I’m writing again, deep into my story, lost in the state of Morelos, Mexico and I want to know particulars about Zapata’s Plan de Ayala. “Hello, Droid Turbo, Plan de Ayala” since the voice commands are constantly learning my voice, inflections and accent, it pulls it up with no problem even though I rattled it off in Spanish. Even better, I don’t have to really even look at it, the computer voice tells me about it in a voice snippet and then I can decide whether or not to ask more or click a link.
My days and nights are busy, but with the Droid Turbo and a few handy apps, I’m golden. I can type away long into the night knowing that it’s got me covered. It has become my writing partner, one I can trust.