Sunday, October 22, 2017


[I moved Monday's National Novel Writing Month post to today because tomorrow I'm going to unplug and do something else.]

I broke a keyboard last week, something I do once or twice a year. I'm heavy-handed and clumsy due to my arthritis, which is why I buy cheap keyboards; the expensive ones break just as easily. Unfortunately this time I killed my Neo2 smart keyboard, which is no longer being manufactured. Since I can store two hundred manuscript pages on the Neo2, run it for weeks on 3 AA batteries, take it anywhere and even drop it occasionally without a problem I decided to get one off eBay.

The replacement I bought was the last new one listed; which means when I burn up this one I need to find another cheap brand of smart keyboard (there are none), go the tablet-with-paper-thin-attachable-keyboard route (which I will probably break in a month), or start using my much more expensive laptop when I want to take my writing on the go (with which I must use a wireless keyboard because otherwise I'd break the keypad portion of the very expensive laptop.)

Being immobilized irks me because I like to take breaks from the desktop and go out on the porch with my Neo2 for an hour or two. I also use the smart keyboard when I'm getting too distracted by the internet, or my eyes hurt from the monitor glare, or I need to go to the library. During the extensive power failure period after Hurricane Irma I used the smart keyboard exclusively to write and save my laptop charge. Anyway, the new Neo2 is on its way, but in the meantime I'm stuck at my desk.

I want to be mobile next month while I'm working on my NaNo novel for a bunch of other reasons. My story is set in a nearby town, which I plan to visit and write on-scene to get a personal look at some of the setting. I plan to attend at least one official NaNoWriMo write-in, meet some of the local participants and write with them. I may also take a weekend trip, and I always like to do a little writing at the hotel at night or early in the morning. Being mobile also allows me to deal with lack of enthusiasm, so if I start to drag during November I can pack up my keyboard and go someplace that inspires me.

You don't have to be on the move during NaNoWriMo, but having the option to take your writing with you may help you get more done. Also, you don't have to take actual gadgets. I always carry a small notepad with me everywhere in case I see or hear something I want to jot down and remember. Writing in longhand in a notebook or on a legal pad will require you to transcribe it later, but it's a great way to shift gears with writing. You can even take a voice recorder with you on the go and dictate your writing to it. If you've never tried writing elsewhere, this is a great time to give it a test-drive -- you may find it changes your process for the better.

Are you a mobile writer? Any ideas on how to get other writers on the go with their work? Let us know in comments.


  1. I'm hard on gym shoes. :) It doesn't matter if they're expensive or cheap, I go through two pair a year. I now buy several pair when they go on sale at Payless.

    I don't know how expensive the Neos are but you could invest in a second one just to have in reserve.

    I almost bought one years ago until I realized that I never write if I'm away from home base. I get too distracted.

    Every once in a blue moon I see them at garage sales. I'll keep a sharper eye out for them now.

  2. I've never even heard of a smart keyboard before! It would be so lovely to not be tied to my desktop. I take along a paper notebook when I'm off elder-sitting, but handwriting is hard on my arthritis. I'll look into getting a smart keyboard, if I can find a cheap one. Thanks for the info!

  3. I have a portable bluetooth keyboard I use occasionally with my tablet. The problem is, you need a cover that will let you prop the tablet up so you can see the screen since the keyboard, which is really nice and very inexpensive, doesn't have one. Not ideal, but better than dragging my laptop around. At home, I have a stand for the laptop that props it up so I can see the screen like a monitor and I use a full size bluetooth keyboard and mouse. They're both inexpensive as well so it's not too horrible when they crash and burn.


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