I’m writing this article on my iPhone.
Maybe the fact I’m writing this article on my iPhone isn’t as big of a deal as why I’m not writing it on my 27-inch iMac.
I type faster on my Mac. I have access to a full suite of powerful editing tools. It’s way easier for multi-tasking and probably more ergonomic. But there is one thing my iMac has which makes it difficult at times to use as a writing tool.
I’m a easily distracted person on many levels. It’s something I’ve come to terms with the past few years – just how easy my mind can wander into ‘la-la land’ – away from where it should be. While it’s not always a bad thing to be distracted (I can think of a few ways to argue the opposite), it’s most troubling when I write.
I write for many reasons. I write because I love it. I write because it’s a creative output. I write because I enjoy having a body of work to share with family and friends.
But I don’t write because I have to.
This is where my tendency to become distracted is a problem.
My writing flow often starts with a gut feeling to be creative.
“I’m going to write,” my mind would say if it had an external voice.
I load up my iMac, launch my favorite text editor (Byword) and I start typing away.
“Music! I forgot music. Feels strange to write without music,” my mind says once more.
I load up iTunes and start playing some music. I notice I have unread tweets so I switch to Tweetbot. I wonder if there are any good vinyls on Amazon right now and decide to take a look.
I kid you not, this is how my mind works. Before I know it I’ve completely given up on writing and find myself lost browsing the Internet, wondering what I was doing in the first place.
When I write on the iPhone, I don’t have this problem. Opening an app creates a single vision where all external distractions are tamed.
Something about how iOS is designed helps me to forget that distractions are a home button press away. My mind is not tempted to wander.
Instead I write. And write some more.
Before you mention full-screen Mac apps to me, don’t bother, I’ve already tried. It didn’t help.
While there’s still a spot for the Mac in my life, I enjoy exploring alternatives, mainly the iPhone. It’s easy to dismiss the power of this extremely thin computer that fits in your pocket and has all-day battery life.
For me, it could easily be the best writing tool of our generation.