Catching What the Writing Muse Flings at You (Part 1) by M. B. Weston

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but ideas rarely come to me when I’m sitting peacefully at my desk and can write them down in an organized fashion. No, no, nooooo… My muse prefers to toss ideas my way when I’m in the middle of something else, usually without access to pen and paper. (Yes, I prefer this old-fashioned method for taking notes.) I still remember the day (pre-smartphone) when I went running around Walt Disney’s Polynesian Hotel looking for something to write with as a scene unfolded in my head. Ended up buying a Minnie Mouse notepad, but I was able to write it down. If you’re a writer, you know that when your characters start taking, you’ve got precious little time to record what they are doing.

Over my next few articles I’ll share a few “writer’s life hacks” that helped me record and organize my ideas even if I’m nowhere near a pen and paper. As long as you already own a smartphone or tablet, all of these (except one) are free.

Writer’s Hack 1: Put MS Word on your smartphone. I’m not sure about androids, but MS Word is free if you have an iPhone or iPad with at least iOS 7. I use Dropbox (more on that next) to store my writing manuscripts and notes. I can pull up any Word document on my iPhone and work on it. I can also start a new manuscript on my iPhone when the ideas strike. Unfortunately, I’ve found that trying to use MS Word on the smartphone/tablet, is nearly impossible, but it can work well with short stories or just taking notes during brainstorming sessions. Watch for Part 2 and keep writing!

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