Inspire your writing: use a different device

This is going to sound a bit weird. But in your pursuit for writing ideas, one thing you can do is change the device you use to write with.

This is going to sound a bit weird. But in your pursuit for writing ideas, one thing you can do is change the device you use to write with.

I wrote most of this post using a pen and a notepad.

Big deal, right?

Yeah, I know, lots of people use pen and paper. But here’s the thing: the idea for this post came because I was using pen and paper.

Let me explain.

It was time to write a new blog post. My ideas pool was empty and trying to force an idea is not good.

So, I closed down my laptop and picked up a pen and a notepad.

I started free writing. Jotting down anything that came into my head.

I kept that up for a while. And felt myself relaxing as I wrote.

Then, I wrote this sentence:

Sometimes, the best ideas pop out when you least expect it...

I paused to think about that for a moment. Moments later, I turned the page and wrote the intro for this post.

See what I mean?

I’ve done this before, too. Doodling around my digital notebooks looking at snippets of stuff. All with the intention of finding a new idea.

Nothing happens, so I close my laptop and pick up my iPad. There was no intention to write anything now.

Next, POW!

An idea flies in. And you’re left thinking: “Where the hell did that come from? Five minutes ago, I had nothing...”

I think that happened because I switched which device I was using.

It’s like getting up and walking into a different room. Your viewpoint changes and creates a new experience.

That frees your mind to absorb the new experience. And then the ideas start to come.

I’m so convinced that this happens, that I now try to write as soon as an idea starts to cause an itch in some recess of my mind.

I’ve literally stood on a train with my phone out and writing furiously to capture the idea at the moment of its birth.

Sometimes, it’s a deformed child that is born. It needs the quiet calm of your home or office.

That’s when you prune, refine and otherwise correct the writing.

There are times, though, when the original words carry the energy of the moment you wrote them. And that’s a good thing.

It’s said that writers must be observant. What I’m saying here is, I agree.

Need to write but nothing is coming? Put your computers away and go for a walk, carrying only your phone - or better still, a notebook and pen.

Let your mind absorb all that is going on, but without evaluating anything.

Then, when the ideas come (and they will) use an app on your smart phone to capture them. They’ll be rough diamonds, but diamonds, still.


It might sound weird, but switching the device you are using is enough. It's enough to inspire you as a result of the new experience. Give it a go, you'll see what I mean. #andyhawthorne.co.uk/posts#