You know, when you’re a writer, your stories are constantly on your mind. You think about them when you’re doing dishes, You think about what they should be doing when you’re at the store (you think about what they would be buying!). You think about them when you watch TV (what are they watching and with who?). You think about what you should be writing. It’s just a constant thing.
When I’m waitressing, I see myself as a character in a book. Why is Dani working as a waitress? What does she wish she was doing? Who is she thinking about? I may or may not use it in a story at some point (and there’s a high chance of that right now because the main character in a series I’m working on is a waitress).
Unfortunately, most of us can’t write all the time. We have things to do. But many of us use smartphones and those things can come in pretty handy.
Here’s 10 ways that I use my smartphone for my writing when I’m not actually writing:
- I send myself links. When I’m on social media or on a forum and I read something that pertains to the craft of writing or something to do with my stories, I send myself a link via email. Then I star it and I have it for later.
- I research. Sometimes I need to know how a character would do something or if something is possible or probable so I look it up on the internet. And then I send myself the link.
- I take notes. I randomly get ideas for things like story titles, character names, places they should go, and so on. The notes feature on my phone is perfect for that.
- I read forums. I have two forums that I go to all the time that are filled with information that is good for writers. One is a membership forum and the other a reddit forum. The people on these forums are awesome at answering questions, giving feedback, and so on. I usually visit these places on my phone.
- I read writer blogs. Loads of them. They are great for inspiration and make me feel like I’m not some absurd, strange writer person.
- I send messages to writer friends. If you don’t know any other writers in real life (like me) your online writer friends are everything!
- I browse images. Depositphotos – that’s where I get all the images for my covers. I browse through the site and save pictures I think I might want to use later. I also browse Pixabay for images that I might want to use for promo pictures.
- I browse social media. Yes, social media can be a huge time suck. But it can also bring you ideas. So many ideas I’ve gotten from things I find on social media sites. Ideas for things that are related to characterization or plot points. Find something that you might want to use? It’s easy to save it if you’re on Facebook or send it to yourself. Or if you’re on Pinterest you can have a board dedicated to ideas. Don’t want others to see it? Make your board private.
- I post on social media accounts. As a writer, you need to promote yourself and social media is free. But it’s not all, “Hey, read my new book!”. It’s liking and sharing other people’s stuff. It’s sharing content that is relevant to what you’re writing and connecting with the people that follow you. Phones are an awesome tool for writers to use social media and not have to be on a computer.
- I write. Yup. It might not be the best writing but sometimes I use Google Docs to write stories or even parts of stories. I can write a scene or a part of a dialogue or a narrative and then I can copy it into the actual story and edit it later.
See? Your phone can be really useful when you’re a writer. If you’re sitting at the doctor’s office, watching TV and don’t feel like watching the commercials, or just have a few minutes to spare there are lots of things that you can do on your phone.
Let’s not forget one of the most important things you should be doing as a writer – reading! You should always be looking to improve your craft and there are loads of good books on Amazon that you can read with the Kindle app. And of course, you should be reading in your genre. Lots. Read the good and the bad. Read loads of books so you know what is working and what is not. Heck, if you don’t have time to actually read a book at the moment, browse through the top 100 in your genre of books and read blurbs. Read the first couple pages of a book. Read reviews. All those things have value. And if you can fit them into those spare moments of your day, that’s that much less you have to do later when you’re at the computer and you’re actually supposed to be writing!