If you don’t have to have time to sit down with a pen and notebook, then your writing time is limited. Or so I used to think. Now I write standing up while watering the garden, washing lettuce in the sink, or walking down the street to the gym.
Much of writing for me -- especially the first stage -- is taking notes about my feelings and observing what is happening. The way the peaches are bending the branches down, or how the storm strew leaves over the driveway. The coin-in-a-tissue magic trick my daughter performed for dinner guests, or the doodads and Valentines I made her clear off her dresser before the last day of school. The evanescent moments of everyday life that, when I am motoring ahead, seem to disappear behind me like fumes.
When I first discovered writing by dictating, I recorded voice memos thinking I would find another app to transcribe them. But with speech-to-text technology embedded in all sorts of programs like Scrivener, Word, Pages, and Google Docs, I realized the software I already use could type while I speak. Now I dictate into the Notes app on my iPhone, and after one month I have amassed 55 pages of journal entries.
Without this new habit, I would probably have zero. Late May and June have been criss-crossed with year-end events, volunteering, parties, and writing and work deadlines, and some days the only quiet time I had was while folding a load of laundry.
I still like pressing a pen against paper, leaning my Decomposition notebook against my leg, and hearing the sound of the nib laying down black lines. These moments of stillness with my journal are even more delicious. But during busy times, I’m grateful for the technology that allows me to document life as it's exuberantly unfolding.