Are you ever in the moment of trying to write and you find yourself distracted? Whether it’s by Facebook or Twitter, or checking your email. When you’re writing on a computer or tablet, the distractions are endless with the internet only a mouse click away.
What can you do to completely remove these distractions? Well, you could go live under a rock! Just a joke. Have you ever tried to live under a rock? It’s rather uncomfortable and not to mention there are bugs under those rocks!
Seriously though, what you could do is try to do your writing by hand. By hand? I know, it’s scandalous, isn’t it?
I write by hand some times. But I am a technology junkie. At one point I had a desktop, laptop, and 3 tablets (all in different screen sizes).
I also have a wonderfully distraction free piece of somewhat old school technology called an Alphasmart. Check them out at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlphaSmart and on Ebay at https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.XAlphasmart.TRS0&_nkw=Alphasmart&_sacat=0.
They’re not being manufactured anymore, as far as I know but Ebay is your friend when it comes to finding these great little devices.
The easiest way to describe it is a keyboard with a small screen that shows you anywhere from 3 to 5 or 6 lines of text at a time depending on the settings you have set for you font size. I usually keep mine at 4 lines of text. Sometimes I will up it to 6 lines with a smaller text size when I am at work and fear prying eyes of security cameras. But even at a larger font, I don’t know if a security camera would be able to pick it up anyways.
But I digress. I started out with an Alphasmart 3000 that I purchased on Ebay for around $20 USD. I loved it. I had no problems out of it whatsoever except that I work well with knowing what my current word count is. I participate in NanoWriMo (insert link) events and word count is your goal there.
So after doing some research and seeing if the 3000 model had the word count function, I found that it did not. But the Neo 2, which I am currently using to type up this blog post, all you have to do is press Ctrl+W and it will give you the current word count as well as other information as well, such as characters, paragraphs, and pages. I’m not sure how the number of pages is calculated. I think it is like every 250 or 350 words is a page.
One nice thing about the Alphasmart line is that they run off of AA batteries. I purchased my Neo2 back in April of 2017 and have yet to have to change the batteries in it. Now, I don’t use it everyday. I have actually just recently gotten started in using it again and it is becoming a daily used tool. Now, my 3000 model, I used every day for quite a while and never had to change the batteries in it either.
To be able to transfer the words from the Alphasmart to a computer, all you need is a cable. If you have a printer wired to you computer, you’ll recognize the cord needed. The cords are fairly inexpensive. Look at the listings on Ebay and you might even find an Alphasmart that comes with an included cord.
Once you have the cord, you plug it into the Alphasmart and into the computer. You open up your favorite word processor. Mine is Scrivener. Then, going to the Alphasmart which will turn on and make a connection when it is plugged in, you hit the SEND button and it will type out what is in the current file on the Alphasmart into your word processor. It has a progress bar to show the transfer percentage. Once it’s done, you can unplug and work on the newly created file on your computer.
Saving isn’t a process you have to do yourself on the Alphasmart. *You would have to save the file that is created on your computer obviously!* But the Alphasmart stores the words you have put into it on it’s ROM on the circuit board.
A friend of mine asked me the other day, “Does the Alphasmart lose your words if the batteries die?” I’m not 100% sure on this. It shouldn’t. After being asked this question, I took the batteries out of my Alphasmart and let it sit for a bit and then put the batteries back in and the words I had written were still there. So I would assume that even without the batteries, it would save your words. Now, that’s not to say that if it stays without batteries for an extended period of time, the words wouldn’t be lost. A good rule of thumb for any writing endeavor is BACK UP OFTEN!
I have learned this lesson the hard way. I have lost more words than I care to admit over the years. Power outages. Lost floppy disks! Blast from the past, I know!
I feel like I am rambling here. Long story short, if you’re in need of a way to write without distractions, check out the Alphasmart and see what you think!
Stay tuned for my upcoming post on Cloud Backup Options for BACKING UP FREQUENTLY!!!
Happy Writing 🙂