A few years ago I had an epiphany. I said to myself, “Self . . . I use the iPad for a gazillion different tasks, but as a writer, could I use it as my primary writing device?”
I theorized that some pioneers before me surely must have blazed a trail in this area, so researching which authors use an iPad to write their books–and how they do it–would be a breeze.
I was wrong.
Surprisingly, I couldn’t find anyone who wrote a book using an iPad, nor could I find anyone even talking about the subject. When it came to word processing, authors just didn’t reach for the iPad. So, after much trial and error, I found a way to make the iPad my primary writing device in just two easy steps, and I will show you how I did it.
Step 1 is the Hardware (keyboard):
I recommend the Belkin bluetooth keyboard for five reasons:
1). The battery lasts for months. Seriously, I sometimes forget that I need to charge the thing because the battery lasts so long.
2). Taking advantage of the iPad magnet feature, the Belkin keyboard puts the iPad to sleep when you close the keyboard and wakes it up when you open it.
3). It connects automatically (and quickly). If you keep the bluetooth feature on your iPad turned on, then every time you open the keyboard (break the magnetic connection between the keyboard and the iPad), the keyboard fires up and is ready to use before you can count to three.
4). The keyboard is spacious and feels natural when typing.
5). The keyboard also serves as a protective case for the iPad.
6). The iPad seats itself into the keyboard frame so your iPad and keyboard essentially become one device. This ensures that you’re never without your keyboard when inspiration strikes.
Step 2 is the Software (word processing app):
I admit, I’ve always been partial to Microsoft Word, but Pages has won my affections. For a long time I avoided Pages because of the negative reviews it received on iTunes. However, I eventually took the chance and downloaded it. Once I did, I was so impressed with it that I kicked myself for not getting it sooner.
Pages does just about everything Word does and it’s a whole lot cheaper. When I bought it the price was $9.99, but it is now available for free if you’ve purchased an iPad or iPhone within the last two years.
I am very pleased with Pages and it has become my primary word processor for all my writing needs. If you want more details on why I’m a fan of Pages, see my previous article Microsoft Word vs Apple’s Pages.
The marriage of the Belkin keyboard with the Pages app makes this the perfect combination for those who want to use their iPads for writing. It was this very combination that I used to pen the words you’re reading right now. It’s also how I wrote my first book, Saving Kennedy, which contains my two short fiction works, The Visitor and Alibi Interrupted. The iPad has become my exclusive writing utensil, and now you know how to make it yours too.
There’s so much more to writing than the writing.
After writing your story, you have countless editing and rewrites to look forward to, then a cover to be conceived and designed, then publishing. But just when you think it’s over, now comes the labor of promoting your work. And somewhere in all of that you’re supposed to be working on your next piece.
The amount of work that goes on behind the scenes is why so many people are in love with the idea of writing, but never end up producing anything. The writing craft involves a lot of lonely work with little recognition (and even less pay).
So if you’re a writer but are feeling discouraged, don’t give up. Remember why you’re doing this. Remember that you can’t not write. It’s who you are; it’s in your blood.
I am currently in the promotion phase for my debut short story, The Visitor. Here is the first advertisement I created for it (click image to enlarge). I welcome your thoughts and opinions.