When I started writing I had to actually write the old-fashioned way- on paper with a pen or pencil. Occasionally the only thing handy was a crayon so I used that. I have a stack of journals filled with writing.
Eventually I transitioned to writing on computers. But when I got serious about writing I started carrying a journal or notebook everywhere. Pen and paper ruled again. As I transcribed some of these stories onto my home desktop computer, I found myself writing there again as well.
I noticed I tended to write differently based on the medium. I filed this mentally among the myriad weird things about Miles and ignored it.
One evening I tried to write a story based on a previous night's dream. I couldn't get the words onto paper or my desktop. Ideas were rushing through my mind like a dam had burst but they wouldn't flow out of my fingers. This continued for about two weeks.
On a whim I decided to try writing on my new, work-provided Apple Macbook Air. Almost 2,000 words flowed effortlessly out in a couple of hours. That's a chapter. This happened again the next night. And the next. I wrote over 75,000 words in a month-- all in my spare time amidst a very busy schedule- and all on the laptop. I'd never done anything like that before.
The style was different. It was perfect for the book but it wasn't like anything I had ever written. Why?
A few days after I started pondering this I was rummaging through art supplies- crayons, pens, pencils, markers, and brushes, and it hit me. Visual artists use different media for different things. It might vary by mood or subject or style, but some artists find they can only do certain work- perhaps their best work- with certain media.
It's true with music as well. I tend to play certain styles based on which guitar I'm using. Often I pick the guitar based on what I want to play.
Why should writing be any different?
Are you an an artist? Try another medium! Swap a paintbrush for a sprayer, a Strat for a Tele, a guitar for a bass, a clarinet for a drum, pencils for markers.
It can help with writer's block (or other artistic equivalents). That's what happened with the book- which I originally thought was a short story but appears to be a tetralogy!
All that said, I'm glad this blog flowed onto my desktop keyboard. I guess I could have scanned a bunch of PostIt[tm] notes and used that image as the blog.