Posted in Ramblings, Uncategorized

Notebook vs. Laptop

writing-imageFor the last month, I’ve been writing in a notebook. In the past, I’ve almost always defaulted to writing directly on my laptop. [Funny sidestory: I started writing because I won a laptop in a contest and it didn’t come with games. We didn’t have the internet at home in 2007 because I’m resistant to change, and so I started writing novels.]

My muse was flowing, but I my words rang hollow. I didn’t feel connected to my characters—characters I loved enough to launch a new series featuring them. One of my writer friends responded to a desperate FB post by recommending that I use a notebook. I’ve always had a writer’s notebook, but I used it for brainstorming, research, character descriptions, and plot notes. Once in a while, I would write out a page or two, but this was a sporadic effort, mostly due to lack of access to my laptop.notebook

It’s well known to people who read research on the teaching of writing that our brains function differently when we write on a computer versus a piece of paper. As one of those people, I shoved that knowledge to the back of my mind because it’s convenient to compose on a laptop. After all, I’m going to have to type it eventually, right? Why not skip right to that part?

I love this pen, but I can’t find them around here lately 😦

I’ve realized a couple things this past month:
1. Writing in a notebook is slower.
2. Writing in a notebook is better.

I can type as fast as I think, but my writing is a tad bit slower—if I want to be able to read what I’ve written later. My handwriting gets worse the quicker I go. Being forced to slow down gives me time to really think about what I’m writing. It allows me time to connect with my characters and the words that create their story. The quality of my writing improves because I have more time to consider details, word choice, and phrasing. Each time I write, I go back a few paragraphs and make revisions. It’s somehow easier to find where I need a word or phrase to clarify and where I need to expand or deepen the level of detail.

Another thing writing in a notebook does is gets me through writer’s block. It takes me away from the distractions of the internet—the place where I look up an image of Mt. Rainier and find myself LOL-ing to the antics of a friend’s child on FB or getting bent out of shape because of an article that came up in my Twitter feed.keep-calm-and-use-your-purple-pen-2

Maybe it won’t help me put out books faster—I may have to dial back my goal of putting out 3 this year to 2—but I’m hoping they’ll provide a satisfying reading experience.

[Note: This was originally published on RB4U 2-26-17]

Posted in Book News, Ramblings

Michele Zurlo’s News: June 18, 2016 #amwriting

Hey there readers!

I thought I’d start a regular feature where I let you know how I’m doing and what’s going on with me.

released 500First, I’m going great. School is out for the summer, and I’m on schedule with my writing goals. All revisions for Re/Leased (DFBI 5) are finished, and I got it up for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. This is significant because I finally learned how to get books on pre-order at BN and iTunes. I feel so accomplished, like I’m actually doing well navigating the indie publishing world. It comes out on my birthday, June 26. I’m NOT telling you how old I’ll be, but rest assured that I’m still hot. (At least, that’s what Wife says.)

I finished the first draft of Re/Viewed (DFBI 6), which unexpectedly turned into a menage. I did not see that coming until my heroine refused to choose between Jed and Liam. She’s all, “Can’t I have them both?” and I couldn’t see why not. Draft #1 is 114K words, and I have notes about things to add, so it’ll probably end up a little longer. This’ll be the longest DFBI book in the series.

My goal of getting content on this blog is also going well. I’m hosting other authors as well as shooting my mouth off about various topics, like my opinion about legislators not having educational requirements.

I’ve also decided to cut back on social media, particularly Facebook. My posts don’t get seen by readers. It doesn’t actually matter how many followers I have if nobody sees the posts. I’m using Twitter more, and I’ve joined Triberr to network with other authors. You can follow me there: or just keep up with my blog. With these regular updates, you’ll be able to find out everything you need to know here.

That’s my Ta-Da! list. Here’s my To-Do list:

  1. Cowboy gearWrite cowboy novella for RB4U anthology. (Challenge: I’ve never liked any western but Cat Ballou, and that was mostly due to Nat King Cole.)
  2. Do initial revision of Re/Viewed before sending it off to beta readers. (Hoping to have a November 2016 release date.)
  3. Brainstorm/outline SAFE Security #1 (title forthcoming, I hope) so that I can write it next.
  4. Plan swag for Midwestern Book Lovers Unite conference in October.