Now, even on the iPad's screen I'm a decently fast typist. (The iPad mini, not so much, at least not yet.) I certainly can type on an iPad much faster than I can write with a pen on paper. But it's nowhere close to my speed on a MacBook keyboard. Using the iPad slowed me down and got me to think about what I was writing in a way that using my trusty MacBook Air never would.
I'm no Oliver Sacks, but I'd wager that I'm just not taking more time to choose my words, but I'm actually using different parts of my brain when I write this way. And not only does the actual act of writing feel different, but the end result feels different to me too.
The changes in writing environment go beyond the act of typing. The iPad also offers a remarkable lack of distractions. When I write on my Mac I find I am endlessly checking Twitter and email and my weather station's current conditions page and anything else I can find to distract myself from the difficult task of putting one word in front of another. On the iPad, I am more focused--and when I do finally take a break to check my email, it feels like an actual break, not a distraction.
I can't argue with the results. Pieces I've been promising myself to write for weeks remain empty text files in my MacBook's Dropbox folder, while 800-word essays sprout from my iPad in no time.
I'm not sure if I'm a convert to writing everything on an iPad. Certainly, if I need to dash off a work email, my MacBook's keyboard is the right tool for the job. But if I'm about to write something for publication, I now seriously consider the iPad every time.
It's not quite saying that I will only write on a Royal typewriter or compose my sonnets with a quill pen, but... maybe it's similar? Even in 2012, sometimes words are better when they're lovingly handcrafted just for you... just like this story was.