general songwriting technology

Mmmmmaybe I’ll blog a little more. (Technology and the bard)

So, I finally found the WordPress iPhone app. Given that I do most of my writing these days on my iPhone, that’s very cool.

I’ve been trying to manage my writing process better since I committed myself to bardic just about a year ago (a few months before I set up this site and the Facebook group). By “better”, I mean “make it more convenient to write, easier to find my stuff, easier to share my stuff, and less likely to lose my stuff”. And since I first got an iPhone in my hands last year, that has meant (as so many of you have probably already found) doing it on my iPhone.

Look, I have ADHD. And not just the societally-induced thing, the neurochemical thing. Which means that keeping organized is a constant struggle for me. I lose stuff easily and lose track of stuff easily. So one of the biggest impediments to writing for me has been having something to write with, and something to write on, in hand when the Muse tells me I have something to write about.

And (not unrelated to the ADHD) I don’t enjoy writing longhand. Even if I have paper and a pencil handy (and even today I still keep a paper daybook at work), my hands cramp up quickly when I write longhand for any length. I learned how to type 30 years ago, chose programming as a profession 20 years ago. I now type constantly, and I speak fluent QWERTY. But carrying a laptop to write is just cumbersome.

But it’s interesting to reflect. The long gap in my output between “The Bastard’s Tale” in 2004 and “My Thirst” in 2011, compared to the five* songs I’ve written in the last 12 months. Obviously, a piece of that was having a baby at the end of 2004, and only getting active in the SCA when my son was finally old enough to take an interest. Another piece was the conscious choice to get serious as a bard, and the advice from a patron to write more regularly. But I have to note that I did the primary writing for the last five songs all in Notes on my iPhone.

I now use Voice Memos to quickly record new melodies before I forget them, Symphony Pro for the iPad (along with MuseScore for the PC) to transcribe sheet music, GarageBand for the iPad and iPhone interchangeably (thank you iCloud!), then port it to the Mac, to build demos of the songs. And now we’re using GarageBand to actually record the album!

I am indeed a 21st century bard. And now, maybe I’ll be comfortable posting more regularly on the site.

* Yeah, five. I finished a draft of “The Last Plantagenet” yesterday. Huzzah.

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