I wrote my first proper science fiction story in an exercise book and typed it up on a mechanical typewriter. The process took so long I could see I needed to find a more efficient way, so I took out a loan from the bank for £500 and bought an AMSTRAD word processor. (This was in 1988. I had just started my first job as a teacher and I was earning about £8000 a year)
I never sold anything written on the AMSTRAD, though I had few nearlys amongst my rejections. My first sale was written on my first PC (which cost around £1200, plus another £250 for a decent laser printer. I don’t think I broke even on writing until around the year 2000).
In those days, all of my stories were written using Microsoft Word, but all my ideas and early sketches were written on paper – in A4 ruled notebooks for preference. I still have those notebooks sitting in a corner, their paper slowly turning yellow.
I was never quite happy keeping my notes on paper and I experimented with different ways of storing and retrieving notes electronically. Over the years I’ve owned a Psion 3, a Psion 5, and a Palm Pilot, but I always ended up going back to using paper… until about three years ago.
This section is intended for those who were interested in my posts on the software I use for writing, you’ll find similar stuff on my tech website: Tony Ballantyne Tech