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How I wrote a novel on a BlackBerry Q10


I tweeted today about writing The Last Iron Horse on my BlackBerry Q10 (it's true, I did!) and I'm a bit surprised by the response. Let me tell you why I ended up writing that novel on a BlackBerry (in particular, the Q10).

It has a physical keyboard, not a touchscreen. Don't get me wrong, I've tried other Android devices as well as an iPhone 6s, but what keeps bringing me back to BlackBerry hardware is that keyboard.

I know BlackBerry has already stated they're not making hardware anymore, so I think this could be my last phone (ever) because of the keyboard. Yes, it slides. Some people don't like that. I do. I had two other phones with a slider and I loved them both. What would make it even better is a sideways slider vs. the way it works now.

Why do I love the physical keyboard so much?

Well, I can feel when I'm typing and on what letter I'm typing. Touch is great for convenience, but I type far faster when I know the key I'm pressing is the one I want and touch... touch just doesn't work that way for me. For some reason my fingers either aren't seen by the touch screen and I have to tap... tap... TAP... for the screen to finally figure I'm even handling the device... and then where it sees my finger as being is not anywhere near the letters I wanted.

It's very frustrating.

(I don't own tablet yet for this reason, but I'm eyeing one... although, with the new PRIV, I don't think I'll need one for awhile yet)

So, how did I end up writing a novel on the Q10 in the first place? Well, that's a matter of convenience. Since I didn't (and still don't) own a tablet the Q10 was easy to carry around and take out of my pocket when I needed it versus having to cart around my laptop all the time. I have a larger size laptop (it'd be more accurate to call it a portable computer rather than a laptop - it's a bit unwieldy) with a wide screen, which means I usually have to settle it on a table with a bit of space to use it.

So why didn't I do that? Well, the TTC and the subway (as well as the buses and streetcars) don't have tables on them. They have seats, but to pull out my computer and write on a long commute just wouldn't have worked. However, I did have that Q10... and the physical keyboard (and built-in MS Word) made it as simple as pulling out my phone, opening the MS Word app included in the BlackBerry Office suite, and then let anyone observing me on said subway think I was furiously texting someone at all times.

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