Jason Snell discusses his experience with using his iPad to write:
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.
Anecdotally, I write flash fiction through to short stories of several thousand words just fine on the iPad: I find it fantastic for writing, borderline frustrating for editing. I’d probably avoid any extensive editing on the iPad, although I did just see that Pages now supports change tracking from Word documents (this is awesome news).
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.
For the record I just read Jason’s piece for The Magazine, about how his parents met many decades ago, and it was great.