Can You Really Write an Entire Novel with an iPhone?

Back in 2009, when Android phones and iPhones were not as commonplace as now, BlackBerrys and HP handhelds were professionals’ staple gadgets. They were equipped with qwerty keyboards and wider screens to make the experience of writing and exchanging emails smoother.

But Peter V. Brett decided to do more with his tiny computer in hand. He took advantage of this tech product to write a novel he was always dreaming of publishing while on the commute every single work day (source:

What a discipline and determination!

Brett used this HP Ipaq 6515 to type his novel in the train to and from his workplace in the downtown New York.

It was a smartphone that just suited a writer. It offered the unbeatable comfort of typing with accuracy. So efficient and fast.

Lucky him. This tiny gadget was all he needed to write on the go. (Photo credit:

But then I watched Steven Takatsu Lee in the video above. He was typing his cellphone novel with an iPhone 3 or 3G with such a tiny screen. Can’t imagine typing on the go in a train! This is definitely not a gadget to use for people with efficiency and accuracy as their main concerns.

I too have tried to do this.

I bought a BlackBerry and it helped me a lot with my workload as a journalist back then. BlackBerry Q5 used to be my dearest gadget but now that it has a dead ecosystem, I can only use it to type on email and send it to my another email account so I can edit my draft on my MacBook.

This is much better a way to capture ideas or hints of plots, stories and characters. Just a random notion got usually be included as well. In case it was worth adding.

But then again, they’re all tools. And what makes us writers are the works that we accomplish.

I think it’s time to reread my draft and rewrite them again instead of being busied with choosing which phone I can use to write. (*/)

A Tiger in Winter: A Struggling Writer in A Modern Society

Director and scriptwriter Lee Kwang-Kuk might not have intended to hit us writers hard in the bull’s eye. But when one of his dialogs in “A Tiger in Winter” (2017) which you can watch for free here shows you how laymen see writers, I was more offended than Kyung-yoo the protagonist himself.

The scene shows you know how badly writers are prejudiced in Korean society, which also holds true in mine (Indonesian). They are almost as lowly as unemployed people.

Kyung-yoo (Lee Jin-wook) is a homeless young man with a writing talent which unfortunately he tries to put behind his past. He wrote a novel but felt that the outcome was far than satisfactory to him.

Sadly, the society doesn’t seem to appreciate his talent. He sought a low-paid half-time job as a fast food chain waiter. He is older than most applicants and the manager of restaurant seems to be interested in hiring him but the young man was harassed for being unemployed for quite a long time. This employment gap was according to Kyun-yoo filled with a writing stint. He put much effort into his novel but somehow something held him back from publishing it.

He ran into his former girlfriend Yoo-jung (Ko Hyun-jung) while working as a driver for drunk car owners. And Yoo-jung was a little bit tipsy after perhaps some bottles of liquor that night.

Yoo-jung was a different type of writer. She was awarded a prestigious accolade for her published novel. Currently she was trying to start writing her second novel but could not find an inspiration.

The story gets more interesting as Kyung-yoo dealt with more and more uncivilized and rude behaviors from his clients. The conflict breaks when the male protagonist thought he discovered the ‘ill’ intent behind the rekindled past love.

To me, this movie perfectly captures how peoples in general view artists and writers, especially those writing fiction. It’s bitter but true.

Such an underestimating attitude is shown by the current Indonesian government. Renowned artist Butet Kertaradjasa felt troubled and hugely disappointed that one of the ministers defines artists as people whose faces can be seen on television only. Meanwhile, Butet’s definition of artists is everyone who has dedicated their lives to arts and make a living from it. These artists are those hardest hit by the pandemic. They cannot exhibit their artworks, their shows get cancelled until God knows when, and they have bills to pay (source:

As people are frantically supporting medical workers and appreciating doctors and nurses’ hard work amid the pandemic around the globe, we can still enjoy stories from various platforms and forms, be it books, podcasts, movies, short movies thanks to the hardwork of writers.

Stories keep us sane in our modern, clean, and comfortable confinements called houses, apartments, flats, or dorms.

But again, will people start appreciating writers’ hard work or keep ignoring their toil? (*/)

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