I’m searching for the perfect setup to use for writing “on the go”. Day job commute involves a light rail ride and a shuttle ride (each way), and I’d like to be able to use the time to write. Simple enough.

I already have a Kindle HDX 7, so why not use that? I picked up a Bear Motion keyboard+case for the same. I took it out for the first serious spin today.

Pros: it’s a good little keyboard. Switch it on and it Just Works. The case is of nice quality. The keyboard itself is fully detachable, held only with magnets about as strong as a good piece of velcro.

Cons: The case is a little bit flopsy, which leads to ergonomic issues. It has a kickstand, but my lap is not a complementary surface relative to kickstands. The keys are small but touch-typable. My shoulders are significantly more than seven inches apart, so that makes my arms angle inward, then bend parallel again at the wrists. Ouch. (In fairness, any 7″ form factor device is likely to have similar issues.) The keyboard itself requires a fn-key combo to type single or double quotes, characters which occur frequently in writing.

Commute to and from, with two sections in each commute: After three bumpy 2o-minute segments, I had laid down 643 words, which compared to my recent sad run rate, is pretty good. I didn’t attempt to write  fourth session because my wrists hurt too much.

So, writing–yay! Wrist pain–danger Will Robinson!!

If I could work out the ergo issues better, I would be very happy. It feels like I would need about a six inch stack of books on my lap to hold the detached keyboard, and then somehow levitate (or velcro to the seat in front of me) the screen at about eye level. Yeah, that’d do it.

On the app side, I’m using Evernote. I’d love for there to be something more Scrivener-like. I have more to say about apps later.

What are your suggestions for ergonomic writing on the bus/train?