Tag Archives: tools

Ū-

Priceless bit of parody of Information Architect’s Writer for iPad from Merlin Mann:

Because, ū— is the first app to remove every conceivable distraction from the drafting process—including cruft like paragraphs, lines, and words. This is why ū— only displays the bottom half of one letter at a time. Talk about focus.

— via Daring Fireball.

I’ve tried so many of these “distraction-free” writing environments over the years: WriteRoom, OmmWriter, full-screen mode in countless other apps. They’ve never worked for me.

I think the attraction of such software is the hope that with the right software you’ll turn into a magical version of yourself, the really great writer. Somehow, we tell ourselves, if I just get the right software, my sentences will flow, my plots will intrigue, and my characters will come to life. That’s certainly why I kept on trying these things.

But experience has shown me that, at least as far as my own work is concerned, the tool involved in writing makes zero difference. I’ve done good writing in Microsoft Word and in Google Docs, in Scrivener and Vim. I’ve even done some serious drafting in Simplenote and Pages on an iPad (with a bluetooth keyboard).

It’s a bit like reading. Despite all the debate over the Kindle vs. the iPad vs. paper books, what really matters for the reading experience is being able to forget about the device and sink into the book. Writing is similar. Forget about the software, just write.