The tool that really helped me get into the habit of writing everyday is Write or Die. I wrote about the app a while back. The tool is simple, but it gets the job done. Before every writing session you set a word count goal and a time limit. Depending on how the settings are configured, if you stop writing you’ll either get an annoying song or the words will start erasing. It’s been some time since the last time I used it, but I used it heavily last year from March to June. I wrote an average of 1000 words in 30 to 40 minutes. Most of it of course are just rambles. But many of the ideas were eventually turned into blog posts.
MarsEdit is a blogging tool I started using back in April. The WordPress editor is all most people need, but I find it a bit buggy. Plus being in the browser is a temptation to distraction. Opening another tab is a keyboard shortcut away. Being in the browser also tempts me to be checking stats, a really bad ego habit that one should avoid unless it’s for actually analyzing the “sucess” you’re having. Overall, MarsEdit is a great tool as an alternative to the site editor.
I’ve put those two together because they literally work with each other. What you write in Notational Velocity gets synced in Simplenote and vice versa. I haven’t spent as much time with these text editors as the previous two, but they been turning out to be very important tools for me. Simplenote has an iPhone app, so it’s incredibly useful for when you have an idea when you’re out and about and then keep working on it on the computer.
Because it’s always good to go analog every now and then.
These are the four tools that I use almost everyday. But the most important thing here are not the tools in themselves, but of the process of drafting. Back in the early 2000’s when I discovered Blogger, I used to click publish immediately. Some people argue that what’s neat about blogging is it’s immediacy and it’s less polished nature. Not for me. My first language is Spanish and I don’t know if this is the reason, but I still have to check those damn its and it’s. Overall, the main idea is to have a good pre-writing system. The first draft is almost never the best draft.