Monday 6 November 2023

Deciding What To Use To Write - The Creative Process


Last week I talked about deciding when to write (found here) and this week, I thought that I would focus on what tools you'll be using to get that writing done. Like I've talked about before, I didn't always use just a keyboard/tablet and the like to get my writing done. For a long time in the start of my career, I would hand write and then spend the evening typing everything up, which also allowed me to edit slightly as I went.

Now of course this was back in the days before things like tablets, and back when owning a laptop was way out of my price range. I wanted to have that comfort of writing where I pleased, but I also, back then, found that the words flowed better when it was just me, a pen and a pad of paper. I know that by the time I typed everything up, I would have a better first draft than if I'd just typed it into the computer because that pen could only move as fast as I could write legibly, and typing was always something I've been able to do quickly.

That said, my reason for switching to typing only was because one of my chronic conditions made it exceptionally painful to hold a pen for long so it was a necessary thing to keep writing the way I had been. I still do edit as I go, but that's more the day following when I read through everything again, but I digress. Deciding what to use can be a very personal thing, and it's not just in the tool of keyboard or pen, but writing software and all of that. I thought that I would break it down a little for you, and see if what I've stuck to can help you make that choice of what to use.

One thing I don't miss about those early writing days was how easy it was for the paper to get torn, or wet, or lost, and then you'd have a whole chunk that you would either have to rewrite from memory or hope that the computer copy was up to date and saved in all the places.

I know there's a certain affinity for handwriting your work, and I understand the attraction. The thing that always got me at the end of the day was that in these times, you are going to have to type it all up at some point. You can no longer send through your pages in the mail as neatly written. It needs, in fact even then, to be typed at some point. Now, if, like me, you would type things up every time you wrote, then this is less of an issue, but if you choose to do it in larger chunks, then there's always the risk that something will get lost, or damaged, and having lost work on the computer before, I know how frustrating it is to try and reconstruct that work.


This might seem out of place, or like it doesn't really belong in a post about deciding what to use to write, but I promise you I have a point. There is software like Scrivnr that works great for people who plot. I've never used it, because the majority of the features wouldn't be anything I have a use for. I may plot somewhat when it comes to drafting, but I have no need for scene cards and character profiles set up the way Scrivnr does it. So if you're a plotter, you're going to want a different kind of software maybe than a pantser would.

Of course there's nothing wrong with any kind of software, and pantsers and plotters alike can use whatever works for them, but for me, it just seemed like a waste of money, and time, to put it all together when the majority of it wouldn't be applicable to me. So if you're more of a pantser you might find that there's a different kind of ideal software to use, and if that's the case, then let us know in the comments!

My point is just that whichever you are, that's going to play a part in choosing what you use to get those words down from a software point of view. But as always, your mileage may vary.


I said above that typing is less painful for me, so of course I'm going to stick to doing the thing that doesn't cause me pain, and the same will apply to anyone reading. Whatever you choose to use, whatever tools you have, whether that be the type of pen, or the software of the like, you have to use whatever gives you the most comfort. There is little point in suffering for your words, and I can't really fathom that anyone would think otherwise!

Comfort matters, and it very much applies here too. Use what brings you that, and you're golden!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!

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