March 16, 2008

Writing spaces

Filed under: writing — jrice @ 8:09 pm

The processor sputters. The little wheel spins. I wait. I wait.

Why do I still compose in Word? Its slowness grinds the concept of windows to a halt. The purpose of multiple composing spaces is to be able to jump from one space to the next, to cut and paste, to mix, to pull notes, to search, and so on. Word makes the process a burden. It opens with a crawl. Its bulky. It pretends to be all that it isn’t (Who is it kidding with that toolbar? Is this Photoshop? Quark? Illustrator?).

Ideology is king, however. I have Scrivener, and it is a far superior writing space. It is compact. It is quick. It has built in note features for files that make collecting and assembling far more accommodating than the Word method: have multiple files. Have multiple files? Folders. Files. My messy office pours out into my computer when I compose with Word. I’ve used Scrivener. I’ve written notes (notes, but no draft) for the Detroit book on it. But I haven’t written enough. Of course, not enough is a trope of writing. This time, I must avoid the trope. Each time I sit down to write, I open Word. My body (finger? mind? mouse?) has internalized Word. Word is a logic I’m trapped within.

This is just a post to remind me that ideologies sometimes need breaking. I must break the Word ideology.

Tomorrow. I promise. Or Tuesday.


  1. Funny that you mention Scrivener. On my “to do” list this week is “buy Scrivener,” because after a couple weeks of fooling around with it (although not writing as much as I would prefer), this is clearly the way to go, IMO.

    Comment by Steven D Krause — March 16, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

  2. Google Docs!

    Or, TextEdit.

    Comment by cbd — March 16, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

  3. Scrivener has WAAAAYYYY more features than Google Docs, and while I tried to use Google Docs for a while and I still think it can/could be a nice tool for teaching, I wanted something more robust for my own writing. Don’t know much ’bout TextEdit….

    Comment by Steven D Krause — March 17, 2008 @ 9:51 am

  4. I’m not looking for features. I just wanna type!

    Comment by cbd — March 17, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

  5. Had to come out of the lurker closet for this one, because EXACTLY the same thing happened to me.

    I can recognise Scrivener’s superiority, but all it gave me was writer’s block. I need to finish papers; I went back to familiar, clunky, cruddy word. My block has gone, and I’ll never change again, even though I recognise Word’s utter bankruptcy as a product.

    Do what you need to get things written. All else is folly.

    Comment by Jason — March 18, 2008 @ 5:48 am

  6. I find it easier to negotiate my notes, With Word, I end up with many files and harder internal navigation. But I get being attached t a way of writing since I feel that way now. I’ve always used Word.

    Comment by jrice — March 18, 2008 @ 6:42 am

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