Writer: the Internet Typewriter
Different things motivate writers.
Many writers I know feel inspired that bit extra when it rains. Others get drunk. For reasons (not beyond exploring) I still like using vintage pen and paper; it slows down my train of thought to a more legible pace. As a guilty pleasure I go retro and use a typewriter which has a similar impact with a little more pace.
Once you have rearranged your writing space furniture, scheduled your writing tasks and promised yourself to write more this year than ever before, all you’re left with is procrastination or activation. This year I’ve happened upon an app that really tickles my fancy. It isn’t a new app, so you may already be familiar with it, it’s been around since 2007.
This application is, Writer: the Internet Typewriter. Quick, simple and straightforward, it gets the job done while creating an old-fashioned writing environment. Even if you’re not a writer, if you want to experience what it feels like to type like
we they used to, give it a whirl just for fun.
The basic version comes free without annoying advertising. You can choose your own font, line spacing and colours. It can run from your desktop and you can save, download, print or PDF your work. If you use WordPress, you can export text files directly. It provides both word and character count as you type, you can even set yourself a deadline or a word count goal. Best of all, you can select a sound – yes – there is a choice between electric and manual typewriter sounds. The feeling of typing old-school is probably what floats my boat the most!
Big hat tip to John Watson and writer.bighugelabs.com for developing this one. My comments are unsolicited and without reward, but I admit I’m loving Writer so much I probably will go for the upgrade! This app is the coolest thing since Writeroom; the app that inspired it. For now, I thought it was worth sharing with fellow writers looking for something different in 2014.
Words words words! 2013 like every other year was full of keywords and buzzwords.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary Online and neatly graphed into pretty graphics by Offer Pop – these are the HOTTEST of the HOT words! But be warned; just because you’re hot, doesn’t mean you’re still popular…
The Hottest Words of 2013
This has been long debated and I’ve been pulled-up on it by several readers. The fact is that there is still division on the subject; some dictionaries and certain publishers still choose “Web site”. There are also differences occurring between UK, US and Australian English.
After doing some research, here is the overall consensus I reached. These are 10 widely recognised and reputable sources, with their chosen use:
(is the default for both UK and US English)
Google – website
Wikipedia – recognises and cites all forms: website, Web site and web site
WordPress spell check – website
Folks, I think we have a winner!
The Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policies and User Agreements for websites and apps are probably the least read content on the Internet. We should read them, we could read them, we tick the little box that says we have read and understood them, but rarely has anyone actually read them. In defence of this, no instance springs to mind where someone has regretted not reading them. To the credit of many companies online, great efforts have been made to simplify these legal sections, however, unless you are a T & C reader, you probably haven’t noticed. In fact some are becoming quite creative, such as Tumblr: they’ve included several “annotation bubbles” under certain points within their Terms of Service that make the read a lot more playful and amusing.
So why, oh why, do people ask stupid questions and make ignorant complaints about how to use online platforms, software, apps etc before bothering to consult the Help section? Once you get past not reading the legals, the next least read content on the Internet is the Help section. Most of the time the information you need is right there at the top (or bottom) the page you’re on! No wonder people like me are having success with our Blogs – most of us are simply reading the Help section for everyone and shortening it down to 3, 5 or 10 easy Tips, How-To’s, and Tutorials. Once upon a time the Help section was about as much fun to read as the Legal section. Over time, and to cut calls and emails to Support, the Help section has become more and more user-friendly.
The FAQ, or Frequently Asked Questions, section is THE place to go to for answers to the most commonly asked questions written in simple, easy-to-follow language. If your questions isn’t in the FAQ, it’s either a silly question, or you’re just not trying hard enough! Most FAQ sections on websites get updated regularly. Some FAQ pages have an interactive Forum, others a Q and A approach. For the down right lazy there are usually video tutorials accompanying the FAQ. What more can you ask for other than a real person (referred to by Mac users as a Genius) to come and sit with you ?
Are you FAQ-ing kidding me? Get the FAQ outta here! Just get to the FAQ man!
While writing this post I came upon an article in the New Yorker about FAQs – “The F.A.Q.s About F.A.Q.s”. It seems I’m not the only one who feels this way…
Map out the topics you want to cover and keep track of when you cover them in posts. This eliminates repetition and gives you a subject to think about ahead of time.
Remember to always address the ‘why’ of your blog posts. Why are you writing about your chosen topic? Why is it interesting? Why will readers want to pay attention? Address this and you are addressing your readers directly and giving new readers a clear outline of what they can expect.
Plan your blogging schedule; a calendar with your wish list. This will give consistency to your blog patterns.
Write to Deadline
You have your wish list and your calendar, now set yourself a deadline for completion to keep on track.
Wait until you finish writing before fussing over editing and spelling corrections. Get those ideas down first before you forget them or lose your flow.