Write at any moment. Wherever you are. Even for a few seconds at a time. Use the time windows between the demands of life to move words out of your head. One sentence at a time. Piling your sentences into complete pieces of writing. Let the result make you happy. It’s what Nibble Writing’s about.
Any thing letting you write that way is a Nibble Writing tool. Yet some tools are better than others. Since 2008 I have Nibble Written this blog. It forced me to find writing tools that got the job done.
They all had to pass one criteria : allowing maximum writing time with minimum fuss. Such productivity breaks down into the following qualities:
- Portability: Your writing tools should go wherever you go
- Instant set up time: Your writing tools shouldn’t take more than it takes to open a social media app. Doesn’t matter if you are sardined in a bus, at food court line, waiting for delayed something/someone.
- Store your output where it’s secure yet easy to access
- Lets you edit and proof read your words
- Lack of complexity: Using the tool shouldn’t take your focus from the writing. No more than using a lamp shouldn’t make you configure the fuse box
Experience flogged me to accept that productive Nibble Writing means writing on a portable digital device. Long ago it meant using something called a “personal digital assistant” (PDA). Now it’s the phone.
Yes there’s romance to scribbling on a paper notebook (done that). Banging away on a typewriter is an experience on its own right. Even if you are not trying to channel papa Hemingway. Both are useless for the time starved for a common reason. Analogue tools make editing unproductive. Even if I have claimed that typewriting can force you into better writing.
Each round of editing writing on paper mean painful transcribing sessions. You wade though cob webs of changes crammed between lines of the original text. It works only if you got dedicated hours for writing what YOU want. I never had the privilege and never will.. Nibble Writing is not for the time rich.
Using a digital device means using software. Experience proves Nibble Writing requires two types of “production” software. I am leave out the publication platforms. This post is about getting words out of your head. Not about getting them before other eyeballs.
There are two type Nibble Writing software:
- The writing application
- Text to speech application
You need one of each to get things done.
The first is obvious. The second sounds nutty. Yet it’s a Nibble writing power tool.
Nibble requires jumping in and out of your text. It makes you loose track of the bigger picture of what you have written. You also become over familiar with your text. Which makes “normal” proof reading unproductive.
Text to speech software solves those problems outside your writing time. You hear your words read back to you as they are. Without any colouring of familiarity or biases. It lets you “read” your writing from the reader’s perspective. Typos are not the only thing you catch. You will realise things about the flow of your own writing. Even see ways around blocks. Or new ways of saying/seeing things.
As someone who writes on tiny screens, minimalist apps cut out visual cluster. Their “configuration-less” nature protects you from distractions. Writing in plaintext files ensures cross platform portability. Using basic MarkDown allows for essential HTML components without cramming code into your text.
For eons I have used iA Writer. THE classic “minimalist” writing app. My opinion of it is biased. It is the best writing app ever. Those who think otherwise are heathens. Doomed to wallow in the cesspit of their ignorance. iA Writer is a pure Apple device app . For the unwashed, lesser platforms offer sad attempts at imitating the genius of iA Writer.
However the specifics of the software should serve you. Not my batty opinions of them. What matters is getting the words out of your head and into the world.