In my inbox, another note about the Freewrite, a typewriter-like device meant only for writing. It's pretty cool and the Freewrite Traveler is cooler still, but both are too expensive for me given that I have fountain pens, typewriters, computers, and a phone. There are only so many tools I need. I still want the Freewrite Traveler, but I'll get over that.
Most writers I know are at least a little picky about tools. Partners in my writing group use Microsoft Word. A novelist friend likes Scrivener. When I'm really writing, I use Writer: The Internet Typewriter. I wish I had hundreds of readers who would buy full access to Writer on my recommendation. Fifty dollars for a lifetime subscription? Such a deal.
The Freewrite is advertised as a distraction-free writing tool while Writer runs in a web browser, host to all the distractions known to man and machine. I run Writer in full-screen mode and it's as distraction-free as any tool I own. All its best features are what it can't do. It has:
- no spellcheck or grammar check
- no right-click to research
- no sharing or social media
- no page numbering or page breaks
- no way to see inserted graphics (until published)
- writing, word counting, editing, and revision
- minor formatting (unseen until published)
- cutting, copying, pasting, undoing, and redoing
- moving the cursor, deleting, and backspacing
Basically, it's a quiet typewriter that doesn't need correction tape.
Austin Kleon has a cartoon I like about all this. Writing is a journey of the spirit and a self-awakening and all that other crap, and how we go about doing it doesn't really matter. Except it does. I really like Writer and one of the first things I ask creative people is to tell me about their tools.
What tools do you use?