Tools Of Mass Creation

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)

It facilitates:

  • 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?