Do you care what kind of pen Oprah uses?
Curious about what kind of notebook novelist Colleen Hoover prefers?
Would eating Hemingway’s breakfast give you Hemingway-sized talent? You can certainly try: Truffle omelette, Canadian bacon, and tea. And a Bloody Mary to ease the hangover. (Yes, of course I looked it up.)
It’s interesting to peek at the idiosyncracies of successful-slash-famous people, and to see what they use when they’re exploring new ideas.
But also, so what?
I have historically rolled my eyes at the question, “What app do you use for writing?”
Doesn’t matter!, I’d say. The right tool will not make you a better writer! Stop procrastinating and do the work!
And I will admit when I’m wrong. And I’m wrong.
Because I realized why I haven’t been doing any writing of my own: And it’s a big, fat administrative block.
I’d want to write, go onto Google Drive and then I’d have to consider what this was or would be, what folder it should go in, what should it be titled, and so on.
It was like the moment I felt that urge to take flight, I had to first trudge through the TSA check, present my paperwork and ID. By the time I had my shoes off and my laptop in the tray, my mojo was gone.
This goes against all I teach about how to get creative momentum going. I encourage people to just go go go, and NOT worry about what it is or will be.
And, duh!: The reason people can do this in my workshops is because we create a “container” for the work, with a set of rules—so that even though it’s a Zoom call, it “feels” different. This affects the energy and outcome.
Why wouldn’t that same principle apply to my own work?
I needed a separate place, a new space in which to do my writing, one that felt free of distraction, other work, and anything resembling a tax form.
But: My Evernote is a wasteland of receipts and lists. Microsoft Word is clunky. Scrivener is curmudgeonly and pretends the cloud doesn’t exist.
I settled on Ulysses, which offers a simple, uncluttered, cloud-based tool for writing. It’s like $49 a year, just enough to make me feel committed to it.
I’m not trying to pitch you this program because I don’t care if you use it. Only you know what will work for you.
The reason I’m even telling you now is because it has been freeing for me. And also, because I’m eating my words: Yes, the tool, the space, the app, matters—not because it can give you something you don’t have, but can clear the way for what you do.
Got a program you like? I’d love to hear about it so that I can collect some of your faves and share them!
(Also, if you’d be interested in learning more about the Tuesday night writing studio I run, message me privately so we can see if it’s a fit for you and your work!)
P.S. Last week I told you about this 1-star review I got on Amazon, and the response blew me away. Thank you for adding 30 new 5-star reviews on Amazon! As I said, anything less than 5 stars is the equivalent of tossing my book behind a shelf at Barnes & Noble so no one sees it. If you’re willing, pop your 5-star review right here!
Haven’t gotten the book yet? Or haven’t told me you got the book yet? You can shop a number of retailers here and also put yourself on my book list!