I’m A Failed Writer #13: Beyond Microsoft Word… Or Not

I started out this video with the intent of trying to get writers to stop using Microsoft Word and ended up paying tribute to an overly-sentimental romantic comedy from the 80s. It’s a new level of failure.

Even though I’m passionate about the writing tools that I use, I also worry about spending too much time thinking about the tools rather than thinking about the product. I’d rather have a clunky tool and solid writing practice than a brilliant tool and little to show with it.

So here it is. My quasi-passionate (and ultimately failed) rant against Microsoft Word:

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  1. says

    Dude, you are bang on the money. You might be interested in my blog post: http://martinsketchley.wordpress.com/2011/01/26/four-letter-word-a-blog-about-word-2011-for-mac/

    • says

      Yes. That’s a great post. I like how you get particular about what you want to do and how the program fails you. I also see you’re an iA Writer user. That’s a great program. I almost referenced it in my video…. Thanks.

  2. says

    Another great video yuvi. I actually wrote an entire story-well, draft of a story-on my phone using the plain text app you suggested. Thanks for helping me get out of the word box. Now I can just write all the time without ever doing anything else. . . Or somehing.

    • says

       @David Driscoll  That’s great, David…. about writing on the phone. The idea of writing on a small device seemed so absurd to me at first, but in this busy world, the notion of having all your writing right in your pocket is pretty damn compelling…

    • says

       @richescorner Yeah. I have a real affection for WordPerfect… It was so astounding at the time… Or at least in that era when I used it… Version 5.1, I believe…

  3. Kemer says

    You really capture the core issues: a great piece. (I’m someone who has been devolving from Word to Scrivener (which I love), down to Byword (which takes all the bells and whistles away).

  4. Kemer says

    You really capture the core issues in this fun piece. I’m someone who has been devolving from Word to Scrivener, which I love, down to Byword, which takes all the bells and whistles away.

    • says

       @jaifarris Thanks, Jai. Scrivener is so amazing for big projects. I’ve finally come to appreciate for Microsoft Word for what it is. But it’s not the place I prefer to work creatively…

  5. Tanis Mallow says

    Scrivener rocks!
    What I like most: 
    – ease of moving throughout a large document
    – it outlines your project (no need to outline up front if you’re a pantser)
    – and compiling your document into whatever choice of format you want (ms, ebook, script, etc.) is fast and completely painless.
    BTW – I often send a link to your Scrivener tutorial for those intimidated by Scriviner’s own tutorial (just t get them started).
    Cheers – @tanismallow
    PS Congrats on @The_Rumpus book-of-the-month selection!

  6. says

    Great vid, thx. I am in the Geek pie.. but use Word for my 117k WIP. I would transfer the whole thing to Scrivener just for the geek sugar but I really don’t wan’t to take time away from editing in any way. yesterday: 13 hrs!
    Proprietary (awful) code from Word can be swiped by pasting into notepad of course. (just for that point in the vid about the P word) A slip-up I think, or maybe I psych-broke that.
    I like using search in Word to organize all my time lines and Character arcs etc which are in separate notepad files. I can open both on half screens each and jump through the manuscript while editing.
    Main progs (for now): Word, notepad, Dreamweaver & Calibre… now i really want to play with Scrivener again…
    cheerio cocoapuff

  7. says

    Thanks for the video.
    At home, I’m all about Scrivener.  On my Android, I use Evernote for storing ideas, writing bits & pieces during lunch breaks, and storing my “Should Do” lists.
    At work, I use MS Word 2010.  One feature that Word users might find helpful is the Document Map.  I use it when I’m writing technical documentation.  As long as you are utilize the header functionality, the document map feature can help you jump between sections in your document.

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