Without really trying to, I just submitted a book review for publication without printing a single sheet of paper during the composition of it. I did all my revisions on the laptop screen.
This is a new experience. The most surprising part is that I didn’t intend to do this; it just happened. I do my writing on a laptop that is only occasionally connected to a printer (and haven’t yet gotten to the point of wirelessly connecting to a printer).
I have yet to decide whether the revisions might have been better if I’d marked up a hard copy instead of revising on screen.
In struggling with the Big Writing Project lately, I’ve been getting unexpected sustenance from writers who are not particularly scholarly. It’s not easy to explain how this has worked. Continue reading →
I’m reading a dissertation that includes a note describing the word processing software used to write it (Microsoft Word, to no one’s surprise). I think Word’s last really good release for the Mac OS was in 1992. Since then, I’ve found Word to be intolerably slow and balky with long documents. The only reason to keep it around is that Word documents have become a de facto standard format.
Swiss Army knife: My main writing tool is Scrivener. This is a well designed and affordable app for note taking, outlining, drafting, and revising entire writing projects. I came to it after trying and discarding quite a few alternatives.
Gwen Hernandez has a good series of Scrivener posts at her blog, The Edited Life. Many of her “Tech Tuesday” posts have been devoted to it. The series starts here.
Birmingham writer Wade Kwon just used Twitter to ask about the future of journalism. He’s getting ready for a panel discussion in front of J-school students at the University of Alabama.
For some reason I tweeted back (with exactly 140 characters): @WadeOnTweets Future of journalism is Waffle House: It’ll be Scattered, Smothered, Covered, Chunked, Topped & Diced. Figure out what I mean.
I wasn’t sure what I meant myself, when I wrote that, or why Waffle House hash browns should come to mind. For a brief, chilling moment I thought I might be channeling former governor Fob James, who famously proposed the Waffle House chain as a model for good gummint.
But no worries. All I was really doing was grabbing a random meme to use in thinking about a large, chaotic topic. So here we go. Continue reading →