Tag Archives: Writing

WriteRoom and Notational Velocity

A modification to WriteRoom’s SimpleText application has me looking at Notational Velocity again. What I find is a near perfect minimalist integration and text management system that supports long term data storage.

My description of the applications, and how I use them in my infobase system follows after the jump.

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File System Infobase Manager

I’ve posted a complete outline of my File System Based Info Manager. It’s the tool I use to manage all my writing, notes, reference material, bibliographies, and records. It’s based on Alex Payne’s architecture ideas, Noguchi Yukio’s organizational systems, and input from my pals over on the Scrivener Forums.

So far it is one of the most popular posts on dougist.com.

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Writing Timers, Wasting Timers

A great way to waste time not writing is to set up your system for managing writing time during the time when you should be writing.

I used to write non-stop, heads-down till my body collapsed, lost in the tunnel of creativity, absorbed with characters and stories. While exciting and vaguely mystical, this is not a long haul strategy for writing sucess. Eventually things (like, you) begin to break down.

Somewhere along the way, I think from the Scrivener boards, I learned of a system for working in periods of forty-eight minutes followed by breaks of twelve minutes. The idea was to train the subconscious to visit during the twelve to help the creative process along.

Easy to adopt, right? All you need is a great timer, because if it works you’re fully absorbed during the 48 and will/should/hope to lose track of time until the bell goes off.

So I had to go find the right timer. Don’t laugh, this is a big deal and it can take dozens of hours of frittering to try them all and get just the right one….

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Artists Stand Naked

All these writing exercises, many under time constraints – “Please do a character development using dialogue and no description for the next 12 minutes” – become like unconstrained mini-therapy, without the benefit of professional interpretation.

“You are not the narrator…” Sure I’m not. I’m supposed to connect with my “conscious, make friends with it” and “take a stand in your work”. If I really took a stand everyone in the room would fall down.

I’m learning that artists stand naked. Perhaps that’s why they are hunched over all the time.

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Writing tools – Journler

I use Journler, Mark Twain would have too…

Someone asked me the other day “how can you be so careful about your writing, and still make so many mistakes” and since the questioner was not an Obama supporter, I found it safe to assume she was talking about my grammar, not my content.

In a lighting quick reply I said “It’s not easy. You have to work at it”.

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