Tag: writing

Writing tool stack

Digital Tool Stack

On day 50 of my writing journey, I thought I’d share the tools that help me maintain this creative flow.

An idea can hit at any time, sometimes in the form of a few sentences or a big idea. Even while reading something else, they might pop up. I use two frictionless tools to capture these thoughts.

One tool is the voice recorder on my Apple Watch. Always on my wrist, it’s ready to capture any sudden idea. The recordings are stored in iCloud, so I can transcribe and process them later on my Mac. Second is Drafts, which opens lightning fast for quick notes. Drafts lets me type immediately, unlike other apps.

On designated days, like Saturdays or Mondays, I sit down and process these thoughts from the week. The ideas may have grown and developed by then. It’s not always easy for me to star at a blank screen and type. That’s when the AudioPen comes in handy.

Despite the friction – it’s not as quick to open a website and start recording – AudioPen captures my rambling, letting my ideas flow freely, and creating an initial draft.

WordTune is my go-to editor. I use it to polish and refine my work. Once it’s ready, I go to WordPress, where my common log entries live. With just a few clicks, I can schedule posts quickly and effortlessly.

Buffer is my go-to hub for distribution. The app sends my words to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Mastodon. I tailor the text to each platform.

Finally, I use Substack to send those words as a newsletter.

I love these tools, they make writing easy.

Writing is seeking answers

Writing, for me, is a quest for answers.

In the corporate world, I write to share what I know or have decided. This type of writing conveys information and decisions. But outside the corporate sphere, I write to seek answers and use it as part of my learning process. I write to explore different perspectives on concepts I’m learning or pondering, and this approach helps me find answers.

Sometimes I ask my friends for input on what I’m learning. This method, however, can be messy since it requires them to define their thoughts and explain their perspectives-which is time-consuming and friction-filled. Instead, I state my position on a concept and share it, so they can ask questions or poke holes in it.

The responses from my friends typically fall into three categories:

  • identifying flaws or gaps in my thinking,
  • puncturing holes in my argument, or
  • offering alternative perspectives.

Firstly, they might point out flaws or gaps in my thought process. Flaws indicate that I am thinking about a concept incorrectly, while gaps suggest that my understanding is incomplete or missing key points.

Secondly, they could challenge my argument by highlighting its weaknesses and explaining why they believe it’s incorrect. This helps me refine my position and consider new ideas.

Finally, they may offer alternative perspectives that enrich my understanding of the topic at hand. By incorporating their insights into my writing, I continue to learn and grow as a thinker and writer.

Imagine I’m exploring value investment and have developed a framework based on four parameters. By putting my ideas out there, others can chime in and question why I chose those parameters or suggest alternatives. This exchange of ideas brings clarity and deepens my knowledge.

If you’re struggling with a concept, I encourage you to write about it and share your perspective. This way, you invite others to engage in meaningful conversations that can provide the answers you seek. Whether it’s project management, investing, or any other topic, writing opens doors to learning and growth.

Two types of writing

You can write to express or impress.

Writing to express yourself means journaling and taking notes. Writing this way sharpens your mind, enhances your communication skills, and helps you grow. In contrast, when you write for others, like authors, content writers, or screenwriters do, you want to educate, entertain, or empower them.

You can keep your writing private or share it with the world, like I did here. There are countless platforms where you can share your thoughts, like Medium, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Even if you’re not a professional writer, I’d encourage you to write for yourself. It’s a great way to improve your thinking and communication.

“Man becomes what he thinks.” The clearer your thoughts become, the better you’ll be at everything – from seeing the world to interacting. Writing is the foundation of success. You should write and express yourself as a way to think. It’s up to you if you publish your work or not.

There’s an endless well of ideas when you write to express yourself. But when you’re writing for others, especially to impress them, writer’s block and anxiety can creep in. Because I’m writing for me, I don’t worry about what people will think. Sure, I read comments and engage with readers, but my main goal is to improve myself.

I’ve found this approach to be incredibly helpful in my own life. Go ahead, pick up that pen or open that laptop and start writing!

Dictation as a Warm-Up

Whenever I sit down to work, be it writing or coding, I face a wall of resistance. I’ll distract myself with videos, trivia, or Twitter. But all I need is a gentle push, like little stretching before a run.

Dictation is my warm-up. It lets me capture ideas while walking or whenever inspiration hits. Once I sit at my computer, I can polish the draft by reading, editing, or swapping words. This simple act gets me moving, like taking that first step of a walk.

Soon enough, I’m in the flow, adding flavor with metaphors and tidying up the text. As they say, you can fix a bad page but not a blank one. And when words already fill my screen, it’s so much easier to dive in and continue writing.

If you face challenge of writer’s block, may be try dictating your thoughts. Break the resistance. Get a page filled with rough draft. Then rest will take care of itself.