Words on a Page Writings about writing

Write your drafts in a text editor

A woman typing on an Apple keyboard

I know too many writers and bloggers who don’t seem to be able to start writing. Or, they just can’t finish what they start (more about this in a future post).

Part of that has to do with them being stared down by the demon of perfectionism. But many of them are also concerned with other, less important aspects of writing and blogging. As they try to write, they think too heavily about keywords, about images, about formatting, about SEO. And more.

All of that shifts their attention away from writing. All of that overwhelms them and they don’t finish what they’ve started.

As I always say, the most important part of writing or blogging is the actual writing. And, by extension, finishing that writing. Nothing else matters.

My advice to anyone who’s in the situation I just described is simple: write your drafts in a text editor.

Why? A text editor offers few, if any, distractions. There are no templates, no formatting, no images. It’s just you and your words.

When writing with a text editor, you’re writing in plain text. Simple, vanilla, and, you can argue, boring. Plain text isn’t flexible or bloated. It lets you write using any device or operating system without worrying about fonts or corrupted files.

Most of all, a text editor offers focus. A single, blank canvas that’s waiting for you to fill it with words.

The next time you’re having trouble writing anything — whether it’s an article, a blog post, a chapter of a book, or a story — try writing your first draft in a text editor. Doing that might just help you reach done.

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