Design, Technology, Innovation and Being a Stick!

I have to fill up all this space!


12.31.10 Posted in General, Technology by

The problem with standard word processors and even “distraction-free writing” apps such as WriteRoomOmmWriterDarkRoom and QuietWrite is that they all give you a giant white space when you start out. It inevitably  invokes this daunting feeling of ‘I have to fill up all this space.’

What I really want is a dead simple word processor with a small writing pane that fits 3 sentences at most. So after I write the first 10 words, it will look like I have written a whole lot. It’s the first hurdle for most people to get started with whatever they are trying to write. The first 10 – 20 words. Once they come out on the screen, the writing window can expand along with how much you’ve written. Make the writing pane just high enough so that it looks to me like I am almost done even from the beginning.

There are many tips and tricks to get you started writing out there. Participating in projects like NanoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month) or making a New Year’s resolution (you can even take a contract out with stickk.com on yourself) can help you but these are just goals. They only tell you that you have to write certain number of words every day. They don’t give you a real practical way to actually start.

Your new year resolution to write every day can be good for deciding whether you should sit in front of your computer and launch your word editor or you should sit on the couch and turn on the TV. They help at the moment when you are getting up from your dinner table.

Now you are at the computer, staring into a blank screen. Pure, pristine and massive.  This blank screen is staring at you, almost mocking. You stare back, feeling quite lost. You feel like you will never fill this blank space, let alone finish writing what you intend to write.

That’s why I need a tool that’ll get me start typing and keep typing and not delete anything I have typed so far. Something that will just keep my fingers moving.  Actually I would not mind a word processor that won’t let me delete words. If I press ‘delete’ or ‘backspace’ keys, it should cross out the characters instead of making them disappear. Make that screen look full, even filled with mistakes or false starts. Then whenever I hit 50, 100 words, give me something that will make me smile and feel good. Encourage me to keep going.

Give me a word processor that will nudge me to get started in the first place and keep me going. One that will stop me from opening up a browser and looking up on the internet on one thing or other and I realize “Ohh, I haven’t written anything in last 5 minutes.”

That’s my wish for 2011.



2 Responses to “I have to fill up all this space!”

  1. steven says:

    You can write in MS Word with track changes on and that will show you all the text you want deleted.

  2. Moah says:

    The point isn’t to show the text you deleted. It’s about motivation to keep writing.

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