Writing tools: MS Word

Okay, I have to confess, my number one writing tool is MS Word.

Not having a pile of nifty gadgets I can carry around, during my work day I end up using my work computer to write at lunch. Using this decrepit old thing* (that still manages to chug along) means I have two choices; I can write myself an email, or I can use MS Word.

An email is fine and dandy, but in the overwhelming flow of my inbox**, it’s easy to lose track of it. I also get distracted by, you know, reading my email. The same would go for google drive, were my work pc up to handling it (some days it is, some days it crashes the browser).

A word document, OTOH, is a program on all my computers (work & home), is easy and blank, has no distractions built in, and I can keep it minimized when I don’t have time for it. I’m lucky in that I’m allowed a tiny bit of personal space on the work computer’s hard drive; word files don’t take up a lot of room. But even if I didn’t, it’s easy enough to keep the document open all day, saved to the desktop, and then just delete it after I’ve emailed it.

For 11 months of the year, I’ll create a new document each day, write for as long as I’m able, then save it. At the end of the day, I’ll email the single document to myself so I can keep going when I get home. As chapters form, I then upload it to G drive, for safe keeping. You’d think I’d lose stuff, but so far (knocking on wood), I’m obsessive enough that at worst I forget to bring stuff from home to work & vice versa. Which means I just wing the next section, lol.

During NaNo, since I actually do like using Scrivener, I will paste it all there first; each ‘day’ will get it’s own space, eventually to be organized into chapters. I used to organize only by chapter, but I would find leftover bits (and not be sure where they came from!), so I switched. Scrivener makes it absurdly easy to keep track of things, so that works in my favour.

This is definitely not a method for everyone! It probably seems like a lot of pasting/copying, etc, but the reality is that so long as I’m writing, the few minutes spent shuffling it all around is worth it. I’d rather write and ‘shuffle’ than not write at all.


*Yes, I’m using it right now. Lunch time is blogging/writing time!

**I have a bad habit of not reading things that might set off my anxiety, sending myself interesting links that I end up never visiting, and I save everything. My inbox is a mess.

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