What’s your favorite app to compose in?


For the down draft, this is how it’s only ever been for anything longer than a blog post.   Typing it up into Notepad++ or even a Gmail draft is actually part of the revision process.  I don’t usually put the final draft into a Word document or anything, because I’m often cross-posting to different platforms, and markups like italics don’t always transfer the same everywhere.

I’ve never learned shorthand, and I only ever use cursive when I’m bored on Curriculum Night.   I handwrite in block letters that vary widely in legibility, and I love it.

The first and best reason for me to initially compose on paper is that it encourages creativity.  That first capital letter, how big shall it be?  One minute I want to see how legible I can be, and the next I’m squeezing out squiggles indistinguishable from an EKG tracing.  Striking out words and cramming replacements into the margin feels so badass, rebelling and dictating at the same time.  Often I’ll realize I needed to flesh something out several pages back, so I’ll write the new passage and draw a box around it and then trace an arrow up the margin of each preceding page until I reach the point where I want to insert it.  The sheer idiom of editing is thrilling.

Handwriting is like sculpting.  My hands are gripping, pulling, pushing, tearing until I see on the paper what I hold in my mind.  All the crossed-out sentences and passages sprawl like fallen soldiers, testifying to the struggle.  Sometimes they are resurrected; I will strike them out only to write them again exactly the same, usually more legibly the second time.  There is no other word for this than authority.

Of course, there is no small amount of vanity and romanticism to writing, and I freely admit I revel in the monastic flourish of pawing through a stack of legal pads, grabbing one and flipping to the last scribbled page, then fishing out a ballpoint and hunching over and scratching away.  When I was very young and obnoxiously precocious, I made a point of never taking notes in class.  That sort of changed when I got to college, but I didn’t fully embrace the scrivener pose until I spent a year studying abroad.  I wanted to record all my new experiences, and pen and paper were the only practical method.  Since then, I’ve tried to always carry some form of notebook wherever I go.

I don’t have a lot of free time to write size porn, and I don’t have a dedicated size fetish studio.  But when I have the inspiration on the bus or during a lunch hour, it’s so much easier to grab the pad then worry about who can see my screen or if I’m being keylogged.  The smuttier passages are predictably less legible, but I don’t get that many over-the-shoulder readers these days.

There really isn’t any other way for me to open the tap.  Blank screens don’t juice me, and no typed word is as expressive as one I have carved out of ink.  Kinetic devotions hold muscle memory, and I place my stamp on my words as I set them down.  I am impressed with myself.


Yes, this means I’m writing again.


5 thoughts on “What’s your favorite app to compose in?

  1. I’ve created so many drafts in WP, I used it as my writing medium for a long time. I have a paid copy of Scrivener, and I like it and I’ve trained to use it, but I feel like there’s all these fiddly bits to mess with before it feels customized to my tastes. I have composed stories in Google Docs, but mostly I use that for storage. And now that WP has rolled out its Blocks interface, it’s clunkier and less cooperative than it was before, so… I’m in a period of transition.

    I have a stack of paper notebooks, which I’ve written using anything from crappy ballpoints I found on the street to fairly nice fountain pens. My favorite blank notebook is put out by a stationery company called Pomegranate. There’s no branding in the book, which looks like an aged, paperback textbook in a foreign language. This dissuades people from even peeking inside as they assume it’s a dryasdust academic doorstop. The paper quality isn’t great but it’s suitable for my needs.

    I’m excited to hear you’re returning to writing, and I eagerly await to see the fruits of your labor. Best of luck to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m very happy to read this announcement! Here’s to a lot more writing from you.

    I use Scrivener, Pages, and the WP app to write stories and notes, and every once in a while I’ll write down in an actual notebook, but only notes and ideas for stories. Despite that fact, I love to buy paper, any kind of paper. Who knows when I might need to send one of those “handwritten letters” by mail? I actually did, today, and I felt ancient pressing a postage stamp on an envelope with a poorly scribbled address. My brain is not used to writing cursive anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t handwritten a full-length letter since my year abroad, primarily because I want my correspondents to be able to read my letters. However, on those rare occasions when I have sent hard copy letters by snail mail, I have typically made handwritten margin notes and doodles as customized adornments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds wonderfully fun. Back in the day I used to send my SO to the store to do the shopping, but I would write the list using and sheet of paper on which I’d drawn something incredibly lewd, like a donkey doing something unmentionable to a crow, or mutants having group… fun. He had to walk around holding that piece of paper very carefully. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Olo! You write in pen on paper too?? I don’t usually write stories that way because my thought process is still too messy – though I used to do a good chunk of my fanfic writing by hand in high school – but I do all of my other writing, note-keeping, and script-writing longhand. You gotta get yourself a fountain pen, man. They make writing a real treat in a way that no ballpoint can even begin to compare.

    Have you heard of InCoWriMo? It’s International Correspondence Writing Month (coming up in feb) where everyone commits to penning one piece of handwritten correspondence to someone every day, whether it’s a full letter or just a thank you note left on someone’s desk.

    Liked by 1 person

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