The creative process can be a fragile thing. Writers can be very set in their process, uninterested in trying new programs because they simply see no need to do so … yet. That’s the kind of writer I am. I’ve used Word so long that I’m no longer conscious of the program itself. And that’s just the way I like it. So, that’s what I use to write my novels, my nonfiction writing craft books, and my picture books. It’s what works for me.
But what if you’ve never written a novel? Or maybe you need a new way to handle a new kind of project, like a research-heavy novel when you’ve never needed to research before? How do you know what writing software is best for you? Word? Or maybe Scrivener or Power Structure or Evernote or Google Docs? There are many to choose from. This week, a first-time novelist asked me at DearEditor.com to help her decide. I’ve always meant to experiment with the other programs, but I’ve never had the free time to do so and I’ve never wanted to risk disrupting my creativity during front-burner projects. So how to guide her? Simple: I asked the writing community via social media to tell me their favorite program and why they like it.
The answers were fascinating. Some still use pen-and-paper, which isn’t a surprise to me. I’ve heard the praises of the tactile act of putting pen to paper as a creativity booster for years. What did surprise me was how many writers jumped from one program to the next during a single project, using one program for outlining, another for drafting, maybe a third for polishing. I was so intrigued by the details they shared that I gathered them together into a pdf (anonymously, of course) and shared it in today’s DearEditor.com post about choosing the best writing software. Pop over and take a look.