Writing

I’ve always enjoyed writing. I have a degree in technical communication (also known as writing for nerds), but despite the enjoyment it brings, I haven’t been writing much lately. Aside from some brief journal entries, I simply haven’t had the time. I give my daughter much of my attention when she’s awake, and when she’s asleep, I’m usually out of gas.

Over the last couple of months, though, I’ve cobbled together a system for writing that I’ve become increasingly fond of, mostly because it lets me write with the time I have. When I started putting the workflows in place, I knew that I would need

  • to be able to write and publish from anywhere;
  • to be able to write and publish from any device;
  • to write in Markdown;
  • and to write efficiently.

What I quickly realized is that the system I was building was designed around one core concept: reducing friction.1

When you’ve got a young child in the house, free time becomes very precious and almost sacred. To waste it is unthinkable. With that in mind, my plan was to try to snatch a few of the in-between moments during the day–when I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, when I’m waiting for a conference call to start–to get some words on the page.

So far, it’s working.

An example: I was working on this article on my laptop at my dining room table when my kid woke up crying. I grabbed my iPhone and went to lie down with her on the couch in her room (a quick cuddle puts her right back to sleep). After she was snoozing again, I pulled out my phone and continued writing. When she was thoroughly out, I put her back in her crib, went back to my laptop, and what I had written on my phone was already there waiting for me in Byword. That seamless transition from laptop to mobile and back to laptop is a beautiful thing in practice. It’s hard to imagine a workflow with less friction.

My next few posts are going to delve into each part of the process. With any luck, maybe what I’m doing can help you if you’re also searching for ways to write more frequently.

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  1. Apologies to Mr. Aaron Mahnke for borrowing the f word.