What To Write With

About 6 months ago I bought a new computer. A laptop. A MacBook Air. For the last many years at work MacBook Air and MacBook Pro were the computers assigned to us. So I’m very familiar with my laptop, and happy too.

The question for me personally was what program to use for writing. I didn’t, in fact I don’t, know why I am writing. Is it for general publication? Is it for academic publication? Is it a narrative for my family? Is it just for me?

I have several options regarding what program to use. “Pages” came with the Mac. Google Docs is available. I paid a little money for a really cool tool called Scrivener. Scrivener works very “Mac-like.” You write whatever you want whenever you want. Each section is put together in a separate file so you can assemble your work in whatever manner you wish. If you don’t like it one way, you can drag-and-drop each discreet little file wherever else you want to put it.

Of course, this is one way to write also. This is writing “just for me.” I like WordPress, especially since they’ve converted to block editing. This writing is more stream-of-consciousness. The ideas come to me in the morning or at any other time of the day. The only real discipline is clearing a space at the table, flipping the machine open, and looking out the window as sentences come and go.

Then there is Word. The “industry standard.” Except for WordPress, every other publisher wants text in Word format. As a librarian for 30+ years, I get it. I know what it means to reset equipment to manage other file formats. But, of the aforementioned formats, Scrivener cost me much less than you’d think. WordPress cost me a Premium account. Pages came for “free.” Well, I had to buy the computer. And Google Docs….

Word? For Mac? I want Microsoft Office Home and Student 2019 for 1 Mac. At the Mac store this costs a little more than all of the others combined. But if I want to do anything for publication, even just for the family, I need to buy Word.

I’ve been asked to answer a couple of questions. One for my son (high school teacher and deacon in the Orthodox Church in America) and one for a friend in academia who doesn’t have time to study up on the issue. If I use Pages or Scrivener, there will likely be formatting problems. Google Docs just isn’t robust enough, especially Google Sheets. So, next month it looks like I buy Word.

I don’t know if I’m complaining or just writing out of resignation to the inevitable. Oh well. My granddaughter is practising piano just now — a sonata by Beethoven. Very nice. Now Imagine by John Lennon! If you ask me, she’s got the right format we all can understand and interpret. Ah, music!

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