Thursday, March 17, 2011

Writing Software

I purchased a writing program called "WriteWay" about a year and half ago. At the time I was convinced I just had to have it. I downloaded the program and promptly forgot about it.

Once my mother moved in with us and displaced me from my dreamed of office, I'm like a homeless person wandering around with their possessions in a shopping cart. I don't want to work in my bedroom because I feel too isolated. The living room is out since my mother needs to have the television on ALL the time. And not just on but on at maximum volume. We've considered getting her a television in her bedroom but that would mean enduring the television on high all night just below my bedroom.

I've considered working in the living room but then that was the reason I displaced my children from the third bedroom which was our family room and sent them to the living room. It's like writing in Grand Central Station without the crowds of interesting people.

I've basically been stacking all my notebooks, stories and books on a shelf behind the guniea pigs cages in our living room (oh, the trials and tribulations of the unpublished writer).

I bought the software so I wouldn't have to sort through various notebooks which hold writings, story ideas, journal notes and research. But I'm like an old dog. Once I had the software I ignored it. I actually forgot it was there until I was cleaning out my system and wondered what the hell this program was.

Now I've been using WriteWay to develop my novel. I've been playing around with this story for about six years now (God, has it really been that long?). I would start writing and then lose my steam or interest and start on some other idea (which I've come to accept as my style). A lot of times, I would give up because I couldn't find some notes or ideas I had scribbled on a post-it or the back of an envelope.

Theoretically, I should not have this problem anymore since the program allows me to consolidate. All I need is my computer and one notebook, I keep with me at all times, for those times when I'm on a soccer field for hours and not feeling particularly safe with balls whizzing around.

I created a character template since I realized that often I find myself bemused by my main character. I have been able to get inside her head in a creepy horror movie kind of way. If she were real, she'd probably have a restraining order out on me right now. I tried doing this with my notebook method but I must admit I would get completely distracted and begin writing out plot notes or reflections on other characters. With this program I can still do that but I have separate places to put that material outside of my character template.

I've always imagined myself as the somewhat organized yet chaotic writer with stacks of papers and books piled all over organized in some bizarre fashion known only to me. It's strange thinking in this contained space. I haven't started working on writing yet so the jury is still out on whether I am the software type.

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