Writer’s Desk: Whatever Works


Successful writers have their preferred tools. A kind of pencil. Style of desk. The best music to run in the background.

Some writers looking for ways to get ahead in the game often go looking for answers in those habits. They will be frustrated, because whatever works for one writer likely will be dead on delivery for another. Take word processing.

According to the New Republic‘s Joseph Livingstone, word processing was a nascent technology through the 1970s into the early 1980s. By 1984, many writers (Anne Rice, Michael Chabon) had switched to using the new program WordStar. A pre-DOS application, its basic text look appears downright Paleolithic today.

Nevertheless, a number of authors in the genre field continue to use WordStar today. Why? Because they like writing on it. Consider George R. R. Martin. He uses the no-frills WordStar to write all his fantasy doorstoppers.

If something helps you write, stick with it. Even if that means giving up on spellcheck.

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