My Writing Technology Journey 

I’ve been writing on and off for most of my fifty years.  As a kid, I used pencil and paper, of course. But as the years passed, I adopted increasingly more advanced technology.

In the early nineties, I was introduced to an electronic organizer, which has a memo function, and I started writing on that. The memos exported as text files and were limited to 2K, so it was a good size for writing over lunch.
Over time, that organizer was replaced by a PalmPilot, and then three or four upgrades of that. During this period, I started writing a fantasy novel, still in memo sized increments. This was the origin of the chapter breaks I employ in my books today.

Using these devices, I wrote over 300 pages of that story, which I downloaded and combined into Microsoft Word. Eventually I moved on to an iPad using a wonderful tool called Quickoffice. It was a truly amazing word processor. But alas, Google bought it and replaced it with Google Docs.

At the end of 2015, I decided to abandon my 300 page white whale, and started writing something that had been languishing on the shelf. This became The Utgarda Trilogy, which was primarily written on the iPad using Google Docs and the formatted for publication in Word. 

While there are aspects of Google Docs that I like, the dependence on Google Drive, the lack of support for Drive by a number of tools clouded my experience.

I used an app on my iPhone and iPad called StoryPlanner to organize the characters, plots, locations, and scenes. This tool was instrumental for gathering my thoughts and seeing my first two books to completion, but it did not work with Google Drive. It was also available as an app. There were neither Windows or web versions of the tool, and no plans to make one.

Along the same lines, Apple started to annoy me, especially autocorrect, which insisted on the English spelling of things (e.g., colour, etc.), and continuously changed my grammar and spelling incorrectly.

With the completion on The Old Man’s Request, and the establishment of my publishing company, Rantings of a Wandering Mind, I splurged and bought a new laptop, Office 365, and Jutoh eBook Creator for Windows. I purchased WriteItNow to organize my thoughts on the laptop, but found there was no way to import into it.

Recently, at the suggestion of friends who are authors, I finally purchased Scrivener for both for Windows and IOS. I exported the numerous projects I had in StoryPlanner in Scrivener format, albeit an outdated one that the tool converted on import, and copied out of WriteItNow and and pasted in the appropriate records in Scrivener.

The ability to write from any platform is a great advantage, and almost everything can be done from within Scrivener. It can even export the manuscripts and ebooks.

Now, all I need to do outside of Scrivener is format those products for Lulu and Kindle.

Author: joabstieglitz

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