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A Writer’s Environment

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January 25, 2013 by jcfarnham

As a writer I tend to surround myself with a certain digital environment.

In this sense, everyone is different. Some get distracted easily and like to strip everything back to the bare essentials with formatting-free text editers and a computer with out an internet connect. While people like me would rather have the full range of formatting choices, worldbuilding bibles, multiple forms of word processor for different occasions, the internet for quick research, social media, and mobile app and so on.

Well, here’s my “environment”:

Scrivener is a fantastic tool that basically collates a large number of word style documents in one place and combines it with all the tools an indie publisher would need to get started in the industry. With only a few clicks of a button, you can export a .mobi file (good for Amazon) or .epub, or whatever else you want. No need for a secondary converstion program like Calibre.

Admittedly you’re a little better off using Scrivener if you have a Mac, as its currently at a higher version over there (v2.0 compared to v1.5 beta on Windows) and has a couple more (mostly aesthetic) features to do with images, and so on. Never the less, and regardless of the operating system you’re running, I’ve found this little program to be a valuable tool.

Word – Well what can I say? Its Word. Even though I have Scrivener I still like to mess around in this infamous processor. Most of my story bibles consist of the traditional .doc and folder combination. I’m sure I could streamline this a little better but I’m pretty happy with my system.

Evernote – Great little note taking app that syncs to the cloud so you can get to documents where ever you are. This thing is a real saviour, especially if like me you’re the kind of person who seems to find inspiration when you can’t access a computer. I’ve got a folder for each of my projects, including a misc folder for anything else.

On top of this I’ve found it incredibly useful to have some form of writing community behind me. Mythic Scribes is my first choice, even though they cater many to fantasy fiction I’ve not found a better, more friendly group. I may be biased mind you. Other than this I strongly recommend joining Google+.

You could stick with Facebook… but while it’s more popular than Google+, the alternative does have the option of hangouts, very nice inline chat, and idea of circles makes it very simple to organise your contacts into specific groups (like people you’re following, writers, friends, acquaintances). It’s generally a far better resource, especially if you link it in with your marketing efforts and the rest of your online presence.

All in all I believe you need to figure out how best you work and create the perfect environment to cultivate your creativity.

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