Carl T. Holscher fights for the customers.

Tag: Writing Page 1 of 2

Mary Ruefle’s Wrist-moving action

I write by hand because that is how I began, and I love it. Moving the wrist, the marks the pencil or pen leave on the paper—like the trail of a snail—well, it is like drawing, no, it is drawing, and I am so enamoured of this activity that sometimes I write continuously without actually forming real words, I call it ‘fake handwriting,’ and it’s just as much fun as actually ‘writing’. By fun I mean it’s just as much a mystery. The whole wrist-moving action is why I write in the first place. I don’t like tennis, or knitting, I like writing with my hands.

Mary Ruefle

Mary Ruefle does not own a computer. She weird by hand because she likes how it feels.

I love reading this because I feel the same way. I take notes by hand and collect notebooks and pens not because I am working on great novels or essays. But because I like pens and paper and how they feel in and under my hand.

Have a blog and write in it

If you notice, the internet of today is basically made of a couple of big websites that try to gather every content there is. Have you ever talked to an older person that thinks Facebook IS the internet? Yes, that’s exactly what I am talking about.

“If everybody starts to create their own website, we will start the long and essential process of taking back the control of the Web: the Web is ours to use it as we like, and not to be controlled by half dozen of mega industries with their opaques algorithms.”

Why you should have a blog (and write in it)

I’m trying to take more of this advice to heart. Less social media and endless streams of outrage flying by and more longer, more considered writing.

Minnows swimming from (

Just keep swimming

As I may have mentioned before, books are hard. They’re hard because not only are they putting a part of yourself out into the world and saying it is worth something. But it takes a lot of work to make a book. I spent years on what would become this book. Much of it procrastinating. Self-doubting. Worrying. Second-guessing.

I could have done this years ago, but I didn’t. I wasn’t ready. I was not ready to make this book a reality. Now I am. So it’s a book now. It exists in the world. It’s out in the world and now I need people to find it and care about it enough to want it.

There’s no secret to this. I have some good friend who have tweeted about it. I sent copies to my parents, because it’s exciting to have made something with my name on the cover.

At the same time, my wife and one of her sisters launched a blog at Much to my surprise, the domain name was available in 2016. But it’s shaping up to be a great project about their experiences and what they’re learned in running their own business, gardening and reinforcing women are not just pretty things. They’re Smart and Powerful!

The talk around my house this week has been about launching things into the world. I got my book done and out there. My wife got their blog up and running. Did I mention she is a self-employed art therapist, specializing in serving Seniors with dementia and an accomplished artist. Seriously, the woman puts me to shame.

As we’ve launched things, we talk about how to get people to notice them. How to get readers and customers and the only secret that keeps coming up is consistency.

Be out there. Be out there a lot and be something people can depend on. CJ Chilvers just ran a series of posts about this very topic that Seth Godin, who’s been blogging daily for years, has talked about.

That third one refutes the idea of not writing consistently. It’s the procrastination and self-doubt talking. Don’t listen to it.

The real secret isn’t so secret at all…

As James Gowans puts it:

Have you ever noticed that the secret to all the secrets is that it’s never the easy path?

Photo from - https://unsplash.coMan writing in a notebook. m/alejandroescamilla

Keep Writing


Potatowire writes:

I worry about this site. I spend an average of two hours a night writing, and I’m not sure why. I am more introspective now, for sure, and I think my writing is improving, but this two-hour block represents all of my available free time. I have some other projects I would like to begin, but I don’t know how to fit them into my schedule.

Goals, Doubt, & Success

Linus writes:

We are both just flinging words into the air and hoping that maybe something happens, some stroke of luck occurs that will somehow transform our projects into something amazing. But probably not. Our blogs might just quickly fade away, these words lost to time. Maybe it’s all a learning process though, all our failures building up to finally give us enough height to see over the wall into enlightenment.

I understand all too well where both of them are coming from. We’re all flinging words into the world in hopes they’ll stick with someone. When I write, I hope someone sees my words and it touches them. Makes them laugh. Makes them cry. Makes them feel.

But it’s a struggle. We’re not big and famous bloggers. We can’t trace the lineage of our sites back across the decades. Even though my own domain reaches back 15 years, I was young and not trying to make anything out of it. It was a fun place to write and experiment.

I posted at over at The Arctic Palace from 2004-2011. Then abandoned the site, and Textpattern, for WordPress. I moved into the trenches here and have been hunkered down ever since.

I don’t have a large audience either but it doesn’t bother me. I write for myself. I write because it feels good. I write because every now and then someone else likes my words and tells me. And that feels so good.

James Gowans tweeted a good reminder. All you need is 1 I’ve got a few more than 1. And I write for them and for me.

So I say to Linus and Potatowire: Keep Writing! I read you. I value your voices. That goes for the rest of you who feel the same way. We’re out here. We’re reading you. Your voice would be missed if you stopped. So please don’t stop.

Windows Writing Environments

You know what I write in most days? Windows.

I like MarkdownPad because it’s simple. It lets me type away and see any styling in real-time. It shows the styles as I type.

It can do so much more than I need it to, but I ignore the extras and use it as a place for words. It’s free to use and $15 to upgrade and get a host of added, useful features like auto-saving and session-management.

It’s never crashed on me. knock wood. It’s a solid little app that does what I need it to do. I save files to .txt or .md and put them in Google Drive. I appreciate the app’s simplicity. It also pairs nicely with another app I love to write in.

Writemonkey is big, black canvas where I can put my words. There’s something about the black page and green text that reminds me of the old days of computing. It has a ton of options and plugins. But I use it as you see it. A big black page with lovely green text.

It feels comfortable to me. I am not saying this is the way all writing should be done. I am saying this works for me.

Find what works best for you and do it. I have found a color scheme and font that please me. It’s not a requirement for me to write. I don’t have to be seated just so with the proper writing tool in the perfect environment.

I just need time and head space to compose words. And these are the tools I’m using these days. On the Mac and iPhone, I have Byword set to the dark mode but I don’t remember the last time I used either.

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