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Beyond Microsoft Word… Or Not

I started out this video with the intent of trying to get writers to stop using Microsoft Word and ended up paying tribute to an overly-sentimental romantic comedy from the 80s. It’s a new level of failure for me.

Let me back up. I haven’t used Microsoft Word as my main writing program for years now. Some part of me is passionate about helping people see the many amazing alternatives. There are some fabulous, simple writing programs that work across your various computers and devices. There are also fabulous programs (like Scrivener [1]) for working on book-length projects.

But here’s the problem. A writer can so easily get wrapped up dwelling on all these fabulous tools and then forget to write. I’d rather have a clunky tool and solid writing practice than a brilliant tool and little to show with it. I’m sure you would too. But sometimes I forget this truth.

On the other hand, I’m not saying that you should ignore any possibility of finding a better tool. I just think it should be the kind of thing that happens occasionally, over time, when there is a need or a flaw with your current method.

So in this video, I hint at some compelling tools. I genuinely want people to take advantage of these great tools. (I’m even teaching classes on Scrivener and other writing tools this month.) But even more importantly, I want people to write and learn and write and learn.

So here it is. My quasi-passionate (and ultimately failed) rant against Microsoft Word:

I suggest you expand the video to its full size… Some of the text is tricky to read at this smaller size.

What do you think? Are you a Microsoft Word writer? Do you use a snazzy, new writing program or have you somehow managed to keep that white-text-on-blue-background copy of WordPerfect 5.1 running since 1989?

About Yuvi Zalkow [2]

Yuvi Zalkow [3]'s first novel was reluctantly published in 2012 by MP Publishing. His forthcoming novel will be published by Red Hen Press. His stories and essays have been published in Glimmer Train, Narrative Magazine, Carve Magazine, The Daily Dot, Rosebud, The Poop Report, and others. He occasionally makes YouTube videos and apps for iPhones. Check out his website [4] if you actually want to find out more.