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My daily writing process

I've been writing at least a post a day during my short social media hiatus. Although I'm a little bit worried about flooding the folks who subscribe via email - it's occurred to me to limit the mailing list to a couple of days a week and send as a digest - I find it meditative. I tend to write first thing in the morning, right after reading through my feeds in Reeder. I compose on my iPad in markdown using iA Writer and then copy to my site using its "copy as HTML" function. iA Writer uses micropub, so theoretically I could publish directly, but I like the opportunity to read over the piece in context before I push the button.

As I mentioned on Monday, I've been writing more fiction, which has mostly meant fleshing out a book in Scrivener. I've also been submitting some short stories for publication - my rejection-proof skin has been thickening steadily - and taking part in a few competitions. My round one piece for the NYC Midnight flash fiction challenge placed first in its group. To be honest, I needed the encouragement - and tonight I'll move on to round two with my head held high.

I have an iPad Pro with a magic keyboard case, which is strictly for creative work. My work accounts are nowhere to be seen, and notifications are switched off across the board. You can't develop software on an iPad - at least, not really - and I don't use it for coding projects. It's just for writing and drawing. While the OS is locked down to the extent that Apple may be legally forced to open it up sometime soon, I find it makes for a pretty good distraction-free environment. It's one of the best gadget purchases I've ever made. (Who would have thought I'd be so bought into the Apple ecosystem a decade ago? Not me.)

But even more importantly, cultivating the space to write and reflect has been an important habit for me. Like regular exercise and eating well, it sets me up for the rest of the day. In a world where we're expected to be always on and instantly reactive, some nearly-offline slow thinking time has proven to be a very good thing indeed. Getting that in first, over a cup of coffee while the morning is still quiet, has been lovely.