Writing tools I've purchased
I bought software called Scrivener. I used it for the rough draft of this article. Scrivener puts all the pieces of a work in progress right in front of you: outline, notes, current draft, etc. For a long piece of writing it may be superior to working with a standard word processor. When I found Scrivener (in Writing Habits Mastery) I knew I was about to take a big step in the right direction. It is less useful with shorter projects but I believe it may be invaluable when I write my novels.
Inspired by the utility of Scrivener, I bought a yearly subscription to Microsoft Office. I have moved this article to Word and will do final editing there. I used a much older version of Word during my working career and thought highly of it. The new version is quite sophisticated and may work as well for me as Scrivener. I will do short work in Word and decide whether or not to use Scrivener for longer work as time goes by.
My typing is subpar. My spelling is atrocious. (Odd. I can spell “atrocious.” Oops. No I can’t; autocorrect got it.) My right hand is still partially disabled from an industrial accident that occurred back in the seventies. So there is no future in trying to learn to type. I am forever a hunt and pecker (something about that doesn't sound right). Often I will misspell words that I know how to spell; my fingers are apparently dyslexic. My mind thinks out the letters in the spelling correctly, my fingers type the correct letters … but not always in the correct order. (“Order” might become “odrer”) Add the large number of words I can’t spell and the result is many, many errors that frustrate me and slow down productivity.
There is a workaround. I’m using it now. I've known about dictation software for a number of years but always thought it was too hard to use or mostly gimmick and not useful in a productive sense. That may once have been true but today’s Dragon’s NaturallySpeaking Premium version dictation software is very accurate, quite fast … and it knows how to spell. I manually typed most of this document but for this section I decided to use my dictation software. My productivity will be positively impacted by Dragon’s NaturallySpeaking. Once I get used to speaking my words instead of typing them, my productivity will increase well beyond the limits of my typing. I’m not certain that means more words; perhaps it just means more time to edit.