Just Write

Micro-blogging

I noticed that many people like to post about their lives on micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter and Mastodon. I suppose it helps them to be able to write short messages without any expectation of perfect grammar or even high quality. It allows them to just write.

I believe writing is extremely valuable, and the more we write, the more we understand our emotions and our minds. It gives us an outlet for what we are thinking.

When we are not burdened by outside pressures, or don’t allow ourselves to be, we are able to write freely and clearly unfold our thoughts.

Distractions

There are many distractions that keep us form writing effectively. These may include big things like stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, or other mental issues.

However, all too often the little issues are the ones that get in the way the most. Whether or not you chose the right font, whether that section should be in italics, or if that paragraph should be colored red for emphases.

For some people, micro-blogging helps to get ideas out of their head. A new method of thinking aloud. There is little friction keeping them from writing. No formatting, no pressure of perfection, and no file management.

But some people don’t want to publish their thoughts, and others who do may be hesitant about certain topics, knowing that others will read it. This restricts the flow of their own ideas out of their minds.

Journaling

Journaling has long been an effective method of getting ideas out of our minds and onto paper. It allows us to write down what we are thinking without worrying about any kind of social repercussions or getting distracted by external stimuli (you can find a corner away from anyone else and turn off your phone and just write).

But some may find a journal difficult to maintain, possibly because they don’t think about it often enough to write consistently.

So I began to consider what would happen if I applied micro-blogging to journaling. You would write out short messages and a program would organize it on your computer for you without the stress of publishing.

Hence the name: micro-journaling.[1]

A Solution

This is why I have started to work on a tool that does exactly this.[2] You write out your thoughts, and organizes it does the tedious organizational work for you. It has no distracting formatting, no post titles, no file management, and no user-organization. You just write out your thoughts and let the program do the rest.

Unlike many of us with our journals, we always have a computer nearby us. We always have our phone, laptop, or other electronic device always ready. We rarely, if ever, misplace it. Thus it is a useful place for storing things we care about.

I have been writing this program with intention. Every decision to add or remove a feature has this premise in mind: keep anything except writing out of the users eye. Make the program to any tedious work, and anything that is not writing.

Whenever I use my program and find myself getting distracted at a certain detail, I consider what to do to fix it. For example, I had an optional title at the beginning of every post. That became distracting because I wondered if I should write a title, and then how it should be phrased. Then I decided just to ditch that feature and let the program itself figure out what to name it.

I have plans to write more tools that apply to various other writing activities, including blogging, book writing, and potentially more. Throughout it all, the main goal is to get people to just write.

I will post more when I have a program ready to test. Until then, pick up a journal, and write.


  1. Though I developed name independently, I see someone else came up with a similar idea with the same name: https://www.toddbrison.com/microjournaling/

  2. I will post more about this tool later on, since at the moment I doubt it will be useful to anyone besides me, but if you’re interested, here is the source code.

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