I have been asked to gently introduce the FWA New Tampa / Wesley Chapel (NTWC) writers group to using and creating blogs at the June 4th meeting. Of course that meant blogging the content I was going to present. This is an article series on Blogging for Writers.
Time to move past the basics and start discussing the tools of the trade. This article covers the tool I use to write my blog posts.
The Tool I Blog With
If you have done your homework or even look at the pictures above, you will know about the built in editors that Blogger and WordPress provide. These are capable editors and many people have no issues using them. However, I like to work locally on my computer and post up to the blog when I am done. I think I am just too used to the write-edit-write cycle of desktop word processors, and have not been able to fully embrace the online editing model. I also find that I write significantly faster using a desktop tool. I don’t have a scientific rationale for this, and it is almost certainly a psychological issue, but that’s me.
So why am I telling you all this? Any guesses? Well, because, I am going to tell you about my tool of choice for writing blog posts. Before I tell you about my choice, I want you to know that there are many options for offline post authoring. Different tools tend to be popular with different demographics of users. Many writers that I know that live, die, and invent new swear words by Microsoft Word, chose Word as a blog publishing tool. I have never used Word to publish directly to blogs, but I know the last couple of versions (2010 and 2007) support it.
As you can see, Word can publish to WordPress and Blogger, plus a number of other blogging frameworks. If you choose this option, please share your experience with me. I am too set in my writing ways to want to try it at this time.
Enough stalling, time for me to share the tool I use. I use Windows Live Writer. This is a free tool from Microsoft that can be downloaded at http://explore.live.com/windows-live-writer. Here is a screen shot of my writing an earlier post.
The interface should be familiar to anyone used to Word or most modern word processors. What I like about Windows Live Writer (WLW) is that I can edit, preview, and even get into the source very easily (just like on the web site), but I have the same commands and keystrokes I am used to from other applications. I also like that I can work on multiple drafts and save them locally. I also like that I can use the same tool to work with many different blogs. Finally, I admit, I love the word count in the bottom right corner. There is a perverse kind of thrill to looking up after some time writing and seeing a high three digit or a four digit number down there.