Tumblr with iA Writer

December 07, 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’d like to say there’s somereally good reason I don’t post frequently, but I’d be lying. Fact is,I’m just not much for jumping into my browser to write anything. Oneof my recent posts dealt with abandoning my word processor for something better suitedfor drafting a novel. In that case, I settled on using IndexCard. It’s relatively distraction free, lets me work in a non-linear fashion, and works onthe iPad.

What’s that have to do with why I’m a lazy blogger? It’s the tools,and how I relate to them. I love the tumblr platform, but I’m not too keen on using the browser-based editor. Thesurest way to distract me from writing is to throw me into a webbrowser. Within minutes I’ll jump from Facebook to Goodreads to Tumblrto Twitter, back to Facebook, window shop on Amazon, check news onvarious locations, look at my watch only to find I’ve wasted an hourand still haven’t finished my blog post, then go back to the watchingdancing cats and the toilet paper gun for a while. Ugh. No wonder Ihave to get up early to finish anything.

Anyhow, as with the whole noveling (is that a word?) without a wordprocessor, I started to look for ways to blog without using tumblr’sweb editor. I had a few simple requirements:

  • Let me write in plain text with simple formatting
  • Don’t force me to use a web browser
  • Give me a distraction-free interface
  • Work on the iPad

I didn’t really find anything out of the box, so I wound up cobblingtogether my own solution. For writing blog posts, I’m using iAWriter on my iPad and iPhone and VIM on my Linux laptop. Drafts are saved toDropbox so I can move seamlessly from one device to another if need.Both VIM and iA Writer are simple text editors that support Markdown, but neitherintegrates directly with tubmlr. Fortunately, tumblr provides eachblog with a private email address where you can send posts instead ofediting in the web browser, and by including a simple somewhere inthe post, tubmlr knows to use Markdown for formatting.

This post is my way of testing my setup. I whipped this post up inunder 10 minutes while hanging out with the family instead ofsquirreled away in the office during the wee hours of the morning.

I got a little bonus by going through this discovery. Index Cardworked great for helping me draft a novel (and will continue to doso). Now that I’m finished with the first draft, I’m setting the novelaside to work on some short stories for a while. Index Card is, forme, too much for short stories. On the other hand, iA Writer worksgreat for short pieces, and I already keep all my work in Dropbox soit’s a natural fit.

Alright, enough about me. Here, go check out the Toilet Paper Gun.

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