When I first started blogging over 13 years ago I had very little intent and couldn’t possibly imagine that it would be something that would “stick” with me for years. I started small and there wasn’t any method or “strategy” or science to it in any way, shape, or form.
It was raw, unedited, and brutally honest. Over the years I lost some of that honesty as I started trying to be a “real” writer, a “real” blogger if you will, and I got lost in the mix of what I would suppose were attempts at becoming more “legit.”
I downloaded every widget, gadget, tool, app, and devoured “tips and tricks” from the real “pros” – I lost the love for the art and it became what we all dread will happen with the things that we love; it became work.
Ever so slowly I recovered. Through experimentation I discovered that it was truly possible to decouple what I wrote and the necessity of the tools and the “strategy” required to just simply write.
In other words, I came back to the basics and I realized what I had known all along to be forever true: Writing requires nothing more than an active mind, a pen, and paper.
Of course my utensils were digital in nature and so I began rapidly testing digital tools and toolkits that would allow me to simply write, without distraction and without the gross pomp and circumstance that many products provide.
I liberally purchased and catalogued what I found eventually creating a list of some of the best desktop publishing apps out there. I also tested out a number of distraction-free writing apps as well with the hope of finding a solution that would work.
None were up to the task. Consequently, as a software developer, I felt compelled to do something about it (and I had natural resources to hopefully pull it off). I set out to build what I had once conjured up on a long ride down the Florida coast back in 2002: The last desktop publishing client that I’d ever use.
I started working on what I called “Desk Publishing Machine on November 12, 2013, a day that has been incredibly easy to remember: 11/12/13. It was a grueling period of development and was an investment much larger than I had anticipated.
And 350 days later it was finally accepted by the Mac App Store and today, day #352, is the day that I’m ready to publicly share it with the world.
The emotion I feel is nothing short of overwhelming. I’ve had bouts of weeping in the last week as I meditated and introspected on the journey – it’s been an interesting one, that’s for sure.
And let’s be clear and honest: The emotion isn’t because the app is the most incredible thing ever created by a software developer nor is it going to necessarily change the world nor have I overcome an epic amount of hurdles to pull it off – it’s just the fact that the app is so damn personal.
You see, writing is so much of who I am. It’s how I understand the world and it’s my preferred method of engaging with the people in it (I can be so awkward). And writing has been a fundamental part of my professional career. Many of the opportunities that I’ve been blessed with started with something that I wrote on my blog. The stories that I could share with you would blow your mind.
And that’s really the point: The purpose of writing is to capture the thoughts of the author with the intent of storytelling. We don’t call it that all the time but that’s what it is. You and I are in the business of creating, interpreting, understanding, and sharing stories. It’s what existed before we got here and it’s what we’ll leave here when we’re gone.
From ashes to ashes, from dust to dust, from stories to stories…
So the app itself is my own attempt at creating something that honors that simple intent: Capture ideas without distraction and then publish (share) those ideas in the form of story without effort. Nothing more and nothing less.
If you’re a writer, author, digital publisher, blogger, or anyone that captures text digitally I’d love to invite you to try it out.
If anything I hope you see with understanding what I was attempting to do and that you will ultimately fall in love with writing a little bit more, that you’ll feel even more compelled to share your ever-growing, ever-evolving story with others.
And if that happens then I will truly be able to say that I’ve created the best desktop publishing app ever.