Perhaps, a final word on FSM.
Excerpted from an email responding to a very nice person who makes a lovely-looking writing app.
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I LOVE full-screen writing and I LOVE full-screen (ugh: “distraction-free”) writing apps. I not only use one or another of these almost every day, but (not to seem immodest), I’d like to think that I’ve had a role, how ever small, in encouraging a LOT of people in general—and writers in particular—to explore any tool usage that keeps them focused on The Work, and UN-focused on everything else.
Furthermore, I own (as in bought with my own money) and continue to use:
PlainText (at least two versions)
and, yes, iA Writer for iPad
They’re all awesome. They’re all stunningly well done. They’re all fantastic apps that demonstrate the care and polish that smart, Apple-focused devs are sweating to help create a fantastic and user-centric platform that I truly love. All good.
NONE of these apps will, in and of themselves, help anyone to actually write. As in: stop, sit down, and make words every day. I really believe that.
So, at the risk of being way overly subtle (and of repeating myself yet again), I think there’s a BIG difference between:
selling a beautifully crafted tool that can help a Writing Writer Who Writes; vs.
marketing such an app as the solution to not writing.
Distractions have never prevented a Writing Writer Who Writes from writing; distractions are an excuse proffered by Non-Writing Non-Writers Who are Not-Writing for why they are not writing. In my humble opinion.
I’ve been down these roads many times and over many years, XXXXX, and the place it’s brought me, for better or for worse, is a place where I have a job that I regard as being very important.
That job is, to the best of my ability, to always advocate for the practices that bring a person who cares about what they do closer to making the things they love by mindfully abandoning any attractive excuses for not making things.
In contrast, the job of a dev is to sell his or her product in any way that they deem appropriate. This is their right solely, and I categorically respect that.
But, that categorical respect can’t and won’t ever stop me from doing MY job, y’know?
So. If Home Depot sold two identical hammers that represented the best and most useful hammer in the entire universe—only one was marketed as “a really nice hammer,” while the other was marketed as “a distraction-free hammering environment”—I’m fairly certain that any adult who uses a hammer every day for a living would instantly know that the second one represented potentially harmful bullshit. And, they’d say so without fear of hurting anyone’s feelings.
That’s all I’m doing. I’m not against hammers; I’m against potentially harmful bullshit.