Un-blogging software

by phil on Wednesday Mar 19, 2008 3:17 PM

I had a weird thought today. That somehow blogging has been both a blessing and a curse to my writing. Blogging, which I started in March of 2003, opened up writing as a medium for me. At the same time, blogging has made publishing and presenting so easy, that almost anything I wrote I published. Sometimes I'd write privately, and often times that'd be great writing, and so hell, I'd just paste it into my blog and publish. Even right now, I'm composing this post in a textbox on my Movable Type software. So in some ways, all my writing gets tainted and filtered by how I feel it will be received. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, there are plenty of people for whom composing in front of an audience actually excites and inspires them. But there is something to be said about always thinking about how something will be received rather than doing it for its own sake.

Anyway, that's a really lengthy intro to what I really want to propose:

It'd be interesting if somebody created an un-blog software. A writing medium that you couldn't (easily) blog with. The best example already exists which is pen and paper. If I wrote on a piece of paper, unless it was super spectacular, I'd never transcribe it and post it on my blog. Another example would be a text window in World of Warcraft. Whatever you type in there is difficult to extract (you can't select text (unless this got changed in a patch) and copy and paste.

So some sort of write-only software, where whatever you type becomes a jpeg, and you can't highlight or copy and paste. You'd have to run it through OCR software or transcribe it to get something out of it.

I'm reading right now "The Right to Write" by Julia Cameron, and she is wonderful at illuminating her psychology when it comes to writing. She also coaches students on creative unblocking. She suggests this idea of morning pages where you just write whatever on 3 pages. I've always been weary of "writing exercises" but she made a good argument in that you need to get comfortable writing safely, without fear of an editor or censor. And then it occurred to me, that writing exercises always failed for me because as soon as I did one, I'd just copy, paste, and publish... kind of defeats the purpose.

Here's my stop-gap measure: mspaint

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