We often hear about the paradox of choice and how having too many options leads to anxiety and procrastination. An example I always use from my own experience is when I used to make music on my computer.

When all I had was the application Rebirth I used to be quite prolific, really exploring its possibilities. As soon as I got other software, virtual instruments, and a host of effects plugins my output dropped off considerably. I would spend ages trying to find "the right sound" or try to be inspired by what was in front of me rather than just getting on and making music.

It is claimed that reducing choice for consumers leads to reduced anxiety when shopping. The counter, however, is the assertion that autonomy and freedom of choice is essential for wellbeing so who's right? Surely, some kind of middle ground needs to be established.

I've been dragging my heels a bit regarding certain things so it was with interest that I read Jake LaCaze's post (formerly of Flirting with Nihilism) on writing simply.

Jake has stripped down his blogging workflow to just three components: write.as to host his blog, Markdown and iA Writer - that's it, about as simple as you can get. It's a far cry from my proclivity to install multiple apps and constantly tweak things in the hope something clicks.

I am reminded of when I previously used Android (back in 2014) and there was only one app I used in which I wrote well in excess of 100,000 words despite it being pretty basic. When on the iPhone I used Drafts but then started muddying the waters with Ulysses before finally settling on just Drafts.

Since the switch back to Android it has been a constant procession of different apps and workflows, always looking for that perfect solution when I should be just getting on with the task at hand.

In an effort to resolve this I installed and subscribed to iA Writer hoping it could be my one stop shop. After an initial issue connecting to self-hosted WordPress sites was fixed by iA it didn't sit well with me because of how it handled direct posting - that was the main reason I wanted to try it after all.

With every other writing application I have to export Markdown to the WordPress app so that I can post. Where iA Writer can post directly (but requires me to then go in to edit the draft ready for publishing) I have a mental block on just sharing the text to the WordPress app like I do elsewhere. If the one feature I purchased iA Writer for doesn't fit my needs why do I: 1) still have it installed, or 2) complain about paying for it when other apps I've bought also don't fit 100%?

I need to make a choice and stick with it, limit my options and just get on with writing.

  1. Alan Ralph says: #
    These days, I just open my WordPress blog's admin console, click the + in the admin toolbar to add a new post, and start typing. The Gutenberg editor does a good job of handling quoted text pasted in from elsewhere, and I can even drag-and-drop photos directly into the post draft to upload them. I have LanguageTool installed in my browser, which shows up any potential typos (and is cheaper than Grammarly). I've tried using the WordPress apps, but they're clunky when dealing with self-hosted sites rather than ones on WordPress.com, so I stopped bothering.

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