writing

In praise of WordPress.com’s Linux desktop app

 

I’m using Linux Ubuntu Mate more and more as my primary work OS and in keeping with this shift from Mac and Windows I’ve decided to try the WordPress.com Linux desktop app.

It’s been out for five months now, but as I typically write and complete my columns on multiple computers before clicking “publish,” when I’m working from home and on one of my desktop machines, I’ve been thinking of making the Ubuntu Mate machine the test subject of sorts for this new blogging tool.

It’s different from how I normally blog for sure. I usually write in Microsoft Word and then transfer it to a new blogpost at my site. Here I finalize the post–proofreading, editing, adding graphics, images, inserting hyperlinks, etc., before submitting the final work.

As I work equally from portable devices and desktop computers, being flexible and using the hardware and software available always makes the formulation of blog posts a custom job. It never seems the same regarding how I get from point A to B. While this can create havoc from time to time, remaining patient and being committed to seeing the task through are always key to successful outcomes.

As I type in the WordPress desktop app, however, I’m finding I like having the post be populated as a draft on my site simultaneously, rather than writing the initial draft in Word and copying and pasting it into a draft post on my site. The reason I like it is so far it “appears” that the post editor in the desktop app has most everything I need to blog as I like to.

Thus far this does not seem a better or worse platform than my multi-faceted approach; it’s just going to take some getting used to. Tools are here, available for my use, but I just have to find the effortless flow I need in order to write effectively. I do not want to have to worry about how quickly I can finalize the post once it’s written. And that is where I’m thinking this new methodology may fall short.

Microsoft Word is my word processor of choice on the Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. I am able to use MS Word in Ubuntu Mate via Wine software that allows Linux-based users to run many Microsoft-only programs. And I find the software that works in Wine in Linux, actually works quite well and fast, too, with all the features you know and expect that are available on the Windows version.

I am able to focus on writing the article first in Word, then blasting it into my website as a draft before tweaking and fine-tuning as it resides in draft form. Here, it feels foreign to be composing in something other than MS Word. For better or worse, over the years, Word has become familiar to me, allows me to write without thinking, chunks of words ripped off from the tips of my fingers fluidly flossing the keyboard characters.

Is it wrong to feel this isn’t quite right for me? Perhaps what feels wrong right now will only feel less comfortable as time goes by. And less comfortable begets more comfortable the more you try something new.

So, as the end of this column fast approaches, where do I sit on the proverbial fence with respect to this new (for me) desktop-app-on-Linux writing tool? Honestly? I’m not closed off to trying it again. In fact, I’m looking forward to putting the finishing touches on the formatting of this piece with the different assortment of tools to choose from.

Similar to a change of scenery for a slumping ballplayer, doing things differently, changing up, if you will, can breathe fresh life into work that may be in danger of becoming tired. Like businesses, writers are in need of growth, and breaking out of comfort zones of safe-feeling habits, is often just the trick for expanding horizons. At least for me, this is how I will justify the WordPress desktop app’s continued use.

Change sparks creativity. And I for one prefer to take change for a ride instead of watching change and all the promise it can hold, ride by without me.

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