Sometimes writing is easy. And sometimes it's pretty hard.
Sometimes there's this idea in my head and when I start typing, those ideas transform into words and those words into sentences. Sometimes it feels pretty natural.
And on some days, it's a challenge. Luckily, I have a writing workflow in place which helps me overcome those bad days. And on good days, it's just there and keeps me efficient.
From ideas to published articles
In theory, it's easy. There are 3 steps on getting my articles live. It all starts with ideas, followed by writing down those ideas. And lastly, the editing helps me to sort out bad articles and publish the good ones.
Just recently Jeff Goins gave us some insights on his writing framework.
At any given time, I have a whole bunch of half-finished chapters and blog posts on my computer begging to be edited and completed.
Overall, I do believe that tools are just tools. And the following tools help me to be better at writing and publishing articles. These are just the tools, and they don't matter as much as the framework and workflow itself.
I've written my master thesis with Apple Pages, and I've used Microsoft office products since I got my first computer. I never really liked Microsoft Word. And I don't think it's a great writing tool for online publishing.
When discovering Markdown format, I was naturally pretty curious. And I started playing around with it. And then I lost interest, mainly due to the lack of some real use cases.
Years later, I'm back at writing in markdown, and I love it.
This is why I decided to share my internal writing workflow for publishing new articles on this blog.
And the best part? This workflow is fully compatible with mobile (actually parts of this article have been writing and edited on my iPhone).
The advantages of markdown
There are various reasons for loving markdown format. I enjoy writing in markdown as it reduces my toolset to a minimum. It only requires me to have a markdown editor in place. Other than that I can fully dive into the process o writing without any distraction.
Markdown is great for writing, and it also helps me to easily capture ideas. So whenever a new article idea (or just a random thought) comes to my mind, I open up my iA writer app and add a new file with a rough idea/title.
iA Writer as my writing tool
There are various markdown apps out there.
Personally, I use iA Writer and I love it. It's simple and works seamlessly with all my devices. And I can also sync files in real-time via Dropbox or iCloud.
And iA Writer also helps me out if I'm lost with some markdown format.
Grammarly for editing
Although most of my time is spent on writing the article, I do try to put some effort in the editing process.
And Grammarly comes in handy for that.
It's so useful that it's probably the most important tool in my writing workflow. My writing tools are all replaceable, but Grammarly isn't.
Grammarly is a little Chrome extension which checks my text and addresses errors and things which need fixing.
BTW: There marketing video is pretty nice!
Ghost as a blogging platform
Don't get me wrong. I'm heavily invested in Wordpress. I use it extensively at work where I published more than 200 articles with WordPress. And I also have various side projects and client's websites on WordPress.
For my new blog, TWENTYsomethings, I decided to give the new kid on the block a try. Ghost is a lightweight blogging alternative to Wordpress. And since I tried it a while ago, and really enjoyed its simplicity, I decided to give it another try.
The great thing about Ghost?
I can simply copy/paste the whole article from iA Writer to Ghost and everything's done. No need to format and optimize content. That's basically the biggest advantage of writing Markdown. 😍
To be clear here: Wordpress offers some plugins which allow you to write and publish in markdown, too. However, I never really got hooked by this, and always went back to the normal Wordpress editor.
With Ghost, markdown comes in as a core feature. And you can definitely feel that.
Wrapping it up.
So, it just works for me. It might not work for you, the same way it does for me. I definitely keep improving this workflow, but overall I can definitely see myself growing this blog (which means adding writers, contributors, and editors) with the same workflow in place.