Better blogging: separate writing and publishing?

I wonder if one way of helping the process of blogging is to separate the tools you use for writing and for publishing.

Here’s what I mean – when I use WordPress’ editor to compose a post from scratch, I am using the same software to write my content and to publish it.

I have nothing against the WordPress editor, by the way – it’s excellent. But I find that when I use it, I feel under a bit more pressure to get what I am writing finished, so I can hit that big publish button and be done with it.

Using a separate tool to compose the post, then transfer it to WordPress for publication makes the writing process a bit of a calmer affair.

I can still edit my content in the WordPress editor where I spot mistakes, or to add images, links and that sort of thing. The bulk of composition however, takes place in a different editor.

At the moment I mostly use Byword on the Mac and iOS for writing posts, which are then copied to WordPress.

What do you think? Am I talking nonsense – or do you also find that separating writing and publishing is helpful?

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Dave Briggs

I'm an experienced senior manager in digital and ICT, looking for interim engagements to modernise technology teams to help organisations transform.

9 thoughts on “Better blogging: separate writing and publishing?”

    1. Russ – that’s interesting as that wouldn’t make a lot of difference to me. I think the writing app needs to be one that is offline!

  1. Nope, I don’t think you are talking nonsense. I’ve forced this way of working upon myself by using Jekyll to build my site, I have no choice but to use an editor of some sort. For now that is Sublime Text 2 to write the posts in Markdown.

    The freedom to save a draft and comeback to it at my leisure is wonderful. I know you can do this with WordPress, but it never felt quite the same.

    – Neil.

    1. Agree Neil – I don’t know why it is either. Perhaps a legacy of the dialup days?

      Interesting to know if younger folk than us have a different attitude.

  2. Completely agree with what you say. I find the same and often use Word first. However typing straight into WordPress editor sometimes lends an edge to my focus which I otherwise lack. It all depends what I want to do.

  3. I think you make a good point…I started to separate purely so I could think about the actual place to publish.

    I found the same as you in that if I start to write direct in WordPress I feel compelled to finish and then didn’t focus on where else or how else I could publish.

    I use a mix of tools depending on whether I am using my iPad or a laptop. But a combination of Evernote, pages, notes, google and good notes which helps me pull together my thinking and is where is do my sketch noting.

  4. I’m the same – I write everything in either IA Writer or Notational Velocity. I think I started because back in the day when the editor on WP wasn’t as great I lost my share of posts but now I do it as I prefer to write in plain text and then sort the formatting, linking etc as a separate activity.

  5. I haven’t used the WordPress editor in years. I usually write blog posts — either while online or offline — using an app like Draft or Writebox on my tablet, or a web-based tool like TextDrop. When a post is ready to go, I copy and paste it into WordPress and schedule it for publication.

    Doing that seems a bit cumbersome, but it isn’t. And it not only gives me a chance to write regardless of whether or not I have an internet connection, it also allows me to reflect on what I’ve written and to try to proofread and edit it before it’s published.

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