WriteNext: The Beginnings

WriteNext: The Beginnings

2020, May 13  —  Diana Neculai

I have to admit, I’m not a writer, but I want to become one. I want to start writing my first book. I have this on my wishlist for more than a year now and somehow I haven’t started anything serious yet.

It’s not a novel, it’s a business book, more specifically a marketing one. I call it Freestyle Marketing. The main idea is that marketing should be about inspiring people and building relationships with customers, rather than treating people as leads and numbers. I believe that writing a book about this kind of marketing will have a vast impact both on businesses and customers. For people, it will increase the quality of our interactions with the services and products that we are using. For businesses, it will create strong and enthusiastic fans that will gradually transform into evangelists of the business.

I only went as far as writing a blog post with the main idea and making some notes with the most important topics that I want to cover, and that’s about it. I had several attempts to start writing, but each time I just open the application I use for writing and my motivation drops instantly. I end up staring at the screen and eventually finding something else to do.

Over time I have been using two main applications to write: one is the Notes application from Apple and the other is Google Docs.

I like Notes because it is very handy and easy to access on any device. There are very few distractions, besides my other notes and folders. However, it is not optimized for writing large amounts of text. The default font size is a little too small, you can’t see any word count, and later you can very easily lose what you wrote in the noise of other notes that you have and forget about it. Notes for me just serves too many purposes and is not helpful for writing.

Google Docs is like the standard words processor that everyone knows. It is pretty similar to Microsoft Word, but I like that it is online, can be used in a browser wherever you are and it is easy to share. However the Google Docs interface does not offer any creativity and inspiration for the writing process. It’s the same interface that I’ve been using 20 years ago to write my school assignments and I grew to hate it for that. So every time I open a Google Doc wanting to write something for my first book I end up looking at the interface and eventually closing the browser tab altogether saying that I’m not sure that I can ever write a book.

One day, I opened my document with topics that I would want to cover in my Freestyle Marketing book, and I realized that I feel excited about the topic and I would have so many things to say, but the Google Docs interface was so boring and I felt like I wanted to close it again. The good thing is that I managed to become aware of what I was really feeling. This is the point when I started searching for a different application that I could use for writing that would help me stay motivated, engaged, set some goals, and keep track of my progress towards my goals.

After some research I reached the conclusion that most applications focus on publishing content on the web and less on the process of creating content. So if the main problem is the process of writing, why not create something to help me with it. After all I’m a software engineer, an entrepreneur, and I want to become a writer because I have so many ideas and teachings from my experience that I believe could help a lot of other people who want to improve their professional life.

Before this, I had a startup together with my husband, Stefan. He is more tech-savvy than I am. I like more areas such as product development, UX, and customer development, but not so much implementing all the crazy ideas I might have. This proved to be a good thing because otherwise I might have been biased when thinking of the product and the UX: I wouldn’t create something that is too hard to implement.

The startup we built was called Froala and we were offering web editing tools for developers. We grew it for 5 years and then Froala got acquired by a company for the USA. Right now we have more time than ever to focus on activities that we think could improve not only our lives, but the lives of others.

In this context, the idea of building a Writing Facilitator for me and for other fellow writers sounded like the best thing we could work on. A fun and exciting project, that could have a huge impact on the writing process.

The main features that I want to have are the ability to set goals, track progress, stay motivated and engaged, eliminate distractions while writing, and make a habit out of it. These are the core features that we are currently working on and will be included in the first release of the WriteNext Writing Facilitator.

I am already writing and testing it for a while and so are some of our friends. Afterward we would deeply appreciate all the feedback that we could get from all the writers out there. It doesn’t have to be for your book, you could use WriteNext for writing blogs, essays, personal journals, letters, articles, there’s really no limit to it as long as you want to write.

Every time you want to write something but you believe you can’t do it, just think of what we believe: there are no bad writers, there are only untrained writers. Writing is like a muscle that needs to be trained and it gets better the more you write.

Therefore please join us and try out the Writing Facilitator for your writings. I believe it is an experience that you will like and that will make you want to write frequently.

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