For many novelists, screenplay writers, journalists, bloggers, copywriters and academics, Ulysses is the writing app of choice. We asked some of them to share their stories. In this post, Lee Hutchinson, senior editor at Ars Technica, talks about writing with Ulysses.
Which role does writing play in your professional life? What are you writing and how much?
As a senior editor at Ars Technica, I’m writing every single workday. In 2013, I published about 270,000 word at Ars, and I’m on track to clobber that this year. And that’s just the published stuff—I also run the site’s reviews section and have a significant edit role, too. I am glued to my keyboard, all day, every day.
Could you describe what you use Ulysses for?
Ulysses is my primary writing application. I’ll usually do edits and refinements directly in our content management system, but I use Ulysses exclusively for when I’m writing stories—everything from short 200-300 word briefs to monster 10,000+ word long form features. The longest piece I’ve put together in Ulysses so far has been this retrospective on the space shuttle Columbia disaster; the most complicated has been the four-part series I put together on running your own e-mail server — lots of code snippets and funky formatting in parts 2-4.
Why did you choose Ulysses? What are the benefits of Ulysses for your kind of writing?
I didn’t think anything would sway me from vim, but Ulysses managed to do it though a combination of beautiful typography, fast formatting, and easy export options. Being able to write in markdown and export in vanilla HTML to paste into our WordPress-based CMS is just slick as hell; the fact that I can manage my in work drafts locally is bonus cake. Ulysses is like my writing desk—I start it up and it’s got everything I need, all nicely arrayed. I can pull open the drawer I want, get out the story or stories I need to work on, and just write.
Do you have a favorite feature?
This is a simple little thing, but I love that I can copy a URL to the clipboard, highlight some text, paste the URL, and the highlighted text becomes a link. I know it’s kind of a basic function, but it’s one more thing that none of the other writing apps I tried did—at least not nearly as well.
If you want to read more from Lee, check out the stories he published at Ars Technica.