TLDR; Scribbble is a tool I wish existed so I envisioned it for personal use.
The long story...
I've been an inconsistent blogger for years. When I had energy, I'd start up a blog and get 20 or so posts publish. Then I'd run out of juice and shut it down.
This repeated on and off over the course of many years.
New things appeared. First, Tumblr, then Medium, each had pros and cons. For some reason, I never took it upon myself to blog on those platforms extensively.
Tumblr shut down and Medium became a source of distraction. Every time I tried to blog on Medium, I'd wander off to read someone's article and forget what I was going to say. Ugh..
During all of those years I was also an avid fan of copywriting and writing in general. Even though I never wrote a lot, I was always intrigued with good writing. You can tell apart good writing from bad when you see it. This lead me to follow some prominent twitter accounts where I often saw the same core topics surface over and over.
Some of the key lessons I learned from good writers:
- Write a lot to get a handful of good bits
- Never publish the first draft (a rule I often violate)
- Cut any and all non-essential fluff (filler words)
- Don't edit until you're done
- Dedicate a place and a time to write without distractions (I believe Stephen King said this).
- Read a lot to write better
With this list in mind, I started wondering why every platform you wrote on was so distracting. 🤔
- Why do I need to have my words constantly corrected?
- Why are there so many visible options tempting me to mess with them
- Why is the title the first thing you have to write - and is usually the hardest?
- Why is the formatting always visible, tempting me to format my section titles (meaning I now have to spend time thinking about what those titles should be)?
- Why do I need to see the word count?
- Why, why why?!
I had all of these questions, but none of them gave the urgency for the birth of this app. There was one last thing responsible for what was to come...
The browser is an interesting thing. It's your window to the world, but also a door to procrastination. Tabs are where things get done and time goes to die.
For me personally, tabs were a major problem (and still are). When I'm doing work or browsing around, tabs collect over days, sometimes weeks and run in the 60+ count. This becomes a major problem as I am reluctant to close tabs which I think I may need to visit later. Truth be told, I keep them open as bookmarks.
Since I know the browser kills my productivity, my ideal writing app should not use a browser, but be a desktop app. This allows me to focus on writing and ignoring the rest of the world.
Finally, I was intrigued by Tony Dinh's Xnapper screenshot tool and the ability to customize your screenshot shortcut. This gave me the idea that I should be able to open up a doc with a shortcut on my keyboard, and bash away at the keys when interesting thoughts surfaced.
Combined, my inability to focus and the laziness in blogging consistency (probably due to needed to always open up some online platform) boiled down to the idea behind Scribbble.
I tweeted it out and got some of the recommendations I expected to see, as well as a few new ones. Some people were intrigued and many followed up asking questions. Some even started building their own versions, but none were meeting my demands for the exact UX I had in mind. That is until I spoke to my SaaS Blocks co-founder Alex.
Alex had his own needs for a blogging platform but envisioned things differently from what I had in mind. We spoke extensively and decided we'd try my version as it was simple enough to make. If nothing worked out we'd pivot to his ideas or something else entirely.
So here we are now. This is my 2nd full post. I have no idea how many words I wrote here as there are no word counters. I'm not constantly tempted to edit the post or create section titles. There's not even a title yet... My dream for an ideal blogging platform is here. It works, and I'm thrilled!
Will it turn into anything substantial? Who knows. All I know is that it meets my blogging needs and that is all I really care for.