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Writing Middles, Clippit, and Increasing Eccentricity

By Lexi Revellian @LexiRevellian
Writing middles, Clippit, and increasing eccentricityI use Word 2000. It's what I'm used to; I've written five novels on it. I actually uninstalled Word 2007 from my laptop to stick with what I know. (Unadventurous? Moi?) 

And one benefit you don't get on modern versions of Word or fancy programs like Scrivener is the Office Assistant. I like Clippit. There, I've said it. I know he has enemies, but it's a lonely business, writing a novel, and you do tend to go a bit mad. (Okay, maybe it's just me. You're probably as sane as when you started.) But I am soothed by Clippit's friendly, helpful presence. Even when I've been staring so long at a blank screen that he curls up and goes to sleep, a silent comment on my lack of productivity, I know at the tap of a key he will spring to attention, ready to make suggestions, my little virtual friend.

In Muriel Spark's novel,  A Far Cry From Kensington, it is suggested by the protagonist who works in publishing that a cat is an aid to writing - though she does add, a cat won't actually write the book for you, or guarantee it will be any good. Clippit serves the same function, but you don't have to feed him and take him to the vet, and if you find you are arguing with him more than seems reasonable, you can always switch him off for a while.

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