Dino F. Avdibegović

Vim, my new writing tool

Categories: [english], [personal], [tech]

As a writer I have always searched for a perfect word processor. Of course I used Word and LibreOffice Writer, and they have surved the purpose for many years. But I have also been on a constant quest for a perfect word processor that is minimal, visually and functionally. I guess what I always wanted is a distraction-free word processor, and so I've tried OmmWriter, Google Docs and many more. On Linux I've tested Typora, which is great, but also Focuswriter, JDarkRoom and probably a few more.

But what I really wanted is -- and this is something I realized a few years ago -- a distraction-free text editor, which does just one think wonderfully, and that is editing basic text files. The drawback is that it is often not very suited for fiction and poetry writers due to missing formatting options and such. That's why coders and programmers are probably the largest user group of Vim.

And so a few months ago I obsessed with Emacs, watched dozens of online videos and tutorials, and I was even able to use on a basic level, but its learning curve was just extremely steep, that I eventually gave up. Even though I tried Emacs with evil mode (which means with vim-like keybinding). But it was just too hard to remember all the quirky shortcuts, macros, and commands.

A few weeks ago I then hopped onto the VIM wagon. Apparently, if you're not an Emacs follower, you are a VIMmer. I must say, that I cracked its code, after watching several videos and reading many articles and tutorials online. I even completed the wonderful Vim tutorial.

VIM with a visual plugin Goyo, and a few other plugins activated. They make it so much more writer-friendly.

I installed several plugins which make VIM a much better experience for a non-technical writer, and thus me. It is simply a pleasure writing a current novel, knowing that there are no visual distractions. It's only Vim (in a terminal), me and my words. Nothing else. I am aware that VIM also has a somewhat step learning curve, but I would say it is still much more accessible than Emacs. I am so glad for VIM, that I believe it will become my permanent text editor, for all kinds of text.

[Update Feb 17, 2021]:
I've created a little video about Vim as my new text editor.