The only purpose it serves is to distract you and waste your time, two things guaranteed to stunt your writing career.
I went through a phase where I spent a lot of time worrying over the best way to write. I've since learnt that most writers do this. It's reassuring to know that I'm not alone because I have wasted so much time researching all the different applications, formats, and a never-ending list of hacks to get more words on a page.
The only "trick," though, is to simply write.
I'm not saying anything new, in fact there are many books by many successful writers dedicated to this concept. But it's something that needs repeating by every writer, regardless of our stage or experience. If there's anything that unites our kind, it's the fact that we all have fallen into research traps.
The rabbit hole of how-to is a dangerous place for writers.
Trying to define, and perfect, my process of writing was a time-sink, and one that tripped me up for a long time. I used to worry that I wasn't creative enough because I didn't write scenes as they came to me, jumbled or out of order, the way other writers waxed on about in their own perfected writing processes. Instead, I wrote one scene after another in successive order until I reached the end. Basically, I wrote the way I read books: from start to finish.Somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that truly great writers are struck by inspiration, the proverbial muse, and they crafted beautiful puzzle pieces individually so that by the time they were through, all the scenes snapped together in perfect harmony.
I'm really not sure when or how this thought happened but it took up way too much of my time.
What writers need to understand, and you're a writer the moment you dedicate yourself to putting your ideas down and sharing them with others, is that worrying about how you write is a distraction. Stop looking for more efficient ways or following other people's strategies, no matter how much success they promise you. Get that out of your head now.
Writing is nothing more than perseverance.
Ideas come to everyone, even brilliant ones. However, people typically don't do anything with their ideas, the concepts flitting away and quickly replaced by another. Writers though, we take ideas, mediocre snippets and all, and grow them into something worth knowing. We dedicate our most precious resource, time, to the cause so that eventually we turn the niggling into in-depth, memorable content that's worth other people's time.
Avoiding avoidance is the hardest part of writing.
The next time you find yourself flipping through apps, searching for the latest and greatest in writing software, or trying to learn a fancy note-taking technique, stop and ask why you're not busy writing instead. Do you really need a break, or do you need to tell your inner critic to piss off? Self-doubt is a relentless monster that feeds off of the tiniest remarks from others and ourselves. There isn't a magic fix for this, and for some of us, growing a thicker skin takes a long time. But it's at your darkest moments when you need to be the hero in your story and muscle through your doubts.Kick the door shut--literally and figuratively if needed--and write. Do it angrily; indulge in a self-pity party; write ugly. The results are nearly always garbage, but what matters is that you've gotten past the terrible hurdle of doubt.You'll figure out what works best for you as you continue to grow your writing skills. Don't get hung up on what other people are doing, and shut down the fear of missing out that drives you to distraction. Put one word after another, backwards, forwards, or otherwise, and write.