Tools

Give a carpenter a set of tools, and he’ll know exactly what to do with them. He’s not going to drive in a nail with a saw, or cut a board with a hammer. Also, if he is also given a screwdriver, he’s not going to put the screwdriver to use just because it’s there. If he does put it to use, it’s because it fits his purpose.

Writing tools are pretty much the same. You have to know what they’re for. You have to know what they can do. You have to know their strengths and their limitations. And you may have to modify it or supplement with other tools to patch up these limitations. And if the an important and influential someone gives you this Wonderful New Writing Tool, you really don’t have to use it if it simply doesn’t work with what you’re doing. On this note, it is important to assess any tool after using it on how much it helped you get to where you want. Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

While the end does not justify the means, often your choice of means is dependent on what end you want. (Which is why it is also important to define this end before planning the means.)

And to borrow and rephrase a line from the Bible: Men weren’t made for tools. Tools were made for men.

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