A software developer from California has created a smart, responsive writing platform he hopes will liberate great minds everywhere.
Blurt is a new one-stop writing platform that aims to help writers compose efficiently, edit smartly and publish anywhere. The distraction-free interface has been designed to encourage focus, while timed and word count sessions foster productivity and a unique 'blur feature' offers to blur users' writing as they type to prevent them from self-editing too soon.
Smart editing tools identify hard to read sentences and offer better suggstions, and there are multiple ways to export work, however users want to publish. Goals, streak tracking, and email reminders aim to keep users on track and ensure they finally finish that masterpiece.
Blurt is built and maintained by Corey Gwin, an independent software developer and product consultant from San Diego. Gwin launched the platform as a side-project in August of 2018, motivated by the struggles he himself was facing during the writing process. He also hosts The Write Stuff—a podcast and interview series in which entrepreneurs and creatives share the importance of writing to their craft.
"Writing has always been an important thinking tool for me," Gwin says. "I've been a tinkerer all my life. I studied mechanical engineering in college and human-computer interaction for a bit in graduate school. Was an aerospace engineer for a time. Took the leap into entrepreneurship after not finding creative outlet there and haven't looked back."
What's the gap in the market?
Blurt aims to resolve the biggest problem of the writing process: writers themselves. "I felt ridiculous launching yet another writing tool," Gwin admits. There are a ton of already great writing tools and platforms out there for writers. However, when I realized none were helping us alter our root behavioral issues, I felt I was on to something."
He believes that Blurt's design—with an emphasis on simplicity and minimalism—helps writers focus and enjoy the work it helps them produce. "I'm hopeful to continue evolving it into a truly useful tool for fellow writers as I receive feedback and it grows."
Success so far
There are currenly over 180 writers subscribed or trialing Blurt, which has been slowly and organically growing since it debuted as #1 Product of the Day on Product Hunt at launch. It was also recently nominated in the Favorite Lifehack Product category in Product Hunt's 2018 Golden Kitty Awards.
"I track Blurt's progress helping writers on its /open page," Gwin reports. "I'm hopeful to continue growing it into a sufficient business I can focus full-time on in 2019."
Bootstrapping a businesses alone in an established market has proven challenging. "Fortunately, I think technology is making it sustainable for smaller teams to solve more niche market problems, but as a one person team, there's definitely always a lot to get done," Gwin explains. "I'm trying to be careful and not over extend myself or grow Blurt too quickly that I can't support its users.
"Also being more engineering minded, I've had a bit to learn on the marketing and sales fronts. I've enjoyed every challenge I've faced though, as they've grown me so much as an entrepreneur."
Gwin is a passionate believer in the transformative power of writing. "It allows us to get out what's in our minds, to make sense of the world or provide a way of escaping it. It allows us to communicate our ideas with anyone anywhere at anytime. One person's written thoughts can inspire, enthrall, or educate billions for millennia. I'm building Blurt to help others capture, nurture and share those ideas that otherwise might not have existed."
Advice to other publishing entrepreneurs
"Put yourself in an environment that motivates and propels you to succeed. For too long, I thought I had ultimate control of my life. Certainly we do influence our destiny, but our results are also largely influenced by the environments we operate in. We think that we shape our environment, but our environment also shapes us. If we're in the wrong environment, we're going to be facing the wrong challenges, the wrong struggles and missing opportunities.
"It's important to stay cognizant of our environment so we can put ourselves in the right ones that get the results out of us that we seek. That is, making a practice of being mindful of the responsibilities, people, lifestyles and mindsets we take on to help us get where we want to go."