In many ways I feel like writing has saved my life. Maybe it has yours too? I don’t mean it swooped in and saved you from a burning building. I mean perhaps it’s helped to give some purpose to your life, or maybe it’s helped you work through some issues you’ve had buried deep inside.
Whatever it may be, I think it’s important to look after that side of ourselves. The side that’s able to escape the worries of the world and put the pen to paper.
1) 750 Words
This web application has helped me work on my craft, develop ideas, and even work through some personal issues of my own.
Inspired by the idea of morning pages in the book The Artist’s Way, Buster Benson created a space for you to freewrite 750 words every single day. All of the writing is completely private, so you can really let loose on there.
For every day you complete you get a cross marked on that day. The idea is not to break the chain and to keep getting your crosses every single day, and by building up your streak.
My personal record is 551 days in a row. I broke the streak when I got drunk and forgot about it. I wasn’t angry or anything, because by that time, I’d learned to appreciate the value of writing those words for their own sake.
If you take one thing away from this article, please make sure it’s 750 Words. Get it HERE.
I love the idea behind this app. You feed in your words, and it tells you where your writing sucks. Easy. It tells you which sentances were difficult to read. How many adverbs you’ve crammed in there. How many spelling mistakes, etc.
A note of caution: it’s really handy when you want to get some quick feedback on your words, but be sure to take the app in moderation. Remember it is a robot. It’s not a replacement for a good human copy editor. Get it HERE.
I love writing on a computer. In fact, it’s been so long since I’ve handwritten anything that I’m not even sure I know how to any more. The pen nib touches the what? The paper? … that doesn’t sound right.
But where a computer gives you freedom of information and the amazing ability to spellcheck, it also gives you the ultimate distraction machine. I can’t write 200 words without flicking over to my web browser to check Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+ too – god forbid I end up on YouTube. There’s so much fun happening just outside your bedroom window, and you’ve been told you’ve got homework to do. It’s impossible.
Enter Freedom. It cuts you away from the internet for a set amount of time. Type in how long you want to be free for, and click go. Now it’s just you and your work. The only way to turn the internet back on is by restarting your computer … and how much of a pain is that?
If you come to a point where you NEED to jump on the web to check a reference or a spelling or something, simply write the word TK (To Kome) into your document. Once you’ve finished, search your document for all the TK’s and fill in the missing pieces. We use TK because they’re two letters which rarely appear together in the English language. Get Freedom HERE.
Finding a decent To-Do list app has plagued me for a long time. The reminders app that’s built into the iOS devices just isn’t up to the job. Here’s what I believe is required of a good to-do list application for a writer:
- The ability to create repeatable tasks. This is key for building habits. It’s all about not breaking the chain.
- The ability to have Someday tasks – stuff that you plan to do someday, but you’re just not gonna get around to anytime soon. A place to put your longterm goals for the year, or even your lifetime. Crossing these off the list should be causes for celebrations.
- Cross-compatibility. The ability to have easy access to my list on my home computer, work computer, phone, tablet, etc.
Luckily, TeuxDeux has all these capabilities! Get it HERE.
I’m a huge fan of cool little gadgets, as long as they serve the purpose they were intended for. I’d love to know what you guys use and can’t live without. Do you have a journalling app, a note-taking app, or do you think it’s all nonsense and you just want to go back to your quill?
Need even MORE? Then check out 5 Essential Apps For Writers By Patricia Shuler
750words it is!!! Thanks for this, Luke. I’ve done the morning pages several times and always found them useful in some way or other. TeuxDeux also looks like the thing for me, as I am world champion list maker – actually I found I’ve become more productive since I stopped making lists for everything, and then re-designing them to look prettier ;^) – I’ll look into that. Cheers!
750words really has helped me in so many ways I’m so glad to hear you’re going to give it a go.
lol I’ve been guilty of prettying up my to-do lists. I spent about a hour or two in photoshop making my yearly to-do list, just to stick it on my wall.
Great summary of Hemingway, have you tried INK at all? INK and Hemingway are similar, but INK also does SEO. Would love to hear your opinion on your experience using INK.
I find that sometimes when I write (especially if it goes over 1,000 words), I make the same point over and over again. Or worse, when I use bullets, I sometimes repeat the same sentence structure over and over again for each point. In my experience, Hemingway doesn’t catch this kind of repetition. any other blog writers suffers from the same problem, INK suggests that I change my sentences if they sound too much alike.