Image Courtesy of maryloukayser.com
One of my aims is to help empower writers to understand the latest technology and keep up with the current trends. With new resources and services popping up each day, it’s hard to stay on top of it all.
Just this morning I spoke to a retired writer who was feeling overwhelmed by the current technology and Internet tools that he hears about and reads about, but doesn’t truly understand or see the value in.
Over the next few days I am going to give an overview of some of the online tools, resources and sites that as a writer I use regularly and find incredibly helpful in my writing, publishing and promoting. I will cover each one briefly, including links to the best explanations I can find on how to use them effectively.
If you are ever feeling unsure on how to use one of these resources and wish to learn more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and I’ll help you out where and when I can.
1. Writing a Book
If you are struggling to write each day, 750 words.com might be just the accountability you need. It’s super cute, fun and if you are competitive, it might help that there is a leader board to egg you on.
Log on first thing in the morning, and get writing. You can even join one of the 10 day or 1 month challenges and receive a badge of honor when you are done.
2. Online Cloud Storage
Some people are diligent enough to back up their writing and work on an external hard drive or USB pen. For the rest of us, online cloud storage such as Dropbox and Google docs allows us not only to back up our work in case of any computer disasters, but also to retrieve the documents from any computing device, anywhere in the world. No longer do you have to juggle multiple copies of the same file; just work with one master file and edit it from anywhere. (Oh yeah, you can also use it to collaborate with others – perfect!)
Google Docs (1GB free)
iCloud is also available for those using Apple products.
Jot down notes wherever you are! Evernote is a free note taking system that is great for us writers to sketch out outlines and jot down ideas for later use. Use it on your smartphone or computer, on the go or mulling over a cup of coffee at you local coffee house.
Writespace (for Windows) is a fullscreen writing environment which creates a distraction-free environment in order for you to focus on your words and not get sidetracked by facebook & so on. It has a built in spell check as well, yay! If you use a Mac, Write Room is a similar program. Download the software for free and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Grammar queen Mignon Fogarty provides “quick and dirty tips” for better writing over on grammar.quickanddirtytips.com. Even the best writers make common grammar mistakes that only a fantastic editor will catch. Learn what they are here.
If you are in need of a prompt or two to get you started, Story Starter.com can help!
p.s. If you want have children to keep entertained over the holidays, there is even a StoryStarter for Kids…
On Visuwords, look up words to find their meanings and associations with other words and concepts. Visual diagrams show you how the connections and associations are made, helping you to expand your vocabulary, fast.
8. Ladies Who Critique!
Well I may be a teeny bit biased but… in all seriousness a good critique partner is essential for better writing. In fact I wrote a post for NovelPublicity.com this week about that very thing (Does My Manuscript Look Fat in This?) If Ladies Who Critique is not for you (and please remember that men are ALWAYS welcome!), here are some other critiquing sites that are out there;
How about you? Do you have any great tools or resources for writing a book to share that we could all benefit from?
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: Awesome Tools & Resources for Writers | Part 2: Querying a Book
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.