By Danielle Sinon
“I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” – Chinua Achebe
Starting a new project of any kind can be pretty daunting, especially when it comes to writing a book. There are so many elements that have to be considered and kept track of, and yet you still want to enjoy this creative endeavor. Luckily there are some tools out there that are designed to help writers just like you! We’ve made a list of some great apps and websites that will make the writing process a little easier and keep you focused on the end result.
Designed for writers of all kinds, Scrivener is an easy way to keep all of your ideas, drafts, and completed projects together in one place. The program is laid out kind of like a ring binder, allowing you to digitally flick through the pages of your work. With each new idea you record, an index card is created and displayed on a virtual corkboard so you can easily find and rearrange your ideas.
Already have something you’ve been working on? You can easily import it into Scrivener and continue writing within the program. Plus, you can add notes and reminders along the way to help when you begin the editing process.
Price: $45 for MacOS or Windows download. $19 for iOS download.
Everyone knows about Grammarly. It’s one of the most popular writing aids on the market right now. But why is it such a crowd-pleaser? This free (yes, free!) app is used by millions of English-speakers worldwide and can be easily downloaded from their website.
While it primarily detects grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, it also works to improve the style and tone of your writing. Using Grammarly will not only make your writing stronger and more effective, it will also help make your editor’s job a little easier.
Price: Free download!
Looking for something a little more unique? Hemingway Editor is the tool for you. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s simple and direct writing style, Hemingway Editor allows you to input a sample of your writing to determine its readability. After scanning your work, a grade level is assigned: the higher the level, the harder it is to read. The program gives advice on how you could edit your work to make it easier to read and to help with the overall flow of the piece.
Price: $19.99 for MacOS or Windows download. Or use program for free on www.heminwayapp.com.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary App
While this one may seem pretty obvious, it may not always be at the forefront of every writer’s mind. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary app is a dictionary and thesaurus tied into one neat package, but it also offers so much more. With the Word of the Day you’ll expand your vocabulary and you’ll be able to see the most popular word searches. Plus, if you want to take a break from your writing, the app offers word games and quizzes to test your word skills.
Price: Free download for basic version. Premium version is $4.99 in the iTunes store and $6.49 in the Google Play store.
The last tool we have to recommend is a little bit different than the others. It won’t give you writing advice or help organize your projects, but it will keep you on track. Cold Turkey offers two options that make sure you don’t get distracted from the task at hand.
Cold Turkey Blocker allows you to block websites, apps and any other programs that may be distracting you from your project. Only slightly different, Cold Turkey Writer gives you the choice of picking a time or word limit, forcing you to work in full screen mode until you reach your writing goal. Both of these apps give writers the ability to write on a computer with the freedom that hasn’t truly existed since the days of typewriters.
Price: Free download for MacOS and Windows. Cold Turkey Pro is also available for $25 for MacOS and Windows.
With so many resources available to writers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We hope you take advantage of this list and use these tools to increase your motivation and productivity. But most importantly, we hope you never stop doing what you love: writing.