10.7.12

New Tools

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I've been writing a lot lately - not here, obviously. It took some rather stilted discipline for a while, wherein I forced 500 words per day out of myself. The I initial deal was that they could be good words, bad words, or incoherent words, just as long as there were 500 different words and some punctuation on the page when I finished.

The first few days were horrible. Those 500 words mocked me, sometimes for hours on end. So I pretended that I was being held back by a lack of quality tools. I went looking for applications (both for my computer and mobile devices). There are fewer tools than I thought I'd find, but I did find some. I anticipated a quick turnaround on the part of the vicious words when they saw they would be going up against technology they'd never met before.

Turns out, they were not intimidated. They continued to point and laugh. I stuck with my tools, because even though they were unable to subdue my obstreperous verbiage, they're pretty handy.

I went on like this - struggling to get a few measly letters on the page - for what seemed like War and Peace long, but was actually only a few weeks. I was coming to the point of saying, "fuck it," but then, the thing I hoped for happened: it started to get easier. Not easy, but easier.

And it continues to get easier. The tools actually do make the non-creative part a lot easier, though. If you write a lot - they might help you, too.

Tools for Writers:

1. This is not advanced technology, but it is handy: a small notebook with a pen attached to it.

2. Werdsmith - a simple way to get words down in a digital format on the go.

3. Scrivener - this was actually developed for novel writers, but it works for all kinds of writing, and is an excellent way to organize different things.  At $45 it's not for everyone, but it's an incredibly useful tool and I use it every day.

4. ScatterBrain - this was designed as an organizational tool, but it works well for writing - lots of options for keeping organized with easy tags and reminders.

5. A Novel Idea - this is almost Scrivener for your mobile devices with its own security.  It's $2.99 to get some of the most useful features (Dropbox syncing, exporting), but it's well worth the price.

6.  Fiction Idea Generator - this is a great little tool to get the cold, coagulated ideas warmed up and ready for action.  I haven't written anything substantial using it, but it works well for warm-ups.