One of the keys to success in the world of freelance writing is definitely making sure your use of language is good. Of course, you probably have a pretty good grasp of your native language anyway, before you start writing for your career. However, this is not to say that everything you produce will be perfect. There are always ways to learn and improve. Unfortunately, not all the tools in this article are free, but sometimes the cost is worth it if it will help you propel you further in your work.
Even the best of us sometimes have trouble sitting down in front of the screen and just starting. We might get distracted by our favourite social media sites or YouTube videos, but luckily there are some tools out there to help us.
Write or Die is available as both a web version and an iOS app. This tool allows you to focus on writing by setting up consequences that happen when you take long breaks. You can set a word goal and write in-app to ensure you stay completely on task.
Cold Turkey is an amazing app for your computer and your phone that blocks various websites. If you try to access websites during the time limit, you will be met instead with a motivational quote to keep you on track. Not only can you block websites, but also every other distraction from games to email clients. Additionally, they have a ‘White Listing’ option which allows you to exclude certain websites from the block. And if you have trouble forcing yourself to take regular breaks, you can block yourself from your laptop for a designated time limit.
riter offers a distraction-free environment while you write, creating a tranquil space in which you can write freely. There are natural, neutral backgrounds, soothing audio tracks and sounds when you type to keep you calm and relaxed during the creative process.
Forest app is not only a great tool to help you focus, but also an incredibly innovative and wholesome app. Whenever you decide to focus, you plant a tree in the app, and it grows for as long as you leave it on the screen. If you leave the app, the tree dies, but if you keep the tree alive you can plant it in your own virtual forest. And when you reach a certain number of points, Forest gives you the option to plant a real tree, thanks to partnership with Trees for the Future. Your productivity can save the planet!
Proofreading and Avoiding Plagiarism
A large part of writing is the proofreading. It’s a dreary task, and often one we don’t particularly want to do. However, there are now online tools to help us as we go along, saving time instead of worrying about it all at the end.
Hemingway seems to be a popular choice amongst writers nowadays. This app, available as a desktop app, allows you to write clearly with a variety of formatting options, and marks your work as you go along. You receive a grade that tells you just how good your writing is, and the editor highlights your work in various colors to show different things: red shows where sentences are too lengthy and complex, purple shows where a shorter word can be used, and so on.
Small SEO Tools Plagiarism Checker. Assuring you have avoided plagiarism is extremely important, especially if you have written about a product or done some research before starting your piece; sometimes our brain tricks us into using dangerously similar wording. This free plagiarism checker tool can help you avoid that!
Quetext is another plagiarism checker, with a slightly more professional layout and deeper search capabilities.
These tools are useful for writers in that they help you gather all your pieces, build portfolios and better organise your work.
Scrivener can help you to organise your work better, allowing you to edit multiple documents at once, store certain works in various files and take ‘snapshots’ of your work that save an earlier version while giving you the confidence to edit freely without fear of losing your work.
Ulysses allows you to create a focused workspace by hiding their advanced tools until you need them. Additionally, the exporter tool allows you to take plain text from your mobile and format it properly into word documents and other files for a cleaner look.
Mellel is a tool is described as a tool for “serious writers”, due to its ability to handle long, wordy documents. It allows you to focus and handles all the formatting for you, including footnotes and references.
There are a variety of tools out there designed to help writers. These are just a start to help you in improving your writing. After all, practice makes perfect, and these apps are simply there to offer a helping hand.
I hope that these tools help you in your work. Happy writing!