If you are a writer, you are likely to be familiar with those instances where words simply flow out of you and seemingly organize themselves into perfect phrases and sentences on paper or screen. In those moments, as an author, you feel invincible and your inspiration is at its peak.
Unfortunately, those moments happen more rarely than any of us would prefer. Once that hyper-creative process comes to a screeching halt, writers spend the rest of the time grinding out words, trying to reignite that elusive spark.
Overcoming writer’s block would be much easier if it wasn’t for the fact that it likes company, and nearly always comes out holding hands with its best friend: procrastination. That way, you are not only stagnating, but going backwards, further and further away from your goal of writing your next article, blog post, or a book, wasting your time, going down roads that lead pretty much nowhere.
But, thanks to modern technology, there are some secret weapons you can use to get you back on track and writing, or even make those times you have no trouble writing run as smooth and as long as possible. Check out our list of 10 online writing tools which will help you achieve that goal.
One of the first things which springs to mind when you encounter writer’s block or difficulties developing an idea, is brainstorming. You can do that the old-fashioned way, with a pen and paper, or you can speed up the process by turning to brainstorming and collaboration tools like GroupMap. It can help you sketch out ideas, and facilitate the process of collaborating with other authors in real-time.
Those writers which are active on Twitter will love Help Me Write. This online tool allows you to take advantage of having a large Twitter base, and receive direct feedback on your writing ideas, by discussing them with real people. This is especially important if you are a blogger or a freelance writer, where it’s crucial to keep your finger on the pulse of your readership and your eyes on current trends.
Nobody understands the problems a writer has to face better than other writers, and one place which you can always turn to for help or advice is EduGeeksClub. EduGeeksClub is a writing service which enables you to get in touch with professional writers that can help you brainstorm and come up with new writing ideas, as well as editors which can proofread and polish your existing work in case you are not happy with it.
In order to battle distractions, you need a text editor which will help you focus on writing, and nothing else. Our recommendation would be Calmly Writer, which really does a splendid job on helping you maintain your concentration. There is no unnecessary tools to distract you, just a blank sheet of paper and the most basic style buttons. You can take this even further by choosing the app’s “Focus Mode”, which will bring only one paragraph to the foreground.
This is probably not the first time you are reading about Evernote, but it is time you finally start using it. Evenote is a powerful app which allows you to capture all of your ideas, thoughts, and comments you may think of at the oddest moments. Because it is accessible from any platform, you can write down all those useful ideas and outlines using your smartphone, while waiting in line or riding a bus, or at home, in front of your computer. It doesn’t matter when and where, thanks to Evernote.
Nowadays, it is really important to add a powerful visual component to your writing. Courtesy of Evernote, Skitch is a tool which helps you emphasize your content by enhancing your screenshots and images with annotations, or visual elements, such as arrows, thought bubbles, sketches, and shapes. That way, you can rest assured your readers will get the point you are trying to get across with your writing.
One of the most unique writing experiences we’ve ever had was when we decided to use Ilys instead of our usual word processor. Ilys helps you battle distraction by eliminating absolutely everything from your computer screen, except for a single letter, the last one you’ve typed. Furthermore, you are not allowed to make any changes or edits to your work unless you’ve hit the word count first. Sounds like a gimmick, but we promise you, it does wonders for your creativity.
Proofreading your work is probably the tedious task of them all. Of course, there are plenty of proofreading apps out there, but which one do you go with? We advise you to check out After the Deadline, which a language checker capable of not only spotting your run-of-the-mill spelling and grammar errors, but also contextual spelling errors, which most apps wouldn’t even be able to detect. Also performs advanced style checking, thanks to its unique artificial intelligence algorithms.
Collaborative writing is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to a number of great tools which make the collaborative process run smoothly. The best of the bunch is Typewrite, which offers plenty of features you’d want your collaborative writing tool to have, such as easy version tracking, markdown formatting, real-time editing by several users at the same time, and the ability to automatically save work to cloud, such as Dropbox.
Ommwriter is one of those apps that will help capture that early joy of writing, like that time you’ve bought a beautiful leather-bound notebook whose pages you couldn’t wait to fill with your work. Its luxurious and pleasant interface is guaranteed to keep you glued to the screen, just because it offers such a creative and stimulating environment. Beautifully designed themes, custom audio track, and sound effects which send a pleasing surge down your spine, urging you to soldier on.
While you can stick to your usual writing routine, there is so much you can gain using these writing tools, which will help you remain efficient, motivated, and productive, even at times when your inspiration seems to be running out.
Antonio Tooley is a hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s blogging and teaching ESL. He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter