The following apps are ones I’ve either used or have heard about from other writers. Each app offers help with productivity, promotion, creativity, or the actual act of writing a story. They are listed in no particular order.
I’m linking each of these apps to the Apple store, but many are also available at the Google Play and/or Amazon App Stores.
1) Interval Timer: Focus on your productivity and beat procrastination. By Nasa Trained Monkeys
2) Evernote: Capture notes and sync across all devices. Stay organized. By Evernote
3) Microsoft OneNote: Lists, photos, and notes, organized in a notebook. By Microsoft Corporation
4) Microsoft Word: A word processor. By Microsoft Corporation
5) Pages: A word processor. By Apple
6) TheBrain: Dynamic Mind Mapping, Note Taking and Information Management. By TheBrain
7) SimpleMind+ Intuitive Mind Mapping: Helps you organize your thoughts, remember things and generate new ideas. By xpt Software & Consulting B.V.
8) Lists for Writers: Ideas for creative writing. By Thinkamingo
9) Thesaurus Rex: a thesaurus with modern content and synonyms for new words. By Dictionary.com
10) Merriam-Webster Dictionary By Merriam-Webster, Inc.
11) Wunderlist: To-Do List & Tasks By 6 Wunderkinder
12) Hootsuite: Schedule Posts for Twitter, Instagram & More. By Hootsuite Media Inc.
13) Pocket: Save Articles and Videos to View Later. By Read It Later, Inc
14) White Noise: Ambient sounds of the environment to help you stay relaxed and focused while you write. By TMSOFT
15) Yoga Studio: Play, create, customize and schedule easy-to-follow HD video yoga classes. By Gaiam, Inc.
Whenever I write a scene, I picture the setting in my mind, whether it’s a room or an outdoor wilderness locale or a bustling city street, with as much detail as possible. Then I describe one or two specific, concrete elements to give the reader a sense of the place, which is often more effective than describing every detail.
Usually I can imagine that setting clearly in my mind, especially if it’s a character’s home or another important place for them. Other times I like to use a real place that I’ve visited as inspiration. When that isn’t possible, I’ll use a stock photography site to gather images. I might describe the setting the way I see it in the photo, or that picture might spark my imagination to go in a completely different direction. If the photos I find seem like a great setting idea but don’t match my current project, I’ll save them for later use.
Here are some of my recent inspiration finds for settings:
The Resources for Writers page of my website has been updated with several new books and links that I hope other writers find helpful. Many of these were a big help to me in my journey to publication and developing my own writing process (which continues to evolve over time). For the latest updates, check out the sections titled Books on Writing, Writing a Fast Draft, Selecting Character Names, Grammar Resources and Tips, General Outlining Articles, and Self-Publishing Info.
Sharing this today for all my fellow writers out there, or for anyone who’s having a bad day.
Writing for publication is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done, but it does come with a few crappy days here and there. This business can really be tough at times. Choosing to put your work out into the world and share the results of your creativity and passion with others is hard enough. Add in all the criticism, the submission (and rejection) process, the unending business decisions that always seem to greatly affect your career, the pressure to produce more and more, the need to make every book better than the last, the struggles of everyday life (family obligations and responsibilities, depression, grief, the seemingly unending horrible news in the world)… it can all be very draining on the creative process.
The list below includes some of the songs I listen to on those bad days. I love them for their lyrics, their message, or even just the beat that doesn’t let a bad mood linger. These songs make me smile and remind me to focus on what I love about writing and not what others have to say about the result. They also remind me that no matter what, I just need to keep on singing my song and always write for myself first and foremost. That is the only way I know to continue telling the stories I want to share with others.
So if you’re feeling those pressures building, hang in there. You’re not alone in how you feel. We all have those days at one time or another, and sometimes they seem to snowball into more than a single day. Just focus on why you love to write and keep on singing your song.
Don’t give up! Keep on singing your song and living your dream.