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The Writer’s Toolkit

by Mindy Mayden, intern

You can’t build a bookshelf without a screwdriver. You can’t make a cake without a mixer. You can’t paint without a paintbrush. Every finished product requires tools, and writing is no exception.

Finding the right tools, though, can be a daunting task, so we’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of some of our favorite writing tools and resources!

For editing: Grammarly 

Grammarly is the editing assistant you never knew you needed, editing for everything from spelling and grammar to diction and tone. Additionally, Grammarly operates where and when you need it to, not just in documents but also in emails, social media posts, and more. Grammarly takes the pressure off and lets you focus on what really matters–creating.

For writer’s block: Twords

It can be hard to find time to write as work, school, and other responsibilities pile up. This gets further compounded by the fact that staring at a blank screen is a paralyzing feeling for many writers. Twords encourages you to get over that hump by tracking your writing habits and sending you gentle reminders to finish your projects. Twords also provides writing prompts and technique ideas!

For project organization: Scrivener

Scrivener operates on a ring-binder metaphor, essentially allowing you to compile and easily switch between research, notes, ideas, and body text. The app eliminates the need for a mess of sticky notes and documents that are easily lost. Scrivener has a corkboard feature, an in-app editor, split-screen project windows, an outlining tool, and the ability for you to write chunks of your project and then compile and organize them after the fact.

For distraction-free work: Freedom 

Do you struggle, as many of us do, with turning the phone off or logging out of Facebook when it’s time to write? Freedom is an app that spans across all types of browsers and devices to block distracting websites and apps. You can start a session whenever you want, or you can plan recurring sessions daily or weekly for distraction-free writing time.

For inspiration: Writing Workshops

Writing doesn’t have to be a solo task. Finding a community of writers to encourage you is imperative for staying inspired and honing your craft. In Houston, organizations like Inprint, Grackle & Grackle, and Writespace offer a variety of workshops for writing of all lengths and genres.

Here’s what’s in our writing toolkit. What’s in yours? Let us know in the replies below!

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