Time for another writing check-in. How are we doing on our writing goals? I'm behind. I got into one of my lazy funks and now I'm struggling through the pit of lazy quicksand trying to pull myself out before I sink any further. Luckily I have just the thing to help motivate me to get back on track. Last week I attended LTUE (Life, the Universe, and Everything). This is a writing conference focused on writing scif-fi and fantasy however the principles discussed at the conference can be adapted to any genre. I took lots of notes and met lots of awesome people. Every year I go, I take notes, and then I promptly forget about them. But this year I'm going to try not to let that happen. This year I'm going to write down one thing I learned from each class or panel. I will write one sentence on each class down on the same page and that way I can hang that paper up or carry it around with me wherever I got to help me remember and look back on what I learned.
One thing that stuck out the most to me from LTUE was if you self-publish, you are effectively a small business. Small businesses have start up costs and so does self-publishing. We need a cover, an editor, a marketing budget. The other thing that really hit me is that in order to make money as a self-published author, you will want to publish more frequently. This will keep in you the minds of your readers more often and will help you continue to sell. The great thing about self-publishing is that you have control over when and how often you publish. In traditional publishing, once your book is under contract you have no control over when it comes out. These two facts have helped me become a little more confident about my choice to self-publish.
Here is an excerpt from my WIP. Keep in mind this is a rough draft.
In the car Brad turned on the radio and flicked through the stations until he found one that was playing music. He started singing along to the harsh sound but Lani struggled to understand even a few words.
If you need more help or inspiration feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. I love to talk with other writers and I'm great at brainstorming. Keep working on those masterpieces I can't wait to read them.
Disclaimer: I am not being compensated in any way for sharing my opinions on these products with you.
Have you ever found yourself with a great story idea in the middle of your shower? Soap suds are running down your neck and you keep repeating that perfect line of dialogue or the solution to your plot hole over and over in your head so you don't forget it until you have the time to write it down?
I used to brainstorm whole series in the shower and I can't remember how most of that story went because you can't take a notebook and pencil in the shower with you. Expect you totally can! A few years ago my wonderful and supportive husband bought me my Auqanotes Waterproof Notepad. I'm not being compensated in any way to say that this thing works. It really is waterproof. I have used almost the whole notebook in the water and not lost a single note.
Another fun tool I discovered this past year is a writing prompt book from Barnes & Noble called "Complete the Story." I like it because if I'm at a loss as what to write there are writing prompts that are already started and I can fill the page and stop or I can keep writing the story if I find that words flowing. Plus if I ever need a new story I can look back at what I've written and find inspiration. My mom has the same book and it's fun to compare how different our stories are even though we start out with the same prompt.
I realize I talk a lot about products that are useful for writers but it's just because I want to share the tools that have been useful to me with all of you. Has anyone tried either of the tools above? Did you like them? Do you have any products you just love to write with?
Keep working on those masterpieces in progress. You've got this.
Disclaimer: I am in no way being compensated by these apps for sharing my opinions with you.
I love apps! Anything I can get one for I will. So it's not surprising I went looking for tools to help me write.
As I've already mentioned I use Inkpad Notepad for jotting down notes and ideas. It's great because your notes will sync to your online account and you can access them on the computer. So even if you get rid of the app your notes are still saved in the cloud. You can even keep them organized by tagging them as different stories. However, only three tag categories are available on the free version of the app. You may pay to upgrade and have an unlimited number of tags. But I make do with the three free categories.
If I do any actual writing on my phone, I use the Google Docs app. I actually managed to write 1600 words on it in 20-30 minutes this past November. So it all depends on how quickly you can type on your phone, but you could potentially write your whole book using this app. Plus this way you can do some formatting and your work is automatically saved on the cloud. I have a Chromebook so this way it's easy to jump from one device to another.
My third favorite app is a tool that helps you measure your progress as well as a myriad of other things and best of all, it's free. Writometer allows you to create multiple projects with total and daily word count goals. You can set reminder notifications to help you remember to write. It will track your most productive day, your best daily writing streak, and your average progress rate. Plus you can set a timer for a period of time and write for that set time then take a break when the timer is over. If you work best with incentives, create your own i.e. one episode on Netflix and set a number of guavas (the apps type of currency) for it to cost. You earn guavas by setting the timer, writing, and logging your entry at the end of the timer.
I basically use the timer as an individual writing sprint and while the incentives and guavas don't work as well for me, I still love the progress tracker and reminder to write notification. Plus you can put the writometer widget on your homescreen and it will show a progress bar for one project either a dialy progress bar or a total goal progress bar. Every time i open my phone I see it which is even more incentive to write! This is the best writing progress tracker app I've found and it's super easy and user friendly, and helps me stay on track. As addictive as updating your wordcount during NaNoWriMo. It also shows a progress bar chart. Perfect for all year round writing.
There you have it. My three favorite writing tools apps. What are your favorite? Do you know of any useful apps with features we could all benefit from? I'd love to hear about them. Keep working on those masterpieces in progress.
K. A. Jairl
My name is Kim and I'm glad you stopped by. This is where I post my triumphs and my downfalls as I fight the good fight of being a writer mom everyday.