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Tips and Tricks for Getting Writing Done

Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.

John Steinbeck

When I write, I use so many different techniques and softwares. I find that different programs liven the writing up for me and I always need a notebook on me for when the idea train hits. Phones only do so much for me – if I don’t have the option to pull out a notebook I will use the notes on my phone to jot down ideas. I have had situations where I’ve pulled out my phone in the middle of something because an idea hit me.

Notebooks are my favourite stationary item – closely followed by cute pens. I will always have a notebook somewhere on me. A notebook is almost like another body part to me. Ideas can appear at the strangest times and in the strangest places and I always want to be prepared.

I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.

Robert Louis Stevenson

I make sure that I have a pen and a notebook on me so that when ideas strike while I’m out I can write them down and refer to them later. I write a lot while out, sometimes ideas hit me at church or at work or even just when I’m out for coffee with friends.

I know you can use your phone to take notes but physically writing them just feels better to me. Personally, I enjoy writing and having notebooks scattered around. My ideas seem to flow better when I have ink to paper and I just keep on writing. Notebooks don’t work for everyone, but I’d definitely suggest giving it a go for a while to test it out. Writing seems to get the brain cogs turning more than typing something out on your smart phone – at least I believe so.

I practically live in stationary shops like Typo or Officeworks. Typo is my favourite since they have so many beautiful notebooks, like the ones in the photo above. Pretty notebooks just make me happier, since I have something cute to put all my writing notes into – they also look nice on the shelf. They’re always lightweight, A5 size since carrying heavy notebooks or A4 size just isn’t realistic. A5 also fits nicely into my handbags, so that’s a bonus.

I use a few programs to write while I’m home. The primary one being Microsoft Word, which is a bit obvious since you need a program to write your manuscript on. I do use another program to write, mostly when I need to get ideas out without distractions.

This program is called Write or Die. It’s kind of intense so I don’t use it all the time. Basically – you start writing and if you pause for too long, it starts deleting your work. It’s terrifying and it really helped me to just get my ideas down on paper without my perfectionist side taking over. I often get awesome ideas and then spend so long getting them down, losing half the ideas in the process, because I need to edit as I write. My perfectionist dictates that grammar and sentence structure must be perfect and that seriously detracts from the ‘get your ideas down’ process.

Using this program really works for me. It’s terrifying when I pause writing and the program just starts deleting words. I just keep writing and jot down so many ideas when I use Write or Die. It helps me to get past my perfectionist side and just get my ideas out of my head, to go back and edit.

FocusWriter is another application I use often. It’s a very basic, free program that I put on my computer to block out distractions. It is essentially just a blank screen on your computer. Not much else at all and it really helps to focus in and not be distracted by cat memes or YouTube.

I tend to get easily distracted by other things quite easily, so this program really helps me to focus. It doesn’t prevent me from watching TV or going on my phone, but it does stop me from flicking between tabs on my computer. Having just the blank page is also really helpful for me, since I don’t see anything else going on and it’s just me and my words.

I don’t use a huge number of programs to assist with my writing. I like to use simple programs to help assist me with my writing. Programs like Write or Die really help me when I’m stuck and need to just write without editing. FocusWriter helps me to actually focus and not be distracted by other things on my computer.

Notebooks will always be my one true love. I adore writing in notebooks and filling the gorgeous books with my writings and musings. Physically writing has something special about it and I find I can express my ideas better when I write them down in a notebook. On that note, I’m going to go pop over to Typo and pick up some more notebooks to keep filling them with my thoughts.

What
programs do you use to assist your writing?

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