10 Comments

Summary:

I remember reading an interview with Sting one time where he said that writing is like a muscle you must exercise every day. That’s true, but writing every single day can also turn into drudgery if you don’t mix up your skills and the applications you work in. Many web workers spend a lot of time writing. In this post, I’ll round up six tools that can help you mix up your writing habits and stay fresh.

I remember reading an interview with Sting one time where he said that writing is like a muscle you must exercise every day. That’s true, but writing every single day can also turn into drudgery if you don’t mix up your skills and the applications you work in. Many web workers spend a lot of time writing. In this post, I’ll round up six tools that can help you mix up your writing habits and stay fresh.

Many of us write in Microsoft Word most of the time. If you do, check out this post with seven little-known tips for Word. These include instructions on how to hop paragraphs around in documents, and return to the exact point where you were editing last time you shut Word down.

DarkRoom is a port of the popular tabula rasa word processor for the Mac called WriteRoom. Both of these word processors present you with a stripped-down interface designed to keep you focused on the text you’re working on and little else. There are no menus, no toolbars–just your pithy text missives. You can also see a lot of text on screen at one time. WriteRoom now costs $24.95, but DarkRoom is free.

Does your mouse have a scroll wheel? If so, this post Nine Ways to Make Your Mouse Roar presents several ways to move around documents very efficiently, whether you’re looking at a web page, or working on a document.

Want to take the documents you work on and give them that desktop publishing look? PagePlus SE is a free download that gets lots of good reviews for being easier than most desktop publishers. It’s free, and comes with a ton of templates. Over on the OStatic blog, Lisa Hoover recommends the free and open source Scribus desktop publisher if you’re on a Mac.

What do you reach for to add panache to your writing and documents?

  1. These are all Windows apps (except Scribus). What about Mac?

    Share
  2. I am writing a web novel so I am also working with art software such as Daz Studio, Bryce & Photoshop.
    I am also writing history pages using the thousands of photos I was left by my relatives, which is a change of pace from the web novel.
    And I top that off with the occasional humorous blog, or page of music instruction.
    I use Word or Notepad for writing, and Notepad for the HTML programming to make the web pages themselves (which I’m also doing).
    No, I don’t get bored or stale. I do get tired eyes & tired of sitting, but that’s what gardening is for.

    Share
  3. At times I take my laptop outside… a different environment altogether brings such a different complexion to my writing. I also take my trusty laptop to a little coffee shop. Each environment helps me process ideas differently.

    Share
  4. Writers with Mac might want to look into the award-winning Scrivener. It’s a marvelous tool for outlining, researching and drafting a book and includes a full-screen mode like WriteRoom. Details at:

    http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.html

    –Michael W. Perry, Untangling Tolkien

    Share
  5. I do this to change things up: Unplug from the cable modem, take the laptop into the kitchen, write on the counter while standing until back hurts. Not having the distraction of a web browser helps me focus and rely less on links, quotations, or other outside sources to create.

    Share
  6. Good technology tool tips. And why not master the tools to help get the job done. Study efficiency.

    In the end though, it is the creative mind that creates good content.

    Jim

    http://www.jimestill.com

    Share
  7. [...] was also an interesting post last week at Web Worker Daily on 6 Tools for Changing Your Writerly Rhythms. I don’t normally think of software as being key to producing prose on time and without sweating [...]

    Share
  8. [...] OStatic: Getting more out of Google Chrome. * WebWorkerDaily: 6 tools for changing your writing rhythms. Good tips for bloggers and daily news [...]

    Share
  9. wee need man like you all the best frrom kosova

    Share
  10. I also use Scrivener on my MAC and I LOVE IT. The price is low, the organization is awesome and the interface is easy to use. I would like to find a good alternative for organizing my blog articles. Scrivener doesn’t copy over to blog postings with links in tact. Any ideas or suggestions?

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post