Creativity

My Favourite Writing Tools

Photo by Silvia Sala

Susan Kaye Quinn–all-round superstar, speculative fiction writer and scientist–often inspires me with her Facebook posts. She recently shared the writing tools she uses, which prompted me to update an old post of mine. I hope you’ll find some new and useful tools here. Please share in the comments any tools you use to make your writing life easier. 

Writing and Editing

  • Scrivener: plotting and drafting manuscripts. I like the corkboard and binder, and how you can move around text if it fits better elsewhere, and write notes at the side of the chapter. The progress tracking tools are great. You can snapshot old versions of your draft so they are all within one document. Remains the writing tool I can’t do without. It transformed my productivity. 
  • Evernote: on the go drafting, saving articles for future reference and collating ideas
  • Wunderlist: reading, ideas and to do lists
  • Word: final version manuscript to send to editor.
  • Pro-Writing Aid: auto-editing to catch grammar and spelling mistakes before the book goes to beta-readers.
  • Google Docs: critique group submissions 
  • Discord: online forum for hosting critique group after closure of G+
  • Vellum: formatting self-published books

Business

  • Excel: mapping income and expenditure, tracking who I have sent ARCs to and business plans.
  • Dropbox: back ups and sharing documents with my publisher.
  • K-Lytics: genre research
  • KDP Rocket: researching keywords
  • Smarturl: clean links
  • Books2Read: universal e-book links
  • Moo: business cards
  • Yasiv: finding related books

Website, Newsletter and Social Media

  • Siteground and WP.org: website hosting and software
  • Mailerlite: newsletter software and delivery
  • BookFunnel: delivering arcs and freebies
  • Flickr, Giphy and Canva: website, newsletter and promo images
  • Social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
  • You Tube: book readings and bloopers
  • Author XP, Bookfunnel and Booksweeps: growing newsletter subscribers

Focus, inspiration and learning:

  • Forest and Tide: focus and egg-timers
  • You Tube: binaural beats for focus when up against a deadline
  • Spotify and itunes: classical and coffee shop music while drafting
  • Podbean, Masterclass and Ads for Authors: inspiration and training. Favourite podcasts currently are The Guilty Feminist, Reasons to be Cheerful, The Creative Penn, Self-Publishing Show, Dessert Island Discs, The Psychology Podcast and Six-Figure Authors.

So there you have it, the interactive galaxy of tools I use to help me draft, organise, market and store my work. At some point I’d like to try dictation software to see if it helps me increase my word count but for now, this armoury is plenty. 

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