4 Essential Writing Tools that Will Help You Reach Your Writing Goals

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There are 4 essential writing tools that will help you reach your writing goals, whether you’re writing a book, an article, an essay, or publishing a blog post. These 4 tools are guaranteed to increase your effectiveness and your efficiency as a writer.

FYI, this post has been written by Dave Chesson (and edited by Lorraine Reguly, owner of Wording Well).

I’m not an advocate of using a tool for everything. I feel it’s possible to get almost everything you need taken care of as a writer using only the basic tools that come with your computer.

However, I’m a firm believer that a few carefully chosen tools can make a big difference.  In some cases, as I’ll discuss, they can even help lower costs in the long run.

So, to help you potentially get the most out of these tools, I’m going to share with you my personal picks for writing that are truly worth your time. They’ve made a big difference to my writing life and I hope they help yours as well.

Essential Writing Tool #1: Specialist Writing Software

The first category of tool I’ll recommend is specialized writing software.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with Word or Google Docs… but, while these may be fine for casual writers, there are far more suitable options out there for serious writers.  With the right tools, you can become more organized, track better, and get into the writer zone with greater ease.

Scrivener

Scrivener is my personal writing software, and it’s also favored by big-name bestselling authors such as Michael Hyatt.

Scrivener is absolutely packed full of features, so expect a slight learning curve if you’re using it for the first time.  But once you know how to fully use it, it is incredible what you can do, and how you can organize your writing.

Some of the main reasons I personally favor Scrivener and why I recommend it so strongly include:

1: It is packed with everything you need to write a book, including fully integrated research, and the ability to visually storyboard your work.

2: It is complete with formatting capabilities and options to export into any e-book format.

3: It is customizable with access to a large list of Scrivener templates, allowing you to make Scrivener fit your writing style, genre, or purpose.

4: There is an app version for iOS. This is great for editing on the go.

5: Its excellent value – you can try Scrivener for a full 30 days for free, and then you can save even more money by using a Scrivener discount code to help lower the costs further.

6: Scrivener is always offering new versions and updates.

Scrivener takes some getting used to at first, but I wouldn’t want to write a book using anything else these days.

FYI, if you need a hand getting your book published, let Lorraine help you. She offers author assistant services via Wording Well!

yWriter

yWriter is a great example of software created by someone who truly needed it.

Frustrated by the options available to him while he was working on his own novels, the creator of yWriter decided to take matters into his own hands and create the software he needed to write his books.

yWriter is only available for PC, but if that’s you, it’s well worth checking out because:

1: The software is totally free to use despite having a lot of premium features.

2: It was created with fiction writers in mind, so yWwriter has the option to store data related to characters, scenes, and objects.

3: It is updated regularly with new features. yWriter is constantly being worked on, with new versions in beta mode at all times.

Overall, Ywriter isn’t as powerful and slick as Scrivener, but considering it’s free, it’s superb, making it a great option for Windows writers. Read More

7 Powerful Copywriting Tips You Can Apply Today to Become a Better Blogger

image for 7 Powerful Copywriting Tips You Can Apply Today to Become a Better Blogger

 

Do you need these copywriting tips?

Probably!

It’s only with excellent copywriting skills that you can create blog posts that stand out and go viral.

Blogging, as you may already know, is the most popular form of content marketing, a strategy that enables you to attract new readers and prospective clients, as well as retain your existing readership.

That is why Moss Clement was specifically invited to write this guest for me. (As most of you already know, you must pay to have a guest post published on Wording Well these days!)

Take it away, Moss! (And READERS, there is a SPECIAL BONUS waiting for you at the end of this post! … But no cheating… don’t skip ahead! Read Moss’s fantastic article on these copywriting tips!)

With over 21 billion web pages grabbing the attention of more than 409 million people, and over 70 million new blog posts with 52 million new comments being published per month on WordPress.com alone, it is not an easy task to create web content that others will eat up!

It is not easy to get people to consume your blog content each time you publish a new post. In fact, it can be overwhelming.

Hence, if you publishing blog posts frequently, it will help you attract new leads, as this research indicates.

The research shows that company websites that have blogs generate about 67% more leads than company websites that have no blog.

It further revealed that digital marketers who make blogging a priority in their content marketing strategy achieve 13x more positive ROI (return on investments).

Consequently, the questions that arise are…

1: How can you make your content more entertaining, move people to action, and generate more leads?

2: How can you turn a blog post into a phenomenal piece of content that people will love to read, share on social media, and maximize your ROI?

3: What copywriting tips and techniques can you apply today to create powerful blog content and become a better blogger?

These are just a few questions to consider.

As a result, I’m going to reveal 7 actionable copywriting tips you can apply right away to become a better blogger.

Related Post: Why Copywriting Really Is and Art

Copywriting Tip 1: Write in a conversational tone and be concise

To use a conversational tone in your blog content is a remarkable way to hook your readers.

It will help you refuse bounce rate because it makes your blog post more interesting to read, no matter how difficult the topic is.

But if you’re using a formal tone, be careful not to overuse it, as it will only make your blog content boring and less interesting to read, which will effectively put visitors off and increase your blogs bounce rate.

To help you write in a conversations tone, this is what you should do…

When writing your blog posts, ask questions within your content. You can ask a question at the beginning of a sentence, or at the end of it to get the reader to think and draw out what’s in his mind.

Here is a sample conversational content I came up with for you …

When writing articles for your blog, ideas come and go, and to some extent, you hit writer’s block, not knowing what to write about. (Hint: Read Writer’s Block (+ the 10 Best Ways to Overcome It).

Here are 5 actionable tips to help you come up with consistent blog topic ideas to write about.

This is the variation …

When you’re writing articles for your blog, sometimes you run out of blog topic ideas, and to some extent, you hit writer’s block, is that so?

To help you tackle this problem, I have put together 5 actionable tips that will help you come up with consistent blog topic ideas to write about.

You can clearly see the difference between the two. Now tell me, which of these is more conversational?

However, inasmuch as you have to write in a conversational tone, you want to make sure you don’t go off-topic – be concise.

For this reason, you have to keep to your content focused. Be to the point. Read More

12 Benefits of Being a Freelance Editor

 

A picture of me as a freelance editor with a red editing pencil - for the article called 12 Benefits of Being a Freelance Editor

Almost everyone knows that I am a freelance editor.

(Yes, that’s really me in the picture, too!)

I love editing. I love words and I love making them perfect.

Every time I read something, I am constantly editing what I read. I can’t tell you how many books I have read in which I have found mistakes! I have often thought of contacting the editors at the publishing houses and informing them of the mistakes I found, but I have never taken action on doing that. I probably should.

Instead, I have decided to offer my editing services to others as a freelance editor. I’ve been doing this since 2014… and I love it!

I love the freelance lifestyle and all that it offers. In particular, I love the benefits of being a freelance editor.

Here are 12 benefits I enjoy as a freelance editor:

Editor Benefit #1: I can work at home.

I live in a city that has very cold weather for the majority of the year. For about five or six months of the year, we have snow and sub-zero temperatures. For that reason, I like staying indoors. The freelance editing lifestyle I lead allows me to work from home. Not having to commute to work is an excellent benefit for me!

Editor Benefit #2: I can set my own hours.

We all have schedules in our lives that we generally follow, but no one has my exact schedule. I often work in the wee hours of the morning when it is super quiet.

I like being a freelance editor because I can work whenever I want.

Editor Benefit #3: I get paid to learn new things.

Depending on the type of book that I am editing, I often learn new things. For example, in the last book I edited, I learned what drag litters were. For those of you who don’t know, drag litters are fashioned out of tent poles that are lashed to the sides of a horse with the opposite ends dragging on the ground, which are attached to some kind of platform that can be used to transport gear such as tents and food or to transport injured people.

Sometimes I even learn new words. Just because I am a freelance editor does not mean that I know every single word in the dictionary!

Sometimes I learn other things, too, depending upon the subject matter of the book I am editing. When I edit non-fiction books, I reap the benefits of learning whatever is the author is teaching others. Being allowed to read such things for free is an honor. And even better than reading them for free is the fact that I get paid to read them!

Editor Benefit #4: I get to keep my skills sharp.

I am a certified English teacher by trade, and doing freelance editing allows me to constantly use my skills. As a result, my skills never wane. Instead, they are kept sharp by the constant work that I do.

Editor Benefit #5: I don’t have to look for work.

Many freelance writers and editors often struggle with finding work. Not me. I have never looked for a freelance editing job! Instead, people come to me.

The reason they come to me is that I have received excellent testimonials from others. While I initially offered free editing services in my attempts to market myself as a freelance editor, I now simply respond to emails I receive and give a sample edit to those potential clients. If they like my work, then they will hire me (as long as they can afford me!), which is usually the case.

I’m also listed in this hugely popular list of book editors. Many of my clients have mentioned that they found me there. (Thanks again, Dave!)

Because editing books is a time-consuming process, when I accept a huge editing gig, it generally means that I am going to be busy and employed for at least 2 or 3 months.

Generally, during that time, I receive inquiries about other editing gigs and so I schedule them for when I am finished my current one. That way, I never have to look for work! It is already lined up for me! Read More

How to Optimize Your Writing Time to Achieve Your Writing Goals

How to Optimize Your Writing Time to Achieve Your Writing Goals

 

There are 6 things you can do to optimize your writing time so you can achieve your writing goals:

1: Determine your “best” time.

2: Determine your realistic writing time.

3: Determine the days you will write.

4: Make writing a priority.

5: Write during your spare pockets of time.

6: Optimize your writing time by getting help and outsourcing tasks/chores.

Now, let’s look at each of these in-depth.

NOTE: Two different planners are available to you in this post (for FREE)!

1: Determine your “best” time

The first thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to determine your best writing time. You can determine the best time to write if you know your body’s rhythms.

Do you write best in the morning, afternoon, or night?

When do you have the most energy? Write during that time!

A lot of people get tired in the late afternoon, but after they get their second wind, they are more energetic. When do you get your second wind? Write right after that!

Do you have more time on weekends? Write on weekends!

Do you exercise and eat healthily? Once you consider your diet and exercise habits, you can improve your energy levels. Some people feel more energetic when they drink caffeine (found in coffee, tea, and most sodas), while others find they are more energetic when they consume more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and avoid sugar. Most people also function better when they exercise every day.

If you have a hard time finding your peak writing time, do some self-experiments. Write in the morning. Write in the afternoon. Then write at night. See what times you enjoy best, and see when you are most productive. Write during those times!

2: Determine your realistic writing time

The second thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals is to determine your realistic writing time. By this, I mean how long you can actually write for.

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of writing after a while. I certainly can’t sit and write for hours on end! I can write for only an hour or so before I get bored or tired of the task.

(Even when I’m editing, I only edit for two hours at a time, at most!)

By determining your realistic writing time, you will be able to schedule the times you write. By doing this, you will become more realistic with your goals, too. And when you are writing, you will simply write, because you know that, after an hour passes, you can move on to doing something else!

I like this concept because I also apply it to exercising. I hate the moments leading up to it and find it hard to motivate myself to exercise. But once I am actually doing that task, I know it’s not going to last forever. I know that it will soon come to an end! I can then force myself to finish my 30 minutes easily. Also, I always feel great afterward, so that is another added benefit!

3: Determine the days you will write

We all have busy schedules and often make the excuse that we can’t find the time to write.

So how can you find time to do your best writing, even when you’re busy?

Make a schedule!

This is the third thing you need to do to optimize your writing time so you can reach your writing goals.

You can use this FREE PLANNER to help you. This planner is specifically tailored toward bloggers.

The other planner (the downloadable one) is for every writer to use.

Alternatively, you can use this planner. It’s also free and requires you to sign up to my email list but it’s a much better planner!!!

Read More

New Technology vs. Old-Fashioned Writing Methods: What’s the Best Way to Write?

image showing various ways of writing

How fond are you of writing? What’s the best way to write? Which writing method is your favorite?

Writing, as an art form and communication means, has evolved and thrived for thousands of years since carvings on walls. There is not one exact piece of evidence for where writing originated, as its earliest forms were found in various parts of the world by written Egyptians and Sumerians. Their writings were discovered dated from 3500-3200 BC.

Today, we have more modern writing methods. From using a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, to a smart typewriter that can store millions of documents and connect to the Internet, modern-day writing has made it easy to gain knowledge and gather information.

Indeed, writing has created a strong and never-ending bridge of possibilities for speakers and readers of all languages locally and around the world. It promotes talent, expression and much more. Writing will continue to progress.

Let’s look at a few novel writing instruments in history. Some of these writing methods, obviously, are no longer used today, as they have been replaced by other writing methods as history advanced, but it’s fascinating to see the evolution of different writing methods! (Note: These writing methods are different from writing tools!)

Reed Pen

Reed pens go back as far as ancient Egypt in the 4th Century. They used to come with a split nib. They are a writing tool that works by cutting then shaping a straw of reed or bamboo.

Quill Pen and Ink

With the aid of ink for permanence, quill pens are plucked from big-sized birds or geese. Many people still love the use of the quill as its sharp strokes offer style, accuracy as well as flexibility versus the contemporary ballpoint pen.

Someone actually bought me a quill pen and ink set as a Christmas gift one year!

Fountain Pen

A fountain pen or nib pen contains a slim container for liquid ink. The nib plants the ink to the paper by means of drawing the ink from its reservoir.

Read More