People seem to have the common misconception that all it takes to be a writer is to be able to speak the language and have proper grammar. Surely, anyone can write, but will it mean anything? Well, it depends.
It’s more than stringing words together that rhyme or make sense. Writers are storytellers. You need to tell a particular topic in sequence to get the message across. You also need words that “sing and dance” to keep the readers interested.
While being a writer is one of the most fulfilling jobs, your responsibility as one doesn’t stop when you’re able to keep your readers reading at a certain point. You have to get them to finish your piece and leave them wanting more.
Must-Have Tools for Writers
Imagine having to supply a certain number of words per article and the number of pieces you need to submit each day, each week, and each month. You’ll get to a point where you’ll get saturated, and committing mistakes along the way is inevitable. Then, there’s the writer’s block, which is another issue altogether. Accountants need spreadsheets and engineers their CADs. Writers, too, can use a little help from tools to minimize errors, optimize their articles, and help with distractions issues. If you want to produce writing pieces that are close to perfection, the following are a great way to start:
1. Computer with Word Processor
Most writers use this when writing their drafts before transferring it to another platform, either for editors to check and moderate the content or to directly post to the website. Here, you can basically do anything, from drafting the outlines to filling them out with the information you want to impart.
Grammarly is perhaps the most widely-used plug-in for writers. It’s an application that basically checks your article’s grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. The free version, of course, comes with some limitations. It may sometimes suggest questionable corrections or point out errors that aren’t even there. Grammarly lets you spot those glaring errors that you likely might have overlooked. However, the paid version provides a better assessment of your articles by suggesting changes in your word choices, pointing out word repetitions, the lack of punctuation in compound sentences, inconsistencies in apostrophe usage, and suggesting rephrasing for passive voice sentences.
3. Word Counter
When there’s a limitation to the number of words that you can write in an article.
What’s good is that this offers more than just a simple word counter tool. It also provides you with the number of characters, sentences, and even paragraphs so you can keep control of your content. Other features include providing you with page estimates based on your word count, as well as keeping track of your text length based on web standards such as Google’s meta description, Facebook’s standard text display length, or a Twitter post.
If you want to produce brief and concise articles, the Hemingway app can come in handy. This works similar to Grammarly, except that it’s more focused on analyzing lengthy and complex sentences. No more misleading sentences and weak words in your article. Fair warning, though: it’s not for fiction writers. Since it focuses on short sentence structures, it doesn’t work well when writing novels where long and elaborate descriptions are the life of the story.
5. Google Docs
Gone are the days when you have to attach your drafts to an email and have your editor download it and send the corrections via the same way you’ve sent it. Thanks to Google Docs, you only have to share the link to your document, and everyone who was given access can view or edit the materials without the need to use up space on your hard drive.
6. Cold Turkey
When you can’t keep your hands tied, and you keep peeking through some websites you’re not supposed to when writing, you end up not finishing anything. Good thing there’s an app like Cold Turkey that you can use to block these unwanted sites that can affect your productivity. However, once you’ve blocked the websites for a specific amount of time, there’s no way you can undo this until the time is up. Whether this is good or bad, you be the judge.
No matter how you think highly of your skills, you are still a human being that’s prone to committing mistakes. For native speakers, you tend to type words as you speak them, which commonly
results in spelling, grammar issues, and other structural issues.
It’s also natural to run out of ideas, primarily if you have produced numerous high-quality content over a short period of time. However, this shouldn’t be a reason to second-guess your ability. It only means you need a breather from time to time. But if you can’t afford to stop, there are tools that can help you save the day.