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On Writing: Resource Round-Up

Writing a book feels like climbing a mountain–especially that slog through the middle where you can’t see the summit. Maybe the Sherpas are up there tossing rocks at you.

Sometimes the process is terrible. Luckily, other writer-brained peeps have created heaps of resources to help us through the hard times. Here are a few of my favs for staying organized, productive, and inspired.

This program is a godsend on the front end for getting all your ducks in a row (Aileen and Christina forced me to convert).  I adore the word tracking and organizational aspects (though I’m still a Word girl when it comes to editing) and putting all my docs in one place has seriously boosted my productivity–no more flipping through umpteen file folders looking for character sheets and old drafts.

I have a love/hate relationship with names. When I’m searching for the perfect one, BtN is where I start research. It lets you look up names by meaning…great for heroes and plucky sidekicks, but not so much for naming villains. For some reason, there’s no Japanese/Hebrew/Norse names that translate to crazy bastard or douchecanoe.

Putting a dictionary on the list seems a little basic, but it comes in handy. Once revision starts, I’m constantly checking word formatting…is it make-up or makeup? Workroom or work room? When in doubt, look it up!

When I want background noise, but music isn’t working, this is my go-to page. It plays coffee shop sounds and I’m all about enjoying the ambiance while I get to chill in my pajamas.

The Internet is a serious distraction. Sometimes I’m writing a tricky moment and my mouse hand wanders over to Chrome all by itself. Suddenly I’ve been on Imgur for three hours and my sentence isn’t finished. Freedom turns off the Internet for as long as you need it off, and you have to reset your computer if you want to get around it. Short of computer crash or zombie apocalypse, who volunteers to restart their computer and lose those 50 open tabs??

Some days this app is exactly what I need and others it drives me batty (getting bombarded with peanut butter jelly time doesn’t make me feel wicked creative). Kamikaze mode gives me anxiety, but otherwise, this guy might be the prod you need to get those words written.

Nox Arcana

When I do want writing music, anything with lyrics is off the table. Nox Arcana has about half a billion songs, all delightfully atmospheric and some more gothic than others. Try them on Pandora or YouTube–bet you’ll get in the writing zone! Plus, Shadow of the Raven, Shadow Raven…it’s meant to be!


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