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March 25, 2015

These Apps Kill Writer’s Block

Image courtesy of (Jomphong)/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Writing, particularly on extensive projects like a book or novel, can be a daunting project. Contrary to popular belief, even the most successful and experienced authors will struggle at some point, whether it’s taking the plot in the best direction or even revising their own work.

It’s no wonder that aspiring authors have an even harder time taking their projects into fruition, particularly on their debut. There’s more to writing than simply writing, and spinning all the constituent plates that come along with it requires a special brand of self-dedication. Thankfully, Smartphones and tablets provide new writers with a bevy of tools to coax their projects along, from note taking, plot outlining and grammar correction, clear down to concentration and motivation boosters.

Evernote, for instance, is the kind of app everyone can make use of, writers or otherwise. It allows users to take notes, make lists, and simply keep all their thoughts and tasks organized. The fact that it comes standard with most Android devices, and that it also allows you to set reminders for your due dates and appointments is one of the main reasons it continues popping up on lists of ‘Top Apps’ for any number of purposes.

If your flow of creativity feels out of whack, another way to stay organized is having a ‘mapping’ or ‘outlining’ app such as A Novel Idea, a free app for iPhone or iPad, which “allows you to jot down your ideas whenever or wherever inspiration arises, as long as you have your iPhone or iPad handy.” Essentially, it organizes all the raw information into general outlines, scenes, characters and locations, and then lets you link all the categories so that your project takes cohesive shape, and you never lose any ideas you have on the go.

On the other hand, if you’re battling with writer’s block, apps like Writing Prompts and Writing Challenge for both iPad and Android, give writers a prompt to work on and practice their writing. When you find a roadblock in the middle of plot development, something like Writer’s Block Buster should be a lot more effective, because it allows you to keep track of characters and other story-specific information while still helping you channel fresh ideas.

And since we’ve touched on the subject of staying focused, we should mention apps to help with that nasty P-word: procrastination. Self-Control is one such app that blocks you from accessing any websites that distract you during your selected time frame, effectively forcing you to focus on your research and current project. Write Or Die, on the other hand takes a much more drastic approach, annoying you and even deleting your work if you stop writing, thus keeping you on track by force or negative reinforcement.

Finally, because you surely don’t need to be reminded that a Web dictionary — or six — is very handy to have while writing, the last suggestion on this list is for when inspiration strikes while on-the-go or when typing would be inconvenient.  Dragon Dictation will take away the excuse, by letting you dictate your ideas into your phone or tablet, so nothing is lost.

These are just a handful of examples to get aspiring writers on the right track. Keep your eye out for more writer-friendly apps out there that will take you through editing and even publishing your work, thus becoming vital resources for launching a successful career in writing. Just remember, when writer’s block gets you down: writing is re-writing and we all go through occasional slumps.


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Dylan Chadwick is a writer and marketer at Fueled.com, an award winning mobile app design and development house based in New York, Chicago and London. At Fueled, we don't just build apps; with teams of designers, developers and strategists, we create visually stunning products that redefine the technical boundaries of today's mobile development standards. We've built award-winning iPhone, iPad and Android apps used by millions of people for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to up and coming startups including Barney's, Coca Cola, UrbanDaddy, JackThreads and MTV. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of usability, stability and design in every project that we touch.

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