Essential Writing Apps for Professional Writers


Who needs essential writing apps, anyway?

Some people will tell you that writing is a solitary act. Laying out those words one by one on a page can feel isolating. No wonder; you’re pretty much on your own — unless you make use of some of the best writing apps for pros.

Even when you come up with an idea that is a spark of genius, you still have to conduct research and develop an overall structure for your writing. The moment you commit to the writing process, you’ll need an authentic voice and knowledge of basic writing conventions, so it wouldn’t hurt to have a plan for publishing the piece.

It’s too bad that writing is seldom something done in partnership.

Isn’t there a better way to generate ideas, gather all your research, create structure, and polish your writing?

As it turns out, the answer is yes.

Whether you’re writing a quick blog or keyboarding an epic novel, using essential writing apps can save you considerable time and reduce anxiety. Having access to writing tech tools is like having the writing partner you need.

With the apps available today which will have you writing with the skill of a professional?

Here are the essential writing apps. Which do you keep in your arsenal?

Note making with Evernote

Imagine never having to rummage through a drawer full of note cards and stained napkins again.

What if everything you needed was stored electronically, in a single app?

Professionals in a variety of industries rely on writing apps like Evernote, and writers are no exception. With this app, you’ll have a place to store your research, manage your writing, and collaborate with your editor or your agent – all in one convenient location.

Take control with Self Control

Can’t stay focused?

Videos of kittens in socks can be distracting. So can tweets, emails, and other messages, especially when you’re trying to write.

Self Control helps you stay focused by blocking distractions while you and your muse write together. This writing app blocks all the alerts until you say you’re ready to join the world again. Think of this app as your writing Sergeant of Arms – the one who will keep distraction on the other side of the door.

Ace your grammar game with Grammarly

Even if you’ve always been good at grammar, having a trusty editor by your side makes the job easier.

Grammarly is that editor. The writing app will review your capitalization, usage, punctuation, and spelling, and then it will make suggestions for improvement. You can either accept or refuse the recommendations. Best of all, Grammarly encourages you to set writing goals, and the app will help you prioritize and work on them.

Grammarly also teaches grammar basics with some entertaining videos, just in case you need a refresher on those dangling modifiers.

Mind submissions with Story Tracker

Can’t remember which articles and stories have been sent to which publishers – or when?

Many publishers despise simultaneous submissions – an error that’s easy to make when you’re trying to keep your stories in circulation. Submitting multiple writing pieces for publication is like trying to keep all your plates spinning at once. You’re trying to juggle submissions while generating new content, and it’s not easy to remember where or when you sent each piece.

Story Tracker keeps track of the plethora of articles and stories you’ve sent. No more guessing, and no more apologizing for simultaneous submissions. You’ll stay on top of your submissions like the pro you are.

Does every writer need an essential writing app? Maybe not. But utilizing apps can help you be more organized and more efficient, and that can be a real time-saver.

Who doesn’t need more time?

These essential writing apps can save you both time and hassle when it comes to capturing ideas, creating professional writing and content, and keeping track of it.

That doesn’t feel so solitary after all!

Written Content Your Readers Need

Written content is the backbone of your website.

The words you write tell your story, and they serve to create your brand. When you write for the Internet, they do much more. You have to know how to manage them.

The Internet is full of words, 4.48 billion pages of them, or about 110 trillion words. Writing for the Internet is not only an art; it’s also a science.

SEO Optimization Matters

Every word you write has value.

Google Adwords assigns a value to keywords, and so should you. By knowing the value behind the words you write, you can predict how much impact they will have on your readers. That’s especially true for Internet searches.

Even the location and frequency of your words can make a difference to search engines.

And what about grammar?

Poor grammar kills credibility. It can also hurt you in searches. If grammar isn’t your thing, that’s okay. Use a grammar app like Grammarly or get a friend to do your proofreading before publishing.

Easy Reading

Charles Dickens could have never written content for the Internet. His descriptions ramble on for days, and his paragraphs are too long. The idea is to break up the writing so your reader can access your content.

Assume your reader is smart and knows what he’s looking for. Help him scan more easily and find it by creating section breaks with the following:

  • sub-headings
  • bullet points
  • icons
  • pictures

Even though you have savvy readers, keep the writing simple. Write on a 5th or 6th-grade reading level. That means using short paragraphs, short sentences, and short words.

Anything else becomes tiresome. Your reader will go elsewhere to find what she needs.

Be the Expert

Give the kind of advice you would appreciate getting. Google advises sharing well-written content that adds to the current body of knowledge, not regurgitates it. Ask yourself if your content is notable. Is it something you would expect to read in a magazine or book?

If every one of your readers has at least one take-a-way, then your written content has done its job. It has value.

If writing the material for your website or blog seems overwhelming, hire an expert. Professionally written content can give your site the boost it needs.

Can I Write a Book?

Grand adventures and humble experiences make tremendous stories in the book that is you — that’s why many people ask, “Can I write a book?”

It’s only natural to share your narrative with others. Telling our stories is an integral part of humanity. Through storytelling, we learn how to understand.

Author Brian Boyd explains in On the Origins of Stories that the art of storytelling comes from play. By telling our stories, we learn how to think, collaborate with others and advance our creativity. When we take time for storytelling, we become part of an evolutionary chain that improves our understanding of humanity.

We are ALL storytellers. You tell your stories during the day, with co-workers and clients. You recount the events of your day with family and friends.

Therefore, it’s only natural to wonder, Do I have a book in me?

The quick answer is YES!

Everyone has a book in them, full of pages waiting to be written. The better question may be, “Who will tell your book?”

Not knowing the answer to this question can prevent your book from ever reaching print. Consider these three ways to take your story from an idea to a book.

Author your own book

You have a story, and you consider yourself a good writer, so of course, you want to write your book.

There’s something insanely enriching about completing a written work. You carve out time to write a little each day, develop characters and encourage them to take immense risks, and you write their actions in the words of your life.

By devoting yourself to book writing, you create the space you need for developing art. You establish your existence and the difference you have made in the lives of others.

Hire a ghostwriter

Ghostwriters are your behind-the-scenes-writers. They take your ideas and bring them alive with words on the page — your ideas written in their voice.

No two ghostwriters are the same. They take on varying levels of commitment to writing your book, according to your needs. Do you want the writer to come up with the ideas and the words? Or do you already have the story and need it written? Your ghostwriter can help your structure your writing plan, write some (or all) of your content, and serve as your editor.

So should you hire a ghostwriter? That depends on your goals, but one of the best reasons for bringing on a hired writer is to get the job done. Your ghostwriter will dedicate the time you might not have and get your book completed. If you find yourself short on time, or writing isn’t your thing, this may be the way to go.

Keep in mind that even the best ghostwriters aren’t without their drawbacks. Your pen for hire might not have the voice and tone for which you were hoping. The ghostwriter could be less likely to discourage your ideas. Not all ghostwriters will tell you if your book ideas won’t work.

Collaborate with a co-author

The third option is to co-author a book with a writer.

Two heads are better than one, and with a hired writer, you have someone with whom you can collaborate – as much or as little as you want. By working with a hired writer, you are more likely to discover the book within you and get it published.

Once find the book in you, should you prepare to self-publish or go the traditional route?

We’ll take a look in our next blog.