Stay Motivated: 8 Writing Tools To Keep Words Flowing

by Angela Ackerman
published in Writing

Butt-In-Chair. It’s the struggle of all writers. We know it’s smart, the right thing to do, yet it can be so darn difficult. Sometimes, we’re not in the mood to write. A difficult rejection, news of an author snagging a huge deal on her first manuscript which took her three weeks to write and polish…yeah. Totally drains away the motivation to write. Other times, procrastination creeps in– the shiny lure of new email messages, the slippery cascade of tweets, the siren song of Scrabble.

Help is here!

I thought it might be fun to scour my @WriterThesaurus feed for some great motivators to keep you in your chair with fingers on the keyboard. (For those of you who don’t know about my @WriterThesaurus account of twitter, check it out sometime. Each tweet is a link to an unusual or unique writing tool or resource for writers. Over 500 tweets means over 500 gold nuggets to help you with your writing!)

Without further ado, here’s some tools to keep the words flowing!

1. For the distracted writer.

Focus Writer

Do all those shiny desktop buttons beckon? All those internet tabs waiting to be filled with search terms? This program hides all distractions, keeping your eyes locked on the flow of words.

2. For the chronic reviser

Keep Writing

This ‘typewriter-esque’ program won’t let you delete words, forcing you to stay focused on the word count, not the revising. (You can do strikethroughs, however!)

3. For the longhand writer

Penzu

Love writing longhand but hate how long it takes to turn thoughts to words on paper, to a doc.? Worry no more! This tool supplies the visuals to make you feel like you’re writing longhand on paper as you type.

4. For the Cat Lover

Written? Kitten!

Each time you write a set amount of words (100, 300, you set the number) you are rewarded with a cute kitten picture. AHH! *dies of cuteness*

5. For the Bacon Aficionado

Written? Bacon!

Just like the app above, when you hit your word count, a picture of GLORIOUS bacon fills the screen. (HINT: you can change the search term in the browser to anything you desire to keep you motivated. Like pictures of chocolate. Or Firemen. *coughs*

6. For the determined-yet-busy writer

750 Words

750 words is a modest goal–three pages a day. In a year, that adds up to a full novel. Accessed from anywhere, you get points for each 750 words you write, giving you something to challenge yourself with matching month-to-month. Darcy Pattison uses this method.

7. For the hardcore writer

 Write or Die

Time to get down to business. Set a target word count & reach it in the allotted time…or your writing will ‘unwrite itself!’ Be warned…this is a tool for the adrenaline junkie or high stakes writer!

8. For the social media addict

Cold Turkey

Can’t stop yourself from checking your email, Amazon ranking and Facebook updates every two minutes? Cold Turkey will temporarily block your social media, email and games so it’s just you and the page.

Your Turn! What keeps you motivated? Let me know in the comments!

ANGELA ACKERMAN is a writing coach and co-author of the bestselling writing resource, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression, as well as the newly released Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Attributes and its darker cousin, The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook and at Writers Helping Writers (formerly The Bookshelf Muse).

A version of this article was originally published on Book Dreaming

 

  • Traci Kenworth

    Great ones!!

    • Angela Ackerman

      Thanks, Traci! Hope they help!

  • Rosi

    These are terrific. I’m going to post this link on my blog. Thanks!

    • Angela Ackerman

      Thanks Rosi…I hope they help your readers! And thank you DIYMFA for so kindly having me by. 🙂

  • Kat Sheridan

    Great suggestions but a totally wrong description of Write or Sie. It will only delete your words on Kamikaze setting, which nobody I know uses. On normal setting, if you stop typing for more than a few seconds the screen turns red and then it slowly starts making annoying noises like crying babies or screeching violins until you start typing again. I love it. Set your projected word count, set your time goal, and go!

    • Angela Ackerman

      HI Kat, yes, they did incorporate different “levels” of motivation, but I wanted to highlight the kamikaze setting most of all as this is the type of incentive some people need. 🙂 Thanks for responding to clarify their full range of settings.

  • RoseAnn DeFranco

    Love this! Thank you for pulling this together.

    • Angela Ackerman

      So happy to help! Sometimes we need a bit of motivation to keep procrastination at bay 🙂

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