The best 10 tools that simplify the life of a freelance writer

There are many tools that can help you achieve your goals. They simplify the working process of any writer and allow him to be more productive.

The best 10 tools that simplify the life of a freelance writer

If you want to be a good freelance writer and produce only qualitative texts, you should know that this task is quite difficult. Nevertheless, there are many tools that can help you achieve your goals. They simplify the working process of any writer and allow him to be more productive. In this review, we are going to discuss 10 tools that help writers do their work.

  1.     Applications for Typing

Each writer understands that the salary fully depends on the way how fast he types. Sometimes, deadlines are short and one should cope with the task in several hours. That is why you have to learn to type rapidly. There are many tools that can help you boost up the typing speed, like Keybr or TypingWeb. These are free typing tutorials.

  1.     Dictionaries

Even if you are not going to write content in other languages, it doesn’t mean that you will not need the dictionary. Professionally written content must correspond to several requirements. First, you should use synonyms to the words that are repeated in your text for several times. In this case, you will need Thesaurus – the best dictionary of synonyms. In some instances, you will be made to use specific terminology. So, dictionaries are always needed.

  1.     Writing Software

These days, there are plenty of programs for typing texts. The choice fully depends on the preferences of a writer. However, Microsoft Office Word is the most widely used program. There are some apps that are offered for free. Some of them you need to buy and install onto your computer. Before downloading the software, you need to find out whether this app complies with your demands and has a set of required features.

  1.     A Quote Highlighter

This tool is useful for those writers, who work for essay writing companies. They are obliged to write dissertation papers or essays on a regular basis. Quote Highlighters save your time greatly. When you write a paper, you just need to indicate the source. The program will do the rest on its own. The most popular one is Liner. However, you need to choose the one, which corresponds to your requirements.

  1.     A Plagiarism Checker.

These days this criterion is of prime importance and each freelance author knows this. Plagiarism detecting software is a must-have tool. You cannot send an article, review or essay to the client before you check it via these programs. Besides, it is impossible to send a plagiarized article. Nowadays, there are many plagiarism checkers. Some of them require installation on your computer; some of them check texts online. For example, you may use Noplag.com. This is a reliable online plagiarism checker with an extensive database and many useful features to make the writing process easier.

  1.     A Time Management Tool.

This tool helps writers to manage their time properly. Sometimes, you are too busy and do not know whether you can cope with the task on time or not. A time management tool will help you spare your working time properly. There are many apps for time management. Just choose the one you like most of all. The most popular one is Evernote or Focus booster. You can also use free Book promotion services of Shout my book to save some more time.

  1.     A Readability Checker.

If your goal is to create an interesting and easy-to-read article, a readability checker will help you do this. Such apps check your content and will offer you the suggestions concerning the way how it should look like. Surfing around the web, you will stumble upon many tools measuring text readability. For instance, you may defer to the services of Online-Utility.org – the tool which will calculate readability for free.

  1.     A Grammar Checker.

This is the most important tool for each writer. You may be a very experienced writer, but everyone can make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Misprints frequently happen (especially when you are in a hurry). A grammar checker will help you find mistakes and correct them. Some apps are offered for free, but some of them oblige you to buy a subscription.

  1.     A Word Counter.

This tool allows writers to orient in the size of their paper. If you write your article using Microsoft Word, you will find there a word counter. If you use the other program for writing, you should find out whether there is this feature.

  1. Calculation tool.

When it comes to getting a salary, each writer will calculate the payment for several times. Everyone likes to calculate money. The simplest tool to calculate your salary is Excel or calculator on your laptop or mobile device.

Evenstar and Other “Gone With the… Writing” Stars

No matter how bright your star will shine, stay humble. That’s rule #1 if you wanna embrace success.

Few days ago I went for a coffee with an old friend of mine and while I was listening, not only what she was saying, but also what others around us in the coffeeshop where saying, I couldn’t help myself but wonder… How many different kinds of characters exist out there?

Some are optimists, some others are pessimists pretty much from inside the womb. Some people wanna make a scene, everywhere they go, while some others want to slip through without being noticed. Some are caring and passionate, while others have hearts as cold as ice. Some are kind, but some others are rude. Some are stars… Some others are like Evenstar!

Ready to sacrifice what they were given, what was their birthright, just to be with the person they love. Like Arwen Undómiel, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. She had the gift of immortality and she chose to abandon that to live a mortal life. Well actually she chose to live the extended version of it. The point is that she chose love over eternal life. Love over gifts and birthrights. Love over everything else.

This world is in desperate need of bigger amounts of love. All of us focus on less important and more stressing things and we forget those little things that make our lives seem big and precious. Nowadays, we all live to work, while it should be the other way around; work to have the basic things we need to survive.

Our star won’t shine brighter if we work 13 hours every single day. Our star will shine brighter if we know where our limits are and we spend some time with the people we love and care about; because by doing that we’ll be able to work harder the next day and the day after that. Because at the end of the day, the people we love and care about will stand by us, not our career.

However, I came across many wonderful people lately who seem truly passionate about “NaNoWriMo” and they are basically trying to build their writing career out of it. Now, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month” and it basically challenges you to write a novel of 50k words in a month! That’s right! Fifty freaking thousand words in a month.

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. And I do it with much more enthusiasm than I did in the past. But, first of all, I write as much as I want, without having to hit a goal. Second of all, I have so many drafts I’m editing and making changes on, that it’s not that hard to update the blog every day. And third, when you NEED to write and you don’t do it just because you ADORE it, that passion seems like it’s fainting. And then you get nervous and the words don’t come out on the paper (or actually on your computer screen) as easy as they did in the past. And it’s impossible for you to…

Some people may be able to do it and I admire them for that. But I can’t. And I’m brave enough to admit it. There are days that I don’t even have time to pee, let alone write. I had even started writing on my iPhone while I was in the bathroom, while I was going to my Spanish lesson, when I was going for a walk, even in my sleep sometimes, just to manage to finish a single prompt every week! Literally man! I was opening one eye and I was typing what had popped up inside my mind. Not so fun…

Writing, creating characters, stories, settings… That is supposed to be FUN! I won’t, under any circumstances, forget why I first started writing. If I manage some day to sell what I have written so far and get paid for my ideas… Well, that’s a completely different chapter.

For the time being, I have my job, which I love, and I write because I love that, too. And so does Katrin Hollister, who was courageous enough to participate in that contest, with an amazing story I try to read every single day. You can check this new fantastic and adventurous story by following that link. I’m sure you’ll like it!

There comes a time when we all sort out our priorities. It may take years, but eventually we all do. I’m not saying that you don’t have to work hard and build a career, but it’s equally, or even more important to build healthy relationships with the people you care about and love. Thankfully, if you’re trying to build a career as a writer, you’ll have to build healthy relationships with the people around you, too, because they will be your inspiration for the stories you want to tell to the world!

And no matter how bright your star will shine, stay humble. That’s rule #1 if you wanna embrace success.

Na lû e-govaned vîn everyone!

© Victoria Moschou. All Rights Reserved 2016.

Why Do I Procrastinate?

All I want to do is finish this blog post – So why do I procrastinate?

Why do I leave everything to the last minute? Why do I get so easily distracted when working on something important? Why do I never do the things I want to do?

Because I am a procrastinator.

Hello, My Name is Ella. I am a Procrastinator

I first noticed how bad I was when I started University and was propelled into a world that called for me to plan and coordinate my own time.

Don’t get me wrong, I never missed a deadline or failed a test but I ALWAYS left things until the last minute. Even when my peers around me were eagerly working away on the next project I was sat back busying myself with unimportant and pointless tasks.

I am the Queen of spreadsheets and lists. I love them. I live to plan. And anyone who knows me would never describe me as unorganised or unreliable, but they are all blissfully unaware of my internal battles and how my appearance of always being busy does not mean that anything of value is being achieved.

What I have discovered since reading more about my ‘affliction’ is that procrastinators love to PLAN, we just do not DO.

I like to maintain daily and weekly to-do lists at work and home but what I now realise is that I couldn’t be more ambiguous with my tasks if I tried. I am never specific and, as such, can always find a way to ‘appear’ to have made steps to accomplishing my goal, when in fact, I have made little to no progress.

At university, I would busy myself with lists, plans, and spreadsheets. I would help others in group sessions and produce amazing revision cards –without ever taking any information in. No, in the real world, I do the same.

Thankfully my work does not suffer. I have a job that includes strict deadlines, which for me. Everything gets done on time and I am known as someone who ‘works well under pressure’ when in fact I simply do not know any different.

Where my procrastination really affects me is outside of my day job, in my personal life and in making steps towards my future goals. Basically in matters that are not ‘urgent’ and do not have a strict deadline that have consequences. This blog being one of them.

I have recently started taking this blog seriously and although I love to write my readership is not high enough that I feel much pressure to be consistent. So there is a daily struggle to prioritise time and find the stamina to start and finish a blog post. I have spent hours fussing over the look of my website, or the content of my Pinterest feed when I know what is important to me is the quality and consistency of my content.

I am working hard to try and overcome my basic instincts to waste time on irrelevant tasks, or get sucked into a YouTube vortex that is impossible to climb out of. I spend hours scrolling my twitter feed telling myself that this is all helping to further my brand, but when I am meant to be writing or researching for a blog post – it is simply procrastination.

Why Do I Procrastinate?

I was honestly hoping for a scientific, medicine curing reason for my inability to remain focused. Instead, I have come to the understanding that all of us have this in us to an extent. It is simply that some of us have become chronically affected by it over time.

I recently found an amazing selection of articles on procrastination by Tim Urban from www.waitbutwhy.com. The posts are so unbelievably accurate, in-depth, funny and relatable that I spent a good hour feeling like my mind had been blown.

His articles help to humanise or ‘monkify’ (you’ll understand when have a read) the part of your brain that causes you to stray from your task. In doing so he helps you become conscious of it, which ultimately is the first step to change.

In his third article he talks about the Procrastination Matrix (if you are a procrastinator you need to read this) and he also breaks down the different types of procrastinators there are. I am, and always have been a ‘Impostinator’.

The ‘Impostinator’ is the type of procrastinator that ‘seems’ productive by making themselves busy all the time. As I said earlier, no one at work or at home would ever question my productivity as I have always found ways to make myself seem busy, even when doing absolutely nothing.

Worse still is I have even gotten to the point where I have fooled myself into thinking that I am doing important tasks and achieving tasks. However, when I take a step back I realise I have simply busied myself with unimportant ‘urgent’ tasks, masking the fact I have made no real steps forward towards my objectives.

I want to change. I think I can, but I don’t think it will be simple. I will always be a procrastinator, it is built into my brain, and hence it will be a lifelong battle. (Granted, there are much worse battles to be facing such as poverty, mental illness, and disability so I do and will continue to count my blessings).

Can I Change?

Even writing this post has been a major achievement. This will be the first post I have ever written in one sitting. Start to Finish. Admittedly I did have a 10 minute’ Twitter feed’ break that was unintentional but I snapped myself out of it an came back to the task in hand.

The sense of achievement and lift in self-esteem is instantaneous and contagious. I want to write more. I want to keep going, but as Tim Urban notes in his article, I am aware this is short lived.

As a procrastinator I deal with the uphill struggle of completing my scheduled tasks every day. Even when I coming from a proactive high from the day before my mind seems to forget and getting up early for that run is suddenly not as important or ‘as possible’ as I thought it was yesterday.

But I am getting there. Simply changes have already made a difference such as setting much more specific and manageable goals. For me, I have also included my husband in my plans as having someone question what I have achieved each day is definitely an encouragement for me.

I will keep you posted with my progress and would love to hear if any of you have the same experience. If you do make sure you head over and read the ‘Procrastination Matrix’ by Tim Urban I mentioned earlier. It is a real eye opener and life changing read for all procrastinators.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to Follow me on Bloglovin.

This post is Contributed as Guest post by Ella Louise