15 Free Tools For Cash-strapped Creatives

15 Free Tools For Cash-strapped Creatives

Being creative doesn’t have to cost a thing.

This is my latest post on Medium. Please feel free to join me there. I hope this list is of help to you all.

BLOGGING

I thought we might as well start with those platforms that have given so many people a voice on the internet. Blogging can offer community, pride to those who thought they’d never be heard, and perhaps most of all, place. Yet despite being the gateway to technology to those who have never experienced it, the big blogging platforms still remain free.

Medium (Multiple Platforms) For those who like a clean, quiet and thoughtful place to write.

WordPress.com (Multiple Platforms) The original noisy neighbour, WordPress powers most of the internet, and although harder to use than some, still remains accessible and highly customisable.

Blogger (Web) Google owns and administrates this platform. Easy to use and powered by internet royalty, Blogger is often the introduction to the world beyond our window.

Browsing the Internet

I think three browser recommendations is more than enough. All are free. All are very good, to lesser and greater degrees. And perhaps most of all these days, each can be made as safe as possible.

Google Chrome (Multiple Platforms)

Firefox (Multiple Platforms)

Opera (Multiple Platforms)

Organisation

WorkFlowy (Multiple Platforms) WorkFlowy is a place to write your thoughts, prep, or organise a whole project. Exceptionally easy to use, although let down a little by its mobile apps, WorkFlowy can soon become the go to place for creatives. Highly Recommended.

The Outliner of Giants (Web) To those familiar with using templates, this outliner will be a dream. Again, easy to use and available in any browser.

Google Keep (Multiple Platforms) Google Keep is a notebook, place for reminders, and a generally bright and visual place to store notes. A highly underrated part of the Google portfolio, you’ll be surprised by this one.

Information Capture

Pocket (Multiple Platforms) If you’ve ever wanted to stash, store, or explore information you find whilst browsing the net or even other apps, Pocket provides that place. Available as an app, extension and any number of other ways, Pocket is superb.

Instapaper (Multiple Platforms) As above, but more text orientated. Instapaper provides a good place to read those things you might not have had time for initially. Highly recommended.

Images

There is much beauty on the internet but it tends to be scattered around. Here are some wonderful sites that you might like to spend an hour or three perusing.

Pinterest (Multiple Platforms) Many peoples’ favourite image site. Pinterest has everything from photos to art and more. Beautiful in presentation and with the offer of community, a popular and easy to use wonder.

Deviant Art (Multiple Platforms) Deviant Art offers predominantly art of a fantasy nature although they would say far more. Some of the illustrations on there are breathtaking.

Pixabay (Multiple Platforms) Photography based, Pixabay offers free imagery to all and what staggering imagery it is.

Writing

There are many places to write without ever downloading a thing even though you could. Here are a few of the more reputable offerings.

Google Docs (Multiple Platforms) The premier online word processor that is now also available almost everywhere. Good for all types of writing it is hard to find any fault with Google Docs.

Celtx (Multiple Platforms) For the budding screenwriter. Celtx won’t be much good to anyone other than the next James Cameron, but if you are, knock yourself out.

LibreOffice (Multiple Platforms) For those who can’t afford Microsoft’s offerings, (which is a lot these days). Beloved of those who use it, LibreOffice is a great free option.

Hemingway (Web) A place to write and have that writing checked, this site offers something a little bit different. Well worth trying, and truly beneficial.

Often the only thing standing between us and our dreams is a little help. I hope some of the above websites and applications can offer just that.

Please note: As far as I am aware, all the above are either free or offer free structuring at the time of writing.

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers / Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

Into Eternity (Very Soon!)

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Florence: My Home

 In the lightest shades of morning,
 Through burnished haze of new day,
 I stood atop one final rolling ridge
 And looked down upon its understated splendour.
 The Arno weaved a languorous route
 Under the Ponte Vecchio and out to Ligurian Sea,
 The emerging sun lighting its way out of respect.
 The Duomo rose above all in towering majesty,
 A pale goliath amongst so much to astound.
 Distant bells ushered Florentines to work,
 Or rather to create,
 For no one could truly work in a place such as this.
 Golden tints to rival that of the sun
 Sprinkled my vista with delights,
 And for the first time, I knew doubt!
 I looked to weathered boots,
 Calloused hands and ragged clothing, and knew shame.
 Could I descend into such beauty
 A sullying shadow amongst the angelic?
 The answer fell at my feet.
 My manuscript, the work I had put my whole life into,
 A work that required the finesse of a superior environment;
 One more conducive to the creative,
 A place of artisans, thinkers,
 And those who lived as free spirits.
 I stooped to pick it up and knew I had no choice:
 Florence was my home,
 I’d just never been there until now.

The Kiss


Gnarled and twisted
Grasping for
My little throat
She did claw
With cackling laugh
And toothless grin
My mouth to kiss
She dragged me in
But wick I was
And far too fast
As slipped I did
From witch’s grasp
And turn to her
To state my case
“You’ll not kiss me
Not this smooth face”
And swift I dashed
Into the night
Shouting as fled
“Gran lost this fight!”

(Image courtesy 3docean.net )

The Deep Breath


Darkness:
Can you feel it?
Electricity simmers,
Crackles,
Stirs.
I love to rock in my chair
Under the old porch
Waiting,
Watching the orchids
Alive in the night.
Pressure:
I feel it on my chest.
I gasp!
This is it,
The moment,
Release.
The heavens rumble, shake.
Sky ignites.
I feel, so mortal
I feel:
Alive.
The Earth sucks in;
I rock in my chair,
Waiting.

(Image courtesy riktorsashen on deviantart.com)

Serpent

Quick note: the snake in this picture was in a tree outside my hotel at the top of the Swiss Alps. I thought it more likely to see a Yeti than that!


A shaft of light
Slides effortlessly
Between obstruction
Silent assassin
Tasting the future
Cold eyes
Resisting joy
To focus only on
Jaw dislocating
Delicacies
Perfect predation
Killing with a
Lover’s embrace
A gliding death
Awaits
Those foolish enough
To tempt
History, myth
And fable
In the devil’s eyes
Lies torment
And I for one
Choose not
To sample it

In Darkest Night


A flickering deceives his hunter’s eye as lantern spits and then runs dry.
The trees they seem to stoop and grasp towards this man, his dye is cast.
For normal wood this place is not, as every tree holds hangman’s knot.
And every creaking, groaning branch claws to him as if to snatch.
The hunter’s made of sturdy stuff but fear he has of this enough.
Compounded, frightful, his nerves they ache, as crow does call and storm does break.
Retrace his steps through wind and rain, but trail is lost as well as brain.
Lost and scared he cannot think his way through all this blackest ink.
Torn to bits by briar and thorn the hunter dies, his death forlorn.
For when you hunt without a light, you’re tempting fate in darkest night.


(Image courtesy wyldraven on deviantart.com)

A Crowded Ride

This is a post inspired by a chat with my good friend, Spumoni Caddo. Check out spumonicaddo.wordpress.com for some wonderful poetry.


It was unordinary,
Extraordinary,
An unusual scene,
A milling of children
As if in a dream.
For weeks I’d had
Solitude,
Peace on my own
Now all that I dreaded
Invaded my home.
But when I say home
I really mean bus,
A long thing with wheels
And no usual fuss.
So many faces
Such uproarious noise
Some of it girls
But mostly it boys.
This signalled a countdown
That I’d start right now
Till holiday time
And peace here somehow.
Please don’t get me wrong
I love little kids,
Just not on my travels,
I want to get rid.
England, you shout!
No, the U.S of A.
Where bus rides are happy,
Kids have room to play.
Well, I haven’t got much choice,
In fact,
I’ve got none.
So I’ll sit here all quiet
And pray them begone.

(Image courtesy iss.schoolwires.com and Google images)

The Sounds of Life


Pillow talk
Mumbled apologies
Baby screaming
Teenage moans
Fireside whispers
Stomach grumbling
Jubilant whoops
Shouts of dismay
Gargled cleaning
Hissing boos
Longing pleas
Wagged tutting
Hysterical laughter
Proposed love
Children playing
The sounds of life


(Image courtesy c4eo.org.uk and Goggle images)

 

Lost at the back of my Mind


An island lies at the end of the world

Where a tribe of the damned were long ago hurled.

They’d sinned against all and done it with joy

Both woman and man, girl and boy.

For they’d set out a trap to catch the last horn

Off a mythical beast called the unicorn.

They’d baited a field with all that was good

It left them pure hate, but they understood.

A risk worth the while or so they thought

Until God found out of what they sought.

He sent them away to the isle as spoke,

But the unicorn was killed, and with it all hope.

The darkness created so infinitely vile

Packaged away on that most terrible isle.

So beware on the ocean that you don’t sail too far,

Don’t journey out of evil, or your soul you’ll mar.

Err cautious my friends and avoid choppy seas,

Tempest and maelstrom from sheer evil they breed.

I’d tell you the bearing so as not to sail blind,

But I’m afraid that it’s lost at the back of my mind.


(Image courtesy of Arwelyn on deviant art.com)












SHUDDER



A million hearts could tell the same tale

Each with a gossamer thread of truth,

Each with feeling born from experience,

But none would be my heart, my life.

I sit here in my ancient chair

Rocking and creaking, rocking and creaking,

Trying to think how best to explain what she did to me

That first time I saw her.

I clutch one hand to my oaken armrest

The other scratches at my hollow chest.

What words could describe how dawn broke upon me,

How ocean currents swept me out into the open sea

Where I floundered lost and alone, before submerging.

How I have, and always will regret my being struck dumb

With awe, a pebble before a goddess.

Would you believe me, I am after all sitting here

Regaling you with the moment that changed my life,

Or trying to, at least?

I take a deep breath drawing in the expectancy

Of those sat eager-eyed around me.

I pause, think, bite at my lower lip and say this:

She made me shudder.


(Image courtesy of faathir95 on deviantart.com)