Tag Archives: websites

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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New Writer’s Resources Page

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I thought I’d give everyone a heads-up that I have a new page on my blog. After the wonderful responses to the posts I’ve meant mostly for my Medium account, I have decided to collate all that information (and more to come) on a separate page. I hope this enables people who haven’t read them, and those who have but can’t find the information, to access them more easily. I have already added some extra useful stuff and shall endeavour to keep doing so.

Find it HERE

PS. It should all be clickable now.

Richard

Alternate Writing Resources

Alternate Writing Resources

There’s Always Help Available

Author’s Note: Here is my latest post on Medium. Please feel free to click the link and join me there.

I think all writers (me included) have a tendency to complicate things overthinking what, how, why and where we write instead of just picking up a pen or tapping on a keyboard. We cogitate over so many variables with our already overstimulated minds (I blame coffee) that we sometimes neglect the simple things. When all is said and done, we only need one writing app be it Scrivener, Microsoft Word, Pages, Storyist, Google Docs etcetera, etcetera, often overlooking the more statutory writing resources available. Here is a collection of apps and sites that I hope might genuinely (damn, an adverb) assist fledgling writers. The more experienced, too.

Dictionary.com

There are many good dictionaries online and as apps but Dictionary.com is a double-barrelled bonus. Available as both a website and dual app, inclusive of thesaurus.com, it is essential to a writers arsenal.Such a useful fallback when one forgets how to spoll, spall, spell, a writer should never be ashamed to check the spelling or correct usage of a word.

Howmanysyllables.com

How many syllables, spelled as one word, is a sight with one simple purpose to count the syllables we might be unsure of or run out of fingers for. A very good aid for those who write poetry such as haiku, shadorma, tanka, etcetera (four syllables) and need to be sure of their syllable counts.

Hemingwayapp.com

In previous posts, I’ve talked of my love for Prowritingaid and Grammarly. However, there is another kid on the block which is more app-like in presentation. Available on the web or as a download, Hemingway presents the writer with a canvas to write on and then have checked for possible improvements. I would recommend trying this out in the same way I would my favoured two. If such devices/resources correct or help to correct even one mistake, they’re worth using.

Google Translate

Have you always wanted to add a little ’un petit quelque chose de plus’ a little something extra (according to the item in question). Google translate is available like all Google products on the web, but also as an app. It’s free, so give it a spin. Authenticity is priceless in text.

Wikipedia

We all know it. Or do we? I dare anyone to admit not knowing Wikipedia or even having visited it for one reason or another. But if you take it for a real spin (I use a lovely app called V for Wikipedia) you can soon use it for so much more than you’d think: colour options; geographical exactness; history; people, and the list goes on. Bookmark it and take it for a ride, it’ll soon eat up the hours.

Text Compare!

Text-compare.com opens as a dual pane editor for you to paste two lots of text in. The site will compare them and highlight the differences, What use is that? I hear you shout. Well, many apps these days save version histories (especially Dropbox and iCloud writing apps,) which you can browse. You might not even remember some of the changes but looking at them might make you think ooh, that was good! Being able to compare two side by side won’t be an everyday occurrence but it might help every now and again.

Last of all, something different.

Alternativeto.net. If you’re looking for software but don’t know where to start, or perhaps only know of one option, try this site. If you type an app or software name into its search bar, it will list more alternatives than your can shake a stick at. These can be filtered to your heart’s content.

As always, I hope something here assists your written work.

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

Into Eternity (Very Soon!)

Useful Sites for the Novice Writer

Author’s Note: This is my latest post to Medium. Please feel free to join me there if you so wish.

Useful Sites for the Novice Writer

I often think the act of writing to be not that difficult, you pick up a pen or open a laptop and start to note your ideas. The problem comes for many people with what to do with them once you’ve finished.

As a long time WordPress blogger (that’s me,) I know that there are many wonderful writers out there who just don’t know what to do next. Some are afraid to display the products of their imaginations, others just aren’t that computer savvy; I was both.

There are in fact a great many places to display one’s literary masterpieces (hopefully) and here is a list of some of the easiest ways to find them. I have assembled (just like The Avengers) the best databases plus a few extras you may need. To all those writers who struggle with such things, I hope this helps.

Databases

Writingcareer.com. The writingcareer site is a wonderful place to start hunting down destinations for your finished product. Maintained by the more than generous skills of Brian Scott, the website is a veritable cornucopia of freelance information from pay to display poetry sites to major publishers. For many folks, you’ll never need another site than this.

thereviewreview.net. The Review Review (that really should be lower case) is an online magazine with all kinds of useful information and a very handy newsletter option. They review other magazines, websites and even people, virtually anything to do with publishing. The site is well worth bookmarking and as mentioned I would personally sign up for the email too.

AuthorsPublish.com. Sign up to this email and you’ll get a great surprise. Almost every week and often sooner, Authors Publish send out an easy to read email of useful publishing sites and information that open out into a web browser. This was one of the best things I was ever introduced to and has proven an invaluable source for literary aids.

Submittable. Many websites require you to post to them via Submittable (argghhhh!) you scream. Don’t worry. Submittable is one of the easiest sites I’ve ever used and even manages your submissions. To anyone with a bad memory like me, it’s invaluable. So many sites use the Submittable database that its almost worth setting up an account (they’re free) before you even choose to submit work just so you’re prepared. Also, a latest development there is that they, too, post sites looking for submissions.

Two Bonuses and some Advice.

Only about three percent of submissions are ever accepted. This does not mean your work is poor or even anything less than superb. There are many reasons why a magazine won’t accept your work from personal preference (we’re all different) to just how it fits with other pieces. Having guest edited on an arts magazine, I know just how difficult it is to choose from multiple submissions. So, my advice is this: Think of submitting the same piece ninety-seven times before having it accepted. If the story, poem or article is good it will be taken on much sooner. However, thinking this way, you’re never disappointed by a rejection. Rejections are standard issue and to me it’s like water of a duck’s back. Send it elsewhere just try to go for places where the piece fits better.

To those two bonus items.

Storytracker. Storytracker is an app that works a bit like Microsoft Excel but is specifically designed for the collation and tracking of your stories. I’ve used it for a long time and am incredibly grateful to its developer for making my life easier. Currently, I think, it’s available for Mac and iOS.

OmPad. For those people who cannot afford a writing app for all occasions this may help. If you have a browser, OmPad will open in it, has a choice of backgrounds that you can change, and then write in. It does nothing else. Every time you open that same browser the last piece of writing you did will be there. Easy! And free.

I hope this simple list helps. It would be nice to think the next Hemingway appears because of it.

Thank you for reading

Richard

Richard M. Ankers

Author of The Eternals Series

The Eternals

Hunter Hunted

Into Eternity (Coming Very Soon!)