productivity

48 Best Apps and Tools to Improve Your Freelance Writing Life

Improve Your Writing Life with These Apps & Tools. Makealivingwriting.com

If you’re looking for a way to make your writing life easier, I hear ya.

It’s not easy to grow a freelance writing career while homeschooling eight kids, but organization and efficiency make it possible.

I’m always on the lookout for time-saving tools and apps to improve my writing life.

I’ve downloaded and tried many apps or tools only to be disappointed. Sound familiar?

Some take way too long to figure out. If it’s not user-friendly or intuitive, I’m not sticking around. Other apps might be easy to use, but over-promise and under-deliver, and that’s always disappointing.

Ever wondered if an app or tool could actually help improve your writing life?

Let me save you some time.

After much trial and error, I’ve put together a list of 48 of the very best apps and tools to help you with just about every aspect of your writing life.

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Q&A: Pajamas, Dog Poop and Being a Productive Writer

Q&A with Rachel Toor on Pajamas, Poop, and Being a Productive Writer. Makealivingwriting.com

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Are You Looking for More Writing Motivation?

Writing motivation: Do you really want to be a freelance writer? Makealivingwriting.com

If you find it tough to get psyched up to write, this post is for you. I recently received a letter from a new writer hoping I could help her find more writing motivation:

I’m Sherin from Indonesia, it’s such a pleasure to find you as someone I can look up to. I’ve been saying to myself that, I really want to be a writer. And I’m very passionate about being a freelance writer, especially in content writing and maybe in proofreading. I know I need to plan how am I going to do that, but I feel lack of confidence and I don’t really know where to start.

I think this will be a good opportunity to make my own income too. I’m still a student supported by my parents. But I just love the image of standing independently. Anyway, I am so sorry to bother you. I know that I need to have some good skill to become a freelance writer, and to become skilled, I need to learn and practice. And I don’t know how to do that.

Can you give me some tips or maybe some motivation?

Letters like this make me want to cry. Because I’m dedicated to helping freelance writers earn more!

I want to have tips and useful info for you. (And ESL writer or not, writers write in every language and there are clients all over the world, so any grammar errors you spot above are not important here.)

What’s the trouble then? When you ask me to give you some motivation, I’ve got nothing.

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Self-Help for Writers: Make This One Powerful Change

Self-Care for Writers: One Big Tip. Makealivingwriting.com

Freelance writers spend a lot of time reading posts, taking courses, and otherwise seeking information on how to build their careers. But what about self-help for writers?

Working on self-care can build your self-esteem up and make you far more productive and creative. And when I say self-care, I don’t mean bubble-baths and walks in the woods, either.

What I have in mind goes much deeper than catching a little ‘me’ time.

Recently, I took a training on one powerful self-help technique that every insecure writer could benefit from. This approach can help you get more and better writing done, put yourself out there more, and gain the confidence to pitch better clients.

Ready to take your writing — and your life — to a whole new level? Read on…

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10 Life-Changing Books for Writers (Hint: They’re Not About Craft)

10 Life-Changing Books for Writers (Hint: They're Not About Craft). Makealivingwriting.com.

What happens when freelance writers want to build their careers? Well, since we’re ‘word’ people, we tend to ask our friends, “What good books for writers should I read?”

Lengthy chats erupt on Facebook in response, about the most inspiring and useful books on writing craft. Books such as Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and Stephen King’s On Writing are enthusiastically discussed and endorsed.

I’ve read and loved these books, too. But I don’t think they’re the ideal books for writers, especially if your focus is making a reliable living at your craft.

My experience is writers read these books, think, “Aaah, wonderful! Terrific insights.” Then, they go straight back to starving.

Also, most writers I know don’t need to improve their craft. They write just fine.

The books for writers that will make a bigger impact are the ones about how to make a business from writing. How to freelance successfully. How to finally find the confidence to put your writing out there.

Those are the books for writers that can really change your life. The books that show you how to feed your family, on a regular basis, with your craft.

If that’s the sort of help you need, here’s a list of practical books on the business of being a writer that I frequently recommend.

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Get Stuff Done – A Busy Freelance Writing Ultramarathoner’s Productivity Rules

Get stuff done. A busy freelance writing ultramarathoner's productivity rules. Makealivingwriting.com

Want to know what a crazy writer schedule looks like? I’ve got three little kids. I have a day job as a health and wellness writer. I’ve got a solid line-up of freelance clients in the same niche and a bunch of looming blog post deadlines. Sometimes, it’s tough to get stuff done.

It’s always busy. There are a million things demanding my attention. And that doesn’t even include TV, movies, hours on social media, video games, hanging out with the guys, or sleeping in. Do people really do that anymore?

The hot 40-something woman I’ve been married to for 18 years is in grad school (future teacher). She volunteers where our kids go to school. She works part-time at a gym. And the kids have dance, Cub Scouts, homework, and probably some other activities going on that she-who-will-not-be-named will be texting me about shortly.

Then there’s my passion (some call it a sickness) for running. And I’m not talking about a 30-minute jog around the block. I ran a 100-mile race at the end of September. When the heck is there time to train for that?

Crazy. Every. Damn. Day.

How do I get it all done, and keep my freelance writing career moving forward? I don’t use any complicated planning tools to get stuff done (maybe I should), but I do follow a few basic rules to stay productive.

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