Writers are no strangers to writer’s block — those periods when our minds draw a blank and refuse to produce any output worth publishing or promoting.
As a writer, there can be nothing as frustrating as this, especially when you have deadlines or when it’s been some time since you last published a blog post.
Thankfully, there are some tools — websites, software, apps — that are dedicated to helping writers get rid of their writer’s block and write to their heart’s content.
1. 750 Words
I recently heard about 750 Words and thought of giving it a try. It’s an online journal that helps you write 750 words every single day. That’s 750 words that are unfiltered and all stream-of-consciousness. It’s all private — don’t worry! There are monthly challenges that you can sign up for which, if you fail, will require you to donate a small amount of money to the website so they can keep making the website better.
Since it’s my first day, I haven’t been able to explore much yet, but they say that 750 Words, aside from pushing you to write, is able to provide insights on how you do as a writer, such as what kind of mood you are in, what you tend to write about. I look forward to writing every day now, just to see what 750 Words will say of my writing.
I’ve tried several journal apps for my phone, but Momento is my favourite so far. I like that you can prompt it to send you a notification with a question, such as “What did you dream about?” or “What did you learn today?” on the time of day you set it. It’s also up to you to set the questions.
Momento lets you upload photos or create tags for people or categorise your writing. You can group your entries around a certain event (let’s say you’re travelling somewhere and your entries are all about your trip). You can also link your social media accounts (and even Spotify and GoodReads) so that you can see what you’ve been doing and posting. Plus, there’s a “This Day” tab that lets you see all the entries you’ve made in previous years. It’s a great way to see where you’ve come from versus where you are now.
I’ve heard some things about Penzu, but I haven’t gotten to try it yet. It’s another online journal that lets you add visual elements, design, and the like. It’s perfect for those who want something akin to a physical journal where they include photos, notes here and there, or turn their entire journal into a creative assortment of thoughts, ideas, and memories.
I haven’t tried it yet, but from what I can see, I think designers, artists, and creative people will love it.
4. The Most Dangerous Writing App
There’s a reason why this website is aptly named the “most dangerous” writing app. You’re forced to keep writing because if you stop for more than 5 seconds, your writing will…disappear.
It can be a fun, gamified way to motivate yourself, but if you have serious work and are planning on stepping away from the screen from time to time, don’t use this, or you will be in the depths of despair after all your hard work is gone. Then again, it could keep you from getting distracted and checking out Twitter every few seconds.
5. Write or Die
Write or Die is a website that will scare you — I kid you not. You set the screen to write a certain number of words for a certain number of minutes and if you do not achieve your goal, your work will disappear.
This is especially perfect if you’re on a deadline for a draft and you need to churn out words. I know a lot of people who use Write or Die for when NaNoWriMo rolls around and 50,000 words are at stake. Believe me, if this won’t make you write, nothing else will.
What are some of your favourite writing tools to beat writer’s block?