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Top 5 Helpful Online Tools for Aspiring Writers

Helpful tools for new writers

Let’s face it – any craft is hard, even if those who’ve done it for some time is making it look easy. Writing, be it fiction or nonfiction, may seem especially daunting because you’ll be dealing with a medium that lacks some of the nuances of the spoken word. Or you want to write in English, but it isn’t your first language.

First of all, don’t think to overthink the difficulties. Fortunately, getting started is arguably one of the biggest hurdles you’ll have to face. Afterward, it’s about improving how you write, beyond using a word count tool – character counter and other necessary tools. Given that, what are the best online tools for any aspiring writer?

Grammarly

Whether English is your native language or it’s your second (or third, or fourth), it’s always helpful to have a way to check your spelling, word usage, and grammar so you can focus only on getting the words out. That’s where Grammarly steps in.

If you work mostly online, or you’re planning to post your work online, Grammarly should be one of the first tools you get – especially if you use Chrome. Think of it as something similar to Microsoft Word, only for all your online needs, from crafting an email to putting together a blog post.

OneLook Reverse Dictionary

One writer at The Muse lists this among their top picks for online tools, and no wonder. This free tool is beneficial for those times when you’re trying to think of a word, and it’s on the tip of your tongue, to use a cliche, but you can’t remember it.

Reverse Dictionary works as advertised; you can enter a description or a definition in the search bar, and it’ll return a list of words that match. It’s very likely that the word you’re looking for will be among the results – and perhaps you’ll find better alternatives, too.

Hemingway

Do you ever get the feeling that your writing is too wordy or too roundabout? Or maybe now and then, you wish you were more clear and concise? Well, look no further than Hemingway.

It’ll help you see which of your sentences need to be edited, and in what way. For example, it will point to a sentence that needs to be simplified, and another that could benefit from a change from passive to active voice.

Hemingway also has a readability meter, which should help you adjust how easy – or difficult! – it is for the average reader to read and understand what you’ve written.

Daily Page

One tip that aspiring writers often receive is to write regularly, as you can see in Buzzfeed’s list of essential tips – and Daily Page is an online tool that can help with this. You’ll receive a prompt from Daily Page every day, and then you need to answer the prompt in one to two paragraphs before the day’s end. You can be as casual as you’d like, too.

What this does is give you a single topic to write about so that your thoughts aren’t all over the place. The more you practice this, the more you’ll be able to focus your thoughts on that article or book you want to or need to write in the future.

If you’re not sure you can handle other people being able to see your responses to the daily prompts, don’t worry! You can keep it private while still being able to read public answers, so you can be exposed to other writers’ takes on the prompts.

Writepls

Run an online search for “writing tips,” and you can be sure you’ll get hundreds, if not thousands, of results. However, you can’t afford to waste precious time weeding out the not-so-helpful writing tips from the ones that are effective and helpful. That’s why Writepls is an excellent tool to have.

It all started with Mark Marchenko, founder of Writepls, coming to the realization that only a fraction of the writing-related online articles is worth reading. So Writepls ‘browses’ them, selects the best, and sends these right to you.

Whether you’re looking for ways to write faster or tips to become a better writer overall, you’re sure to find it with Writepls.

Takeaway

From having just a humble typewriter and blank sheets of paper, writers now have a range of tools at their fingertips, from the ever-present character counter to blog topic generators.

As mentioned earlier, the biggest obstacle to a writing career is getting started, but once you set out on that road, there’s no shortage of tools to help you improve. All you need to do is choose the best ones that can help you in producing pristine content.