Wednesday, May 25, 2016

11 Reasons Writing Is the Worst, But Nothing Else Is Better

Some days there's nothing good about writing. Everything you type stinks...if you even get that far. Other days, everything flows right out, racing like a storm-ravaged stream onto the page. Next time you're having a day full of "writer's block," self-doubt, and extreme self-criticism, remember that you're not alone and take a moment for a laugh or two before taking a deep breath and diving back in. Because the only way to fix it is to write, right?

1. You're completely fickle about what you write...

2. ...but that's when you actually write...

3. ...and stop getting distracted by online "inspiration." Or Facebook.

4. Of course, you spend a lot of time doing legitimate research and are full of a ton of random information. It's always great to drop a "fact" bomb later when all that research becomes relevant to real life...

5. ...but then you worry that you're on a government list somewhere since you just researched things that could be considered dangerous in the hands of the wrong people, such as your characters.

6. You have to keep a notebook, or your phone, on your nightstand because the perfect character, dialogue, or plot twist always strikes in bed.

7. Of course, when it's time to write it later, your mind goes blank; you should have got up to write right instead of sleeping. 

8. That moment when everything you planned goes out the window and your characters take you in a direction you never expected.

9. When you have to make the hard decisions to stay real and keep your readers on their toes.

10. You love to start a new book, you but find yourself very critical of the character development, dialogue, and plot in everything you read. 

11. Depending on the day, it's both the hardest and the easiest thing you do!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Writer's Toolbox: Nimbus Note

One of the most frustrating things for me while researching for my novel has been keeping up with all of the information I need. I've had tons of Word documents. I've used a notebook full of notes. I have tons of websites saved and some emails sent to myself. When I want to save something for later, I don't want to take the time to write it all down or copy and paste a ton of things into a Word document that I then need to format and rearrange. I want to save it quickly and move on. But how do you do that in an organized fashion without purchasing writing software? It's been rather hard finding something that really works for me when I'm tossing around ideas, building up the best and eliminating the worst. That is, until I found Nimbus this week!

Nimbus Note is an excellent note taking application that you can access from your web browser; download on your PC, Android, iPad, iPhone, or Windows Phone; or add as an extension in Google Chrome. Any note you save is easily synced to your account, allowing you to access information from all of your devices. There are numerous features that help to organize your writing research:

  • Basic text editing tools, including adding links and photos
  • Tags for quick search and better organization
  • Share your notes with password protection
  • Source links saved automatically
  • To-Do tasks for future reminders
  • Add attachments to your notes
  • Print notes

The most useful tool for me is the Chrome extension. While researching this week, I simply was able to highlight the information I needed, whether it was a full article, a photo, or a paragraph or two, and with a quick right click, I sent exactly what I needed to my notes. 

The only thing I had to go in and change was the titles for organization; every bit of information was saved for future reference, and I was able to tag my notes for quick searching. It made collecting my research information quicker and so much easier! Keep in mind that the Chrome extension does not have as many features as the full Nimbus app; however, for me, this doesn't matter. It takes a second to head to the Nimbus website if for some reason I need more than the basic text formatting, copy and pasting, and link insertion features, which is rare.

If you're looking for an easy way to organize research material, or even just notes and ideas, definitely check out Nimbus. It has just the number of features you need, and if you're like me, nothing's better than being able to access your notes anywhere, anytime inspiration strikes.

Photo Prompt: Old Letters, Memories in Time

Saturday, May 14, 2016