Writing Tools for Blogging Success
Writing Tools for Blogging Success
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What are writing tools? In my view, they are far more than just an old dusty typewriter. They not only include the writing instruments you use but also include your time and your writing environment. Together they are all tools that enhance your opportunities for success.
Guard Your Writing Environment
Have a place to write. I’ve found that I can write anywhere. But to do my best, I need one crucial writing tool. It’s called a door. I need to be able to close the door and write without distractions and interruptions.
To me, that’s the ideal situation and I recommend it. You don’t need to cloister yourself away for hours on end, but you do need kind of privacy that enables your creative juices to flow. A writer enters the privacy of their own mind, get lost in their own creative process, so a door enables you to maintain your creative space in more ways than one.
Planning pays. That is one lesson I have learned well in life. I have never had cause to regret the time I spent doing it. No, I don’t make planning a career. I realize that some perpetually plan and never do. I guard against that. Also, I realize that some plans don’t work out, or even that I purposely change my plans. None of that matters. Having a plan and a schedule always helps.
Interestingly, many people like to write in a Starbucks or other coffee shops. There is no privacy and there is human activity all around. Yet, they are able to sit in the corner with their laptops and submerge themselves into a singularity of purpose.
Why do some writers find a coffee shop a comforting place to write? It eliminates the loneliness they sometimes feel, yet intrusion into their “space” is minimal.
For those who want to experience the ambiance without the risk of coffee jitters, there’s a website/app that allows you to play the background sound at home. I’ve used it myself and think it’s kind of cool.
Regardless of the place you choose, make sure you can use it during the time you have set for yourself. Consistency of writing time and place is an integral part of your overall scheduling strategy.
Protect Your Writing Time
No matter if you write your posts months ahead or the day before publication, you want to maintain an independent writing schedule. Time management is important. You will see your productivity and the quality of your writing increase if you do that.
How do you protect your writing time?
You must set a time to write, of course. Pick a day and time. Stick to it. I have worked with many hundreds of writers through the years, and I can say that, as a class of people, they are among the best excuse-makers that ever walked the planet.
Am I being unkind? I hope you don’t see it that way. I have worked with many promising writers who squandered their vision because something always got in the way of writing. Some excuses were more plausible than others, but the fact is they were all excuses. If you intend to be a blogger, you must sit down and write. It really is that simple.
In addition, there are many writing tools for blogging success related to time management. They help you make the most of your scheduled writing time. One of the best writing tools to keep you focused and increase your productivity is the Pomodoro Method. It is a system that is used by millions of people.
Distraction is a major time-waster. Many people try to research as they write, rather than do their research before they start as they should. That means they are subject to “chasing rabbits” and waste time reading amusing but unrelated information. Some people need to block their ability to search to protect their writing time. All internet browsers allow you to install an extension that limits access to distraction sites for a timeframe you set, and some people benefit from that kind of discipline. Here’s an example of one such blocker for the Chrome browser.
Have Exclusive Use of Your Tools
First, it’s best to have full, exclusive access to your own computer. If you’re sharing a computer with your spouse or children, you will inevitably find it being used during your writing time. Also, when others use your computer, your files are at risk. It’s devastating if you lose all your research or posts-in-progress.
Desktop or Laptop Computer
You don’t need a powerful computer to write or access the Internet. I happen to use a desktop because I have dual monitors and need a lot of speed and memory-intensive software. Most people don’t need that, so a desktop computer is not essential. I have a laptop and use it for many writing and blog posting tasks.
I prefer laptops because you can get them with big screens and large hard drives. Their portability means I can take my writing with me on business, vacation, and even to my local library. I am not dependent on the Internet and access it only when I need to do so. They have the kind of speed I like. To me, a regular laptop is the best blogging machine.
Good laptops for this dedicated purpose are relatively inexpensive, so one is a worthwhile investment. To me, this laptop has a very good balance of speed, storage space, screen size, and price to make it a desirable blogging tool.
Windows computers are often the best for bloggers because they offer more value for money. I have used both Windows and Mac computers over the years and have no prejudice, except when it comes to my wallet. I always got better performance from less expensive Windows computers. However, if you are tempted to buy a Windows computer (any brand) that features “S Mode,” I would advise you to not buy it. They are usually cheaper than other editions of the Windows operating system because they have crippled important features.
If you have a very small budget, you may want to consider buying a Chromebook that you reserve only for yourself for blogging.
The Chromebook Option
Chromebooks have come a long way in recent years. While you still work through a browser, you no longer need to be connected to the Internet to write. You connect when you need to do research or transfer your document files. And, of course, you need to connect to post on your WordPress site.
You don’t have to buy any software with a Chromebook because you can use free Google Docs to write and manage your blog posts. Also, you can use any Android apps and Chrome Web Store products on Chromebooks.
Even though you get free online storage when you buy most Chromebooks, a Chromebook does not have much internal storage. That is possibly the only downside, even though it’s not a major one. If you outgrow your local storage and don’t want to use the Cloud, you can buy additional external local storage, either memory sticks or more robust SDD units rather cheaply.
Prices change, but most are under $200. This Chromebook would be my choice because it has has a larger than average screen in this price range and a decent amount of local storage to protect your most precious writing. By March 2018 Chromebooks made up 60% of computers used in schools, according to Cnet, so that is a glowing recommendation for them.
Blogging from a Tablet or Smartphone
Should you try to write on a tablet? Some people do. However, I’ve tried, and I find a tablet to be a barrier to creativity. I want the flexibility to type, do research and access my blog with minimum effort. Tablets don’t currently meet those requirements.
Use Your Tools Wisely
Yes, you can write your blog posts with a stick on the beach. But the waves will soon wash your words away. Of course, I’m trying to be amusing by suggesting this. But one thing is sure, and that is that you want to control your time and your environment immediately. After you make some money blogging, you’ll probably want to enhance your blogging success by upgrading your computer and other equipment to add to your productivity and profits.
Professional procedures and tools always improve the work of a craftsperson.