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  • Writer's pictureRosie J.

#IWSG July 2024: Writing Tools

The Insecure Writer's Support Group in alternating white and orange words

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Let’s rock the neurotic writing world! Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the July 3 posting of the IWSG are JS Pailly, Rebecca Douglass, Pat Garcia, Louise-Fundy Blue, and Natalie Aguirre!

The following link will allow you to peruse everyone in the Blog Hop.


July 3 question - What are your favorite writing processing (e.g. Word, Scrivener, yWriter, Dabble), writing apps, software, and tools? Why do you recommend them? And which one is your all time favorite that you cannot live without and use daily or at least whenever you write?


Hello, friends!

July has come already. I don't know about where y'all live, but I'm in the Southeast and it is absolutely scorching hot outside right now. We had a nice, mild spring and BAM summer got here like "did ya miss me? hope spring didn't give you false hope for a mild summer!"

It's been a busy and productive month. I'm currently heading full steam ahead toward jumping into indie author life with a projected release date of October 1st for my steamy, suspenseful holiday romance The Tinsel Twist.

I've been querying and had a few full requests, but they've ultimately ended in rejection. I'm pretty stoked about being an indie author and doing it myself though. I even went to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) near me, which is part of the federal Small Business Administration, and had a FREE consult to make sure I'm doing everything right to set up my LLC.

I know a lot of authors don't set up an LLC right away, but I've got some big long-term plans (dreams) that will require an LLC set-up, and I'd rather do it at the beginning instead of trying to backtrack and figure it out later.

I'm so glad someone tipped me off to the SBDC, and I highly recommend finding the one near you if you ever plan to set-up your writing career as a business. It's 100% free, and I got some amazing resources I hadn't known about before. (If you're American, anyway. I don't know what other countries offer.)

BIG PLANS for the future.

I'm also super excited that I ordered a print copy of my book for my editing plans this month, and it arrived on Monday. It's a large print, super spaced out for editing, 8.5x11 sized book so I can easily write all over it, but it's been so awesome to see it in print. It's like a freaking text book.

Rose excitedly holding a box

The box being opened to reveal a book spine that reads The Tinsel...

I've seen my words in print before as a ghostwriter, but it's not the dang same. And it made me even more excited about publishing this fall. I have maybe carried the book around the house with me for two days, and it sat on my lap all day Monday. Sorry to my cats.

Next week, my partner and I are going to another con! It's the SAGA Genre Fiction Writer's Conference combined with the sci-fi/fantasy fandom con ConGregate.

This will be my third year going to SAGA, but it's the first year they've combined with ConGregate, so I'm excited to see how that goes.

I highly recommend going to Cons, and here are some blogs if you'd like to read my recap of ConCarolinas 2024 from last month, or my recap of SAGA 2023.

I'm also working on a facelift for the website and getting my newsletter up and running. By the August, IWSG post it should all be up and running!

The IWSG Prompt - Writing Tools

Ah, writing tools, how I love thee.

I was really excited when I saw this prompt. I am not a Scrivener user. Don't take my writer card, please. I just can't do it. I tried it about ten years ago and was too overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles and trying to figure out what everything does. Which, I know, you don't have to do all of that, but that's just how my brain works. I have to know everything there is to know about a program so I can use it to its fullest potential. And that really slowed me down with writing, because it was so easy to procrastinate about writing by playing with all the fun things Scrivener can do!

I also have other issues with Scrivener that keeps it from being a good tool for me. I like to have cloud-based access to my writing, and Scrivener makes that hard. I need to be able to pull it up anywhere I go and from any device. So while it is a great tool, it's not one that works for me.

That being said, I have been using Dabble for a couple of years now for drafting. It is like Scrivener Lite, it is cloud-based, and it gives me all I need for drafting. A place to hold notes, a way to separate chapters and scenes, a timer for sprints, a progress/goal bar. It's been great! Although, I've really only heavily used it during NaNoWriMo events. The biggest drawback is that it does cost a monthly subscription, but there is a whole related forum based community that comes along with Dabble call the Writer's Cafe. So that's a nice little addition to using Dabble. And Dabble exports beautifully to Word for sending the document to an editor or formatting it for yourself, or whatever you need it for.

Otherwise, I just use Google Docs and Word. When I'm not drafting in Dabble, I'm drafting in Docs, because I can access it when I'm offline if I need to and the sharing is built in. (I should clarify Dabble does have an offline option too but I don't have it set up on all my devices.) Plus, GDocs is freeeee. You really can't beat free. It has its downsides though, like large documents can get laggy, and brainstorming is more difficult. But I usually make a Google spreadsheet for my project or just make a section at the end of the doc for notes/brainstorming. I use the headers to make the navigation pane, and it's pretty easy to jump around the document if I need to. And it's what I use to share with Alpha/Beta readers.

I am buying Atticus for formatting and am considering trying it out for drafting. It is cloud-based and similar to Dabble in function. The one-time price of Atticus is a year's worth of Dabble subscription. So if I can use Atticus instead for drafting, I can save that money.

I also use ProWriting Aid to help me with my self-edits. It's extremely useful to me, but I've been scoping out AutoCrit, too. For now, I'm happy with PWA.

I think that's about all I use regularly. I think they're great programs, but there are so many awesome writing tools out there. It can be overwhelming at times, but really you have to find the system that works for you. Just like for me, a lot of authors can't function without Scrivener, but I can't function with it.

I've really just mentioned tools for drafting and editing! Don't even get me started on tools for indie authors for sending out ARCs and formatting and marketing and stuff like that! I use Canva ALL THE TIME. Canva Pro is so worth it for social media posts.

Anyway, I think that's everything I use. I'm looking forward to seeing what works for other authors. Even if I don't use the tools myself, I love being able to recommend tools to other writers who are looking for something and generally keep a list of available options that I can share with people.

Thanks for stopping by and let me know in the comments about how your summer is going so far and what writing tools you like to use!

Looking forward to traversing the blog hop this month.

Be sure to see my links down below for other places to keep up with me online!

For now,

Rosie J.

an outline of a rose in bloom

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