Monday, August 17, 2015

5 apps every writer should have

In this day and age, our cellphones are constantly at our sides. We do almost everything on them, including work, school, and games, but do we use them to help us write?

To be honest I'm very old fashioned in my writing. I like to have a lined notebook and a pencil. I edit with a regular, outdated red pen, and I read books with actual paper pages (gasp!) But even though I like to use those things, my phone can still help me write by providing prompts, other writing pieces, and even an app so I can blog (thank goodness).

1. Wattpad- free!
Wattpad is a great place to discover young writers you like and to get discovered yourself. You can publish books that you write and have people comment what they think and what edits they make. You can read other's works and comment thoughts on them. It will make you a better writer and a better editor. Reading other's comments have showed me some things that I missed when I was reading it.

2. Pinterest- free!
What better way to get writing prompts, diy journal ideas, and book reviews than on this huge idea server? Pinterest is my #1 app on my phone. All of my friends and family insist I'm addicted, I'd have to say I agree with them. Pinterest has tons of articles about writing, tips, prompts, and fandom type things (the ultimate app right?!).

3. GoodReads- free! (Not pictured)
GoodReads is a wonderful place to get with other readers and talk books. You can write book reviews and rate books you have read, and have a list of to-read books. Follow your favorite authors and see what they are reading (told you great writers read)

4. Writing prompts- free!
Need a quick write? Need something for your character to do? Use this app! There are over 100 prompts to choose from and if you don't like it, go to the next one.

5. Amazon Kindle/NOOK- free!
Again I say, good writers read. What better way to read than everywhere? If you have one of these apps you can read anywhere at anytime! Heaven right?! There are free books and ones you have to pay for. Amazon kindle is from Amazon (duh) NOOK is from Barnes and Noble so if you get gift cards to eitherof those places you can use them on your phone for e-books.

Bonus! Instagram (not pictured) is a great place to get writing prompts, inspiration, and quotes!

I know there are some other great apps out there for writers, but in my opinion, these are the best. I don't spend money on apps, so these are all free and ready to use as soon as you set up an account! Be sure to search me at thesierraspot on the social networking apps.

Happy writing!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Writer's Guide to Journals

In my last post, I told you all that journaling would help you improve as a writer, however, I did not specify what type of journaling would benefit your writing. So, in this post, I will do just that.
When journaling, it doesn't matter what you write. You could write stories, like a writing journal, you could write about your experiences, thoughts, and feelings, like a regular journal, you could mix them up and create a journal that includes both of them, you could write down conversations you hear, you could sketch something and then write about it. There is no limit to the way you could get creative with these. Make it yours.
I have many journals. At least three, two of which were mentioned above, and many more notebooks full of random writing to go along with them. My journals have no pattern, whatever I think of is what I write down. I write when I feel like it, not usually in every journal every day. I try to at least write something everyday, but that doesn't usually happen. My advice to you would be to make it so you love it. If one type of journal doesn't work for you, say forget it and move on to a different one. Writing isn't supposed to be a chore, if it is you need to go find something new.
The Regular Journal:
For this journal I use a bound journal. You can find them pretty much everywhere. There are tons of different kinds, I use lined, but that doesn't mean you have to. I try to write in this journal twice a week. I put the date and day on the top of the page (ex: Saturday, 08/08/2015) and then I move on to writing about what has happened lately, what is on my mind, and how people are. I try to write in this journal at least three times a week, but it usually ends up as twice a week. I'll eventually reread this journal when I'm older and have forgot most of it, but for now, I'll use it as writing practice.
A writer's journal (also known as a writer's notebook):
For this journal I use a regular lined notebook. You could decorate the cover with cut out magazine pieces, glitter, duck tape, or even sharpies. I have done all of those at one point or another but the one I'm using now is just plain. I try to write in this journal 5 days a week. I write blurbs of fiction and stories, but some other ideas are a continuation of a book or movie, the reason for a song, poetry, childhood tales, and the list of ideas goes on.
The art journal:
I am not an artist, so I don't have one of these, but I have friends who are and they generously explained to me how it works and what they liked and disliked. One suggestion was an old book, they sketched on the pages and wrote in the margins, and in between the lines. To me, it looked really cool, but some people would be appalled at the destruction of a good book. Another idea was to buy a sketchbook and write and draw on those pages. I think you could just use a regular notebook or journal, but I'm not an artist so I might be wrong. The people I talked to said that they wrote first, and then sketched what they wrote about, but it could be done the other way around. They said they wrote whenever they felt like it, and had no schedule that they tried to stay on. They said they painted, sketched, and wrote all over the pages of their journals. Sounds good to me.
Make your own:
Just because other people don't do it doesn't mean you can't. Maybe you want to do all three, go for it! You don't have to show anyone unless you want it to, this is for you, not anyone else. Put a crazy twist on one, make your own notebook, there are tons of ways you can personalize your journal.

Happy writing!