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Useful Online Resources All Writers Should Know About

Useful Online Resources All Writers Should Know About

There is a simple explanation for the fact that some writers claim to have never used modern writing tools: they are lying! With all those awesome technological inventions that make a writer’s work easier and more productive, it would be madness to remain stuck to the conventional typewriter.

If you don’t try out some of the most effective writing tools available today, you’ll never know how fast and constructive you can really be. Below you’ll find a list of some very cool tools that every contemporary writer should experiment with.

1. Writers Net

Writersnet

    Becoming part of a forum where writers gather to communicate and discuss each other’s work can be a turning point in your career. Don’t get overwhelmed by the critique though; all writers get a bit harsh when assessing another author’s work.

    2. NanoWriMo

    Nanowrimo

      This tool will help you track the progress you make and get you great support from the community of writers. If you want to meet fellow writers online or even in person, this is the right website to help you make contact.

      3. Ninja Essays

      Essay writer

        Ninja Essays’ blog provides easy-to-use advice on academic writing. Essay writers can also hire an expert to make sure that their story is supported by strong facts, and get their content edited by a professional editor for a surprisingly affordable price.

        4. OmniOutliner

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        Omni

          OmniOutliner provides all the features you need in order to start constructing a novel and get it written faster than you expected. You can use the tool for writing, as well as structuring information and creating a focused frame that will preserve the logical flow of your story.

          5. WritingHouse

          Citation generator

            This is the easiest way to implement a proper referencing style (be it APA, MLA, Chicago or Harvard) without having to learn the distracting details and rules required for writing them. All you need to do is choose a style and type of document, fill in the form, click ‘add,’ and download your properly formatted document.

            6. Nisus Writer (Pro)

            Nisus

              This tool holds a prestigious reputation within the writing community. Although it looks similar to the conventional MS Word on first sight, it provides a much prettier design and awesome features that make it one of the greatest word processors you could possibly use.

              7. PageFour

              PF

                This is another choice for creative writers and novelists who are looking for a simplistic interface that doesn’t complicate things with any unnecessary options, but still provides everything they could possibly need. PageFour provides outlining and processing features that will make the creation of your work easier.

                8. Daily Writing Tips

                DWT

                  Daily Writing Tips provides easy-to-use advice on writing, grammar, correct word usage and etymology. The archives and comments sections are great resources too.

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                  9. NewNovelist

                  NN

                    With the help of this writing software, you can take notes of your inspirational ideas whenever they hit you. There is no need to interrupt the process of writing in order to elaborate on a new idea and record it with another tool; NewNovelist will help you take notes within the same outline and make your writing smarter and faster.

                    10. BookBaby

                    BB

                      If you want to find a way to publish your books without much hassle and a huge investment, then you will love BookBaby – the eBook publishing and distribution website that enables you to get your eBooks to many readers and get paid for it. The service doesn’t take any percentage; you keep 100% of the payments.

                      11. WriteRoom

                      WR

                        Distractions are really bad for your daily goals and plans. If you are wondering what you have been doing with all that time without getting any pages completed, then WriteRoom is an essential tool for you. It will enable you to write in a distraction-free environment with simplicity that inspires your brain to stay absorbed by the current task.

                        12. Jer’s Novel Writer

                        Jer

                          This is one of the coolest writing programs available for Mac users. You can use margin notes to annotate text, and keep notes on the entire text in order to prevent your ideas from evaporating and add character information whenever a new concept hits you.

                          13. Padlet

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                          Padlet

                            You may have heard about this website under the name Wallwisher, but it changed its name recently after it underwent a makeover. This website is a virtual board that allows you to stick notes and easily share them with other users. The moderation and privacy settings enable students to become members of their teacher’s board, and have access to important updates about their schoolwork.

                            14. Celly

                            Celly

                              When it comes to posting quick thoughts, questions and comments, there isn’t a tool more effective than Celly. Its concept is similar to Twitter, but the updates are shared with a private group of people (a cell).

                              15. Pinterest

                              Pinterest

                                This is a great tool for writers – you can use it to pin ideas, favorite books, blogs, great websites, or anything else that interests you, and share it with the entire world. The best thing about Pinterest is that it doesn’t oblige its users to follow everything someone pins, so the writers can stay updated with content that truly interests them. The visual nature of Pinterest is a great way of making the writing process more effective.

                                16. TutorsClass

                                TutorsClass

                                  TutorsClass is a great way for writers to reach out to a greater number of readers and earn a rewarding payment during the process.

                                  17. Infogr.am

                                  Info

                                    If you are a blog writer Infogr.am is for you! This tool offers various templates that provide a quick way for writers to represent their information visually.

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                                    18. Easel.ly

                                    Ease

                                      This tool provides themes that blog writers can drag onto bank canvases and get an easy start to add, edit, and size icons to represent their information visually. The tool doesn’t require advanced computer knowledge, so anyone with basic tech skills can use it.

                                      19. Delivr

                                      delivr

                                        Share your links to your books with Delivr! This tool enables its users to create QR codes, which can be easily scanned by a mobile device and trigger a website or an image.

                                        20. Wiggio

                                        wig

                                          This tool is the easiest free way for writers to work in groups. There is a reason why over 100,000 groups are using Wiggio for different purposes: it offers a great deal of tools with no age restrictions (provided there is permission by a parent for young students).

                                          Get ready to explore a new world of opportunities

                                          As a creative writer, how could you not appreciate the new inventions that are meant to make your job easier? There are many tools, websites, and resources that turn you into a better, faster writer. You will fall in love with your profession all over again as soon as you start exploring the tools listed above.

                                          Featured photo credit: Jay via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on November 18, 2019

                                          30 Fun Things to Do at Home

                                          30 Fun Things to Do at Home

                                          I’m BORED! Have you ever heard someone in your family use those words?

                                          Most of us have.

                                          I barred that word from my house. Whenever someone said they were bored, I gave them two options:

                                          First, there is always work that can be done. Secondly, find something to do.

                                          There are always creative things that we can do at home. You just need to put some thought and imagination into your day.

                                          The list of enjoyable things you can do is inexhaustible. I am going to share 30 fun things to do at home. Some of the events are best done at appropriate times of the year. Enjoy!

                                          1. Have a Costume Night

                                            Generally, the only time we can get away with putting on costumes is on Halloween. It is so entertaining to put on a costume and play.

                                            Host an evening where everyone has to dress up in a costume. (Some costume ideas here!) Eat your dinner that evening all dressed up. Play games and just have a party. You can even make it a “themed” costume party by choosing a time era or movie characters. Shape it to meet your interests.

                                            2. Throw an Indoor Picnic

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                                              Set out a picnic blanket and basket of food and eat your dinner as though you were having a picnic. Just having variety in your family life brings you closer together as a family unit. Events like this are often the catalyst for a fun-filled evening.

                                              3. Have a Christmas Party (*In the Summer)

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                                                Set up some Christmas decorations and have a Christmas celebration during the summer.

                                                Prior to this event, buy a few Christmas presents to give to an organization that accepts donations for families in need at Christmas time. Have wrapping paper on hand. Wrap up the gifts, while thinking of the joy they will bring to some little girl or boy at Christmas.

                                                This serves to make your family mindful of others. Everyone in the family will be excited when Christmas comes and they can donate the gifts that you wrapped in the summer. It’s unique to have a Christmas party during the summer.

                                                4. Host an International Dinner Night

                                                As a family, pick out a country you would like to learn more about and are interested in. Find cuisine that is unique to that country. Prepare a dinner that would be served in that country.

                                                The family can even find clothing that is worn in the country and wear it to dinner. Each family member would be responsible to bring one fact about the country to share at dinner time. For example, you could choose Mexico. You could serve tacos, enchiladas,and arroz con pollo.

                                                Everyone could wear sombreros to dinner. Plan for an evening of creative learning time!

                                                5. Film a “Newscast”

                                                The technology that exists today is awesome. Smartphones come equipped to make videos.

                                                Set up and make a newscast of events that are going on locally or events that are taking place in your family circle. This will also help everyone learn to speak in public. Doing this at home is an unusual way to interact as a family.

                                                6. Have an Indoor/Outdoor Scavenger Hunt

                                                  Everyone loves hunting for hidden things. Type up a list of things that need to be found and give everyone a list. The things can be inside your home or even outdoors around the yard. Put a time limit on how long they have to locate the articles.

                                                  Be creative. You can even put some things in the form of clues, so everyone has to figure out what the object is. Have a small prize for the winner.

                                                  7. Learn to Do Nail Art

                                                  Nail art is the “in” thing right now. You see people with their fancy nails everywhere. With some patience, you can learn to do this at home. Spend time practicing this. You can find kits and tools for this at department stores and drug stores. It is relaxing to sit around painting nails and compare the outcomes.

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                                                  8. Plant Seedlings

                                                  Planting seedlings and watching their growth is rewarding, as well as educational. You would need to do a bit of research as to what would be the best time to plant. The time frame fluctuates between various types of plants. Most plants take 3-15 weeks to mature to a level to be transplanted into a garden. You would want to know what type of plants you are planting and the time needed. It brings great joy to watch them develop and bloom once they are transplanted into a garden.

                                                  9. Host a Themed Movie Night

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                                                    There are many movies that have sequels. Pick a genre that your family would enjoy. Plan for a whole evening of back-to-back viewing of the movies. Make sure you have plenty of popcorn and snacks on hand! If you want to be really creative, find props that go with the movie and set them out. You can even make a dessert that matches the movie theme. May the force be with you!

                                                    10. Play Games

                                                    Board games are an excellent way to have fun at home. There are so many options to choose from. Some of our favorites include Ticket to Ride, Catan, Sequence, and Risk. These are just a few of the many varieties out there. Go to a local game store and see what appeals to the taste of your family.. The great thing about board games is that you are able to interact with everyone while playing. Let the games begin!

                                                    11. Film a Cooking Show

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                                                      Have you ever watched the cooking shows on TV? Cooking is a hot topic. In fact, cooking shows are so popular these days that there are networks that only broadcast shows about cooking.  Pick out a recipe you would like to try. Pretend you are hosting your own cooking show and video it. Make sure the whole family participates, in one way or another. You are certain to have a lot of laughs while watching your family episode.

                                                      12. Make Christmas Cards

                                                      Homemade Christmas cards are unique and special. Craft stores and department stores sell supplies that you can purchase to make beautiful cards. Use your creative skills and have an evening where you all come together and make Christmas cards to send to your family and friends.

                                                      13. Make a Scarecrow

                                                        Autumn is never complete without the fun of making a scarecrow. Rustling in the fallen leaves and stuffing them into old clothing brings out the kid in everyone.

                                                        One time while visiting my grandfather, I thought it would be fun to make him a scarecrow for his yard. I never imagined that he would come out and start making it with me. He was well into his 80s, and yet the joy in his eyes when we made that scarecrow together was a memory I will always cherish.

                                                        For those who like to be different, you can always make an indoor scarecrow at any time of year, using newspaper or paper towels as stuffing.

                                                        14. Have a Karaoke Night

                                                        Plan an evening of karaoke. This is a great way to spend family time together. PlayStation and Wii have several options to pick from. From experience, this is an evening of lots of laughter and joy! Everyone loves to sing…even those who might not have a singing voice like to bust out at karaoke.

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                                                        15. Do a Puzzle

                                                        Puzzle-making is a calming way to spend time together at home. Hours can be spent finding just the right pieces to add to the puzzle. The best part is when you see the finished product. This isn’t a one-night activity, so set aside a place that the puzzle can be undisturbed. You can find mats that roll your puzzle up when you aren’t working on it. If you have a spare table that isn’t used daily, you could have it there on display and readily available to continue on.

                                                        16. Play with Lego

                                                        I am sure you have seen some amazing pieces of art made with Lego. Of course, not everyone has talent enough to make huge projects with Lego. Fortunately, the pleasure isn’t limited to your ability to build great things. Regardless of what you build, simply be creative and let the kid in you come out.

                                                        17. Make Jewelry

                                                        Learning to make jewelry isn’t that difficult. You can find many links on the internet that will teach you how to make earrings and necklaces.

                                                        Visit your local craft store or department store and purchase some tools and supplies. Take your time and visualize what you want the finished product to look like. The jewelry you make can also be presents to give away. That is, of course, if you can bear to part with what you made.

                                                        18. Host an English Tea Party

                                                          Some of us can remember being a little girl and having tea parties, chatting with our imaginary friends and sipping tea. Now that you are older, why not have a real tea party? Have the family dress up in their best outfits and host an English Tea Party. There are guidelines, recipes, and even games to play on the internet. Do a bit of exploring and planning, then host the perfect tea party at home for your family.

                                                          19. Plant Bulbs

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                                                            There are two times of year that bulbs can be planted. In the fall, you can plant spring bulbs such as tulips and daffodils. Alliums, agapanthus, cannas and some other summer bulbs can be planted in early spring. Set aside an appropriate time and plant bulbs in your yard. You will reap rewards when you see the sprouts starting to come up. Your yard will look lovely with the flowers blooming.

                                                            20. Read a Book

                                                            The art of reading aloud has lost its popularity. Pick out a book that would interest your family and have an evening each week that you read the story aloud. Take turns reading out loud. Interact about what is going on in the story line. This can be your own family book club.

                                                            Looking for books to read next? Here’re some self-help books to read, and here’re some great books for fiction lovers.

                                                            21. Have a Water Balloon Fight

                                                            This activity is best done outdoors in warm weather. This is an “action” activity that brings out the youthfulness in all of us. Depending on the size of your family, you can have teams for this. Fill up as many balloons as you like with water. Go outside and aim for your target. Run, laugh and have fun!

                                                            22. Learn Yoga

                                                            Yoga is so beneficial for every age group. As a family unit, learn yoga. Once again, there are many learning tools for this. You can find videos at your local library. This is a refreshing way to enjoy healthy interaction as a family.

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                                                            23. Invent a Writing Code

                                                            Invent your own code and write messages to each other. Take the alphabet and transform it into symbols and signs to represent each letter. It’s exciting to come up with your code. Once it is created, give everyone a copy of the code, and begin writing messages to one another. It will be interesting to translate words into the special code you made.

                                                            24. Have a Photo Shoot

                                                            Gather together some props and outfits and take family pictures. Make sure each member has individual shots as well. Acting as a professional photographer, be creative in the photos you take. Take funny pictures. Take serious pictures. Take candid shots. The joy of digital photography is that you can take as many photos as you like and delete what doesn’t work. Make sure you add props to make it interesting!

                                                            25. Learn Calligraphy

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                                                              Learning a new technique is always interesting. Calligraphy is a well-known type of writing with special pens. Craft stores and department stores have kits designed to assist you in the learning process. Write out poetry or some of your favorite quotes. You never know, you might acquire a talent and be able to frame some of your work.

                                                              26. Have a BBQ

                                                              It’s always enjoyable to have a barbecue. You can cook up your food and eat outside. After you are finished, have a campfire and tell scary stories. Remember how fun it is to sit around a campfire telling stories. Make this happen in your yard. Enjoy the night sky. Most of all, enjoy each other!

                                                              27. Invent Your Own Board Game

                                                              Discuss what type of game you want to make. Design the board together. Make the rules that will need to be followed. Make the game pieces that you will need. Play the game that you invented. Coming up with the game and the rules you want to make is an awesome time of interaction with one another. The results of your collaboration will be so exciting to view and play.

                                                              28. Have a Spa Night

                                                              Plan an evening where you can do an at-home spa night. Light candles, put on relaxing music, and make your atmosphere resemble a spa. You can do facials, manicures, and pedicures. You also can have bubble baths. Schedule it so that each person is doing a different thing and rotate the process. Your family will enjoy this time of pampering and relaxing.

                                                              29. Play Charades

                                                              This game has existed for such a long time and yet it never grows old. You can buy charade games already packaged. However, feel free to make up your own.

                                                              Each family member can contribute by writing down charades on index cards. Watching your family members act out the charade while the others are guessing is guaranteed to be a night full of fun and laughter.

                                                              30. Make a Family Scrapbook

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                                                                Choose an assortment of family pictures taken during different events. Compile these photos into groups and begin to make a scrapbook. Perhaps you want to focus on a special trip your family took or another meaningful event you wish to document. The ideas for creating your family scrapbook are endless. Personalize this and make it your own; after all, this is your story!

                                                                I hope that out of this list you will find some new things that you want to try at home. We have already done most of the things on this list as a family, and we look forward to doing the few that are left. Have fun and make some unique family memories that will be remembered for years to come.

                                                                More Ideas of Fun Things to Do

                                                                Featured photo credit: Andreina Vincentelli via unsplash.com

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