My Writing System: Computer Programs/Websites (Non-PR 12/7/18)

As always, I’d like to begin this week’s blog post by thanking all of you awesome people who’ve followed, liked and/or commented on my blog!

There are no stats this week, as I’m taking the month of December off from the book I finished for NaNo. Instead of boring you with what I’m doing with my downtime during this rest period, I’d like to dedicate this month to an inside look at how I write. Specifically, the programs and apps I use while writing. Please note, I am not an affiliate for any of the programs or apps, nor am I able to provide any kind of discount for the paid ones. These are just my honest opinions based on my own experiences using them.

For this post, I’d like to discuss the computer programs I use when I write. I work on a Lenovo PC, so these opinions are based on use on a PC operating on Windows 10.

DarkRoom – DarkRoom is a free computer program that, once downloaded and installed, allows you to write pretty much free from distractions. You write in green text on a black background, which may not work for some, but is so much easier on my eyes than typing black text on a white screen for hours. I usually just write and then copy/paste into a Word document to save. This can be a little nerve-wracking, but there is a way to view your word stats through the very minimal menu at the top of the program. Every 500-1,000 words written, I copy and paste over into my Word document.

Microsoft Word (Office 365) – I know pretty much anyone writing is familiar with Microsoft Word, so I’ll keep this opinion short. I save all of my writing into a document, formatting for chapters with page-breaks as I go. It’s simple and if you run into issues or discover a function you’d like to achieve, a quick Google search would likely lead you straight to a solution. Easy-peasy.

Dropbox – Dropbox is one of two backup methods I use while writing. When I begin a new writing project, I make a master folder for the project, with subfolders dedicated to different aspects of the project. A folder for drafts, a folder for research, a folder for any related images or graphics, etc. I save all of these folders, and subsequently all of my writing, into Dropbox. Dropbox is a program that you sign up for online and then download to your computer. Through your internet connection, everything you save within Dropbox (so long as you’ve got the space) is saved to the Cloud. So if your computer crashes or is irreparably damaged, your writing is safe and sound.

Google Drive – Similarly to Dropbox, Google Drive is the second backup method I use for my writing. It works a lot like Dropbox as well, but I find that I prefer to actually open it in my browser, then copy my saved writing files over to it. Having my writing and other related files saved in two spots makes me feel as safe and secure as any writer can be, I suppose.

Spotify – Spotify is a streaming service that allows you to listen to pretty much any music you’d like. I know they have a web player, but I actually prefer having the program downloaded to my computer so I don’t have to exhaust my browser with endless windows. You can either get the ad-free, paid version or just use the free version. Personally, unless they’re running a good deal, I usually just use the free version. It still allows you to select the songs you want to listen to and build playlists, you just have to deal with ads every so often. I am one of those writers who likes to create playlists for her books, and Spotify is where I do that!

Ambient Mixer – While I love creating Spotify playlists for my writing projects, I cannot listen to lyrical music while writing. I prefer to write in silence, but if you live with people or write in busier places, then you should check out Ambient Mixer. It’s a website where you can go and choose the background sounds (or mix) you’d like to listen to while writing. I’ve only used this one a few times, so I don’t have any mixes to recommend, but I can confirm that if you choose a good water-based one and crank it up on your headphones or earbuds, it does cancel out the noise happening around you.

I highly recommend checking these programs out, but this is definitely not a definitive or exhaustive list of all the programs you could be using to write. This is just the system I prefer for my own projects. If you come across any programs or websites you’d recommend, feel free to mention them in the comments!

And finally, don’t forget to check out my book, Credence! Releasing on March 1, 2019, it is currently available for digital preorder via Amazon, HERE.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


2 thoughts on “My Writing System: Computer Programs/Websites (Non-PR 12/7/18)

  1. Thanks for sharing! Great post!

    I also don’t like looking at bright, white backgrounds for hours. While I do write everything by hand first, I spend a lot of time on MS Word, typing everything up. So I’ll have to check out DarkRoom.

    And also similar to you, I sometimes need to write with noise, though usually to get music out of my head. I’ve used ambient mix websites but also a a Pandora station I made that has ambient and noise “music” to help keep the earworms at bay.


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