I’m often asked about the resources and tools I use in my writing life. Below is a list, along with additional resources that you may find interesting.
[Please note: Some of the links are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission on purchases made through these links. This is at no extra cost to you. Also know that I use all these myself and only recommend those that I trust. Thanks!]
Apps & Services
I seriously can’t recommend Scrivener enough as a writing app for anyone writing a novel or any type of long-form writing. Scrivener can also be used for poetry, short stories, and blogging, all of which I still use, but to get the most out of the app it is best used with longer-form projects.
Scrivener is much more detailed and offers more functions than Microsoft Word or Google Docs. I still use both of these programs, but when I’m in the trenches and working on my novel my go-to writing app/program is definitely Scrivener. Some of my favorite functions of Scrivener are the drag and drop feature, especially with photos; side by side view; and most importantly, the corkboard. I LOVE the corkboard feature. It is so easy to set up scene cards, character profiles, and settings and view them all on one board. It is genius!
There is a bit of a learning curve with Scrivener, but there are so many YouTube videos and tutorials out there that you’ll be a pro in no time.
Aeon Timeline is another writing app that I frequently use. I am a big planner, so I have quite a lengthy backstory for each of my main characters. For example, my main character in A Deadly Melody is Elle. She is the lead singer of the rock band, elleamore. I need to know when the band formed, how long she has been singing, when she first started playing the piano, when they won their first Grammy. . . Yeah! It is hard to keep track of all of that in Scrivener, so this is where Aeon Timeline shines.
Another great feature of Aeon Timeline is it allows you to set up different arcs for you novel. I have character arcs, story arcs, and, because A Deadly Melody is part of a tetralogy, a series arc, as well. They are also all color coded, so they are easy to find. Aeon Timeline definitely has a lot to offer creative writers.
Just like Scrivener, there is a learning curve for this app. There are a few tutorials and sample timelines included with the app, which help a lot. It really isn’t hard to figure it out once you start using it.
I have used Namecheap for my website and blog domains for almost 10 years and as my hosting site for two years – I used another very well known hosting site prior to Namecheap, which was not only terrible but had me locked into a two-year contract. I have been extremely happy with their pricing and services. And after almost 10 years, I have only had two issues, both of which were resolved quickly. I even moved my 11-year-old craft blog from Blogger to WordPress and had zero issues.
I know there are more well known hosting companies out there, but for the cost, security, and support, you just can’t beat Namecheap. I highly recommend Namecheap. Plus, they can register your domain name, set up your hosting site, and get your author site up and running in no time.
If I had to choose only one streaming service to have in my life it would be Spotify. As someone who has spent thousands of dollars on albums, cassettes, CDs, and downloads, Spotify has been a lifesaver (and a money saver). And while I do pay for the premium service, in the long run it saves me money.
I love that I can create as many playlists as I want, and believe me I do, and then download them onto my device and take them with me. This is so important for when I am at a write-in or even in the car. I can not write without music, so I use Spotify A LOT!
I have been a huge fan of Creativelive for many years. I originally began watching their free streaming classes for my craft blog and business. I learned a ton of invaluable information from crafty greats like Vickie Howell, Tara Gentile, and Megan Auman. It wasn’t until NaNoWriMo 2018 that I realized they offered writing classes, as well.
How to Nail Your First Three Pages, The Anatomy of a Scene, Wired for Story, Writing Your Story, and How to Write and Publish an Ebook are just a sample of some of the writing classes Creativelive offers. And one of the best things about Creativelive is they offer many of their classes for free. The Upcoming Classes link keeps you informed of all of the classes that will be offered for free for several weeks. I have watched many classes for free, and then loved them so much that I purchased them. I’m up to fifteen purchased classes, and counting! If you sign up with THIS LINK, you will receive a discount off of your first class!
I have just recently fallen down the rabbit hole that is Youtube. I am a bit late to the party. While watching hours and hours of content, I have come across so many amazing writers who offer their knowledge, inspiration, and writing strategies all for free.
Below are some channels, videos, and video series’ that I have found interesting and helpful:
How to Create Your Self-Publishing Plan and Timeline by Bethany Atazadeh
How to Make a Story Bible by Bethany Atazadeh
How to Use Srivener to Write a Novel by Abbie Emmons
How to Get Started as a Writer by Heart Breathings
How I Use An Old Happy Planner for Plotting by Heart Breathings
Plan Your Novel Using Index Cards by Heart Breathings
How to Format a Book in Word by Vivien Reis
How to Plan and Write a Series series by Heart Breathings
How to Plot Your Novel series by Heart Breathings
How to Write a Novel with the 3 Act Story Structure series by Abbie Emmons
Scrivener 3 by Literature and Latte
My writing life completely changed the moment I watched Heart Breathings video on how she transformed an old Happy Planner into a plotting notebook. My mind was completely blown! It was then that I started researching writer notebooks. For years I have been keeping track of all of my writing “stuff” in Scrivener. That is fine, but I don’t always have my laptop with me. Enter, the writing notebook!
For me, The Happy Planner is the best planner for my writing notebook. The main draw of The Happy Planner is its ring bound system, which makes inserting and removing pages super easy. There are also a ton of designs, inserts, stickers, pouches, and accessories available to let you customize your planner to your liking. It can get a little addictive, though, so you are warned.
This is what I’m using for my writing notebook and series Bible. I find my The Happy Planner supplies online at The Happy Planner website, Michaels, Joann Fabric, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, and, Scrapbook.com.
I recently ordered my first Erin Condren monthly planner, which I absolutely love. I have also been using it as a writing notebook, but not for my actual writing or novels but for my writing/editorial calendar. In my monthly planner, I have included my writing schedule, editorial calendar, social media posts, and blog posts schedule.
While it doesn’t allow for pages to be inserted or removed, it does include plenty of lined pages. I have been using the extra pages to jot down notes, make calendars for each of my books, and lists of all of my blog posts and website to-do lists. I also have pages to track my word sprints, expenses, and social media followers.
I also LOVE the Erin Condren coiled notebooks. I have lined ones for writing notes and for each book I am writing. I really love a good spiral notebook, and these notebooks are great. The paper is nice and thicker than many of the notebooks you find in local stores. I also love picking fun covers for each one. My favorite is the Marquee Notebook in hot pink with the words, “Writing is Hard” on the cover. I love it!