Posted by Rohit Dutt
Friday, 13 April 2012
Writing is tough. As a writer, I know how much of a struggle it can be. Blank pages are terrifying. New assignments even more so. Procrastination is an activity I know all too well.
Yet ironically enough, there has been plenty of material written about the difficulty that exists in writing. I guess it’s easier to write about our troubles than it is to actually face them head on. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been writing an unusual amount of MakeUseOf posts related to writing.
So here’s another perspective on the problem. If you’re like me and have trouble with writing-related motivation, then here are some great Android writing apps that can help boost your spirits with inspiration and ideas
Back in the day, writers would carry around a pocket notebook (most often a Moleskine notebook, made famous by Hemingway) to jot down ideas. After all, creativity often strikes when you least expect it, and it’s one of the most frustrating experiences in the world to lose a great idea because you had nowhere to write it down.
Keep a list of inspired ideas in Catch Notes and look over it every once in a while. You’ll find yourself re-energized and motivated to write about those ideas that you thought were long gone.
As someone who uses multiple electronic devices, I sometimes found myself wanting to write but unable to write because my work was stuck on that other device back at home. With Google Docs, that problem is dealt with.
Access your documents no matter where you are. Knowing that you can work on your project no matter where you are – that’s a great privilege to have.
Some experts say that it takes 21 straight days of repeating a task before it becomes a habit. The same is true in the negative form – it takes 21 straight days of not doing a task in order to break a habit.
The application of this concept is simple. Write every day and it will become a daily habit for you. Use Habit Streak to aid you in that process. Every day, you input to the app whether or not you successfully accomplished your goal for the day. When you have successes on consecutive days, you build a chain. The chain acts as a motivating force, pushing you towards writing so that you don’t break the chain you’ve built.
A good portion of “writer’s block” comes from the overwhelming nature of writing. Whether you’re writing a paper, an article, or a book, the project might seem too daunting. Saying that you want to “write a novel” is akin to saying that you want to “build a city.” There’s so much you have to do and it can end up bogging you down.
That’s why you should break it up into more manageable chunks. Instead of “writing a novel,” break it down into parts, and then chapters, and then scenes. Organize these chunks into tasks, and then use a to-do-list to track your progress. After all, it’s easier to write 100 words 10 separate times than it is to write 1,000 words all at once.
There are plenty of to-do-list apps available for Android, but my personal favorite is Any.DO. It looks sleek, it works fast, and it makes the process of keeping an up-to-date list easy.
If you lurk on any of the huge forum communities out there (e.g., Reddit), then you’ve likely come across someone posting a link to TvTropes followed by the obligatory warning not to click. There’s a sort of ongoing joke that once you visit TvTropes, you’ll be stuck there for hours on end, reading through pages and pages of interesting tropes used in fiction.
But for those of you who write fiction and are creatively blocked, TvTropes can be a godsend. View a random page and meander through all of the links you can find. Engross yourself in that web of information. Inevitably, you’ll find something that will spark inspiration within you.
Use DroidTropes to easily browse through TvTropes from your Android device. I’ve used it a number of times and there’s no telling how many new ideas I’ve gained from using this app.
The Pomodoro Technique is a productivity method that has been covered here at MakeUseOf a number of times from a bunch of different angles. If you don’t know about it, you owe it to yourself to go ahead and give it a try.
This technique works fantastically in tandem with writing goals. Yes, the Pomodoro Technique can definitely help you break through writer’s block.
PomLife Lite is one of the few free Pomodoro timer apps for Android, and it’s worth having on your device. You can apply it to many things outside of writing.
Sometimes motivational quotes are nothing more than empty words. But other times, when you’re really down and out, when you really need something uplifting and inspirational, quotes can be exactly what you need.
To be sure, this app isn’t specifically aimed at writers. It’s more about general success, perseverance, and motivation. Still, it’s very applicable for writers who are struggling to put their pen to paper.
What Android writing apps do you like to use to help motivate you to write more? Let us know in the comments below.