Resources for Lost Writers
By: Jordyn Dees
Writing is a journey, and, usually, we can’t go at it alone. It never hurts to have a few resources under your belt to utilize when things start to slow down, or you’re looking to find something new.
Below are a few lists of writer resources that may be useful to you, organized into categories. Except for one category, almost all of these resources are free, so don’t be afraid to use them!
Writing Prompt Websites
As much as writers love their craft, sometimes the ideas just don’t flow. The gas tank is empty, the idea jar is missing, or the inspiration seems lost. But never fear! That’s where writing prompts come in. Here are just a few websites where you can find inspiration for your next project!
- Writer’s Digest: This is a website rich with a lot of information for writers, but specifically their prompt page is great for one you’re trying to get creative.
- DIY MFA: This is one of the more exciting prompt posters out there. With the click of a button, the program will shuffle character, situation, prop, and setting!
- Writing Prompts That Don’t Suck: These are especially silly. This website usually provides a snippet of dialogue or a snapshot of a scene and lets you do the rest!
- Poets and Writers: If you’re a more categorial person and need your prompts separated by genre, this one’s for you! Every week a new prompt for fiction, poetry, and nonfiction is given.
- Social Media: Sites like Tumblr, Twitter, Quora, Pinterest, or even Reddit may not be designed for writers, but searching through “writing prompts” tags can yield inspirational results.
Remember that you can always check out the Writing Prompts section of the Steinbrenner Echo website for prompts curated by our own staff!
Can’t always write in complete silence? You’re not alone. A little bit of background noise can help loosen up your mind when writing. If you can’t decide what to play, try some of these websites.
- A Soft Murmur: For the writer who needs sound, but not music, this websites lets you listen to crickets, birds, waves, fire, or just plain old white noise. You can also customize mixes and set timers!
- Jazz and Rain: This website is exactly what it sounds like. Press play, and write to some smooth jazz with raindrops in the background.
- The Writing Cooperative Playlist Masterpost: This article divides music playlists up by genre, so whether you write to hip-hop, instrumentals, or classical, you’ll find it here.
Soundtracks of fantasy or sci-fi movie can also be great, along with songs that fit the mood of the scene or story you’re writing. However, it’s all very subjective, so if you can write while listening to the Jonas Brothers or Drake, that’s great, too.
Don’t forget to check the Steinbrenner Echo website for even more writing playlists!
Maybe you’re stuck in the planning phase, or can’t figure out a sufficient character arc or plot twist. Whatever it is, these sites have got you covered.
- Procrastinating Writers: This blog will help you not only get started on your next project, but help you along the way, with articles about editing, overcoming writer’s block, and more.
- Eva Deverell: Check out this link for any writing worksheet, printable, or style guide you can imagine, whether you’re fleshing out a character or planning an autobiography. Plus, it also has hundreds of writing prompts for you to scroll through.
- Positive Writer: This blog is where writing advice meets motivation. We all get discouraged during the creative process, so check this page out when you need a pat on the back to lift your spirits!
Goals and Inspiration:
Writing is hard! Sometimes it can be a struggle to even get a few words on the page. So for those days where you know you need to get some drafting done, but can’t find the will to do it, I give you the following websites.
- 750 Words: This site is exactly what it sounds like. It focuses on at least 750 words a day. You can track your progress over the course of months, earn points, and best of, write your heart out!
- NaNoWrimo: This site is designed to help you draft (or revise) a book or a more lengthy project. Although it’s original purpose was to finish a book in the month of November, it’s flexible, so you can start a project anywhere, any time!
- The Pomodoro Timer: Trying to sit down and write for hours doesn’t always work. Sometimes you need to take brain breaks. That’s where the Pomodoro technique comes in: it encourages you to write or work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. After four sets, you can take a 15 minute break. You can adjust as needed.
- Your own writing schedule: If you’re the type of person who loves to set and meet their own goals, it might be time to break out a writing calendar. Dedicate some time every week, or every day, to getting words on the page. But remember to stay disciplined for this DIY method! Read this article for more guidelines on setting up your own schedule.
Not everyone gets inspired staring at a Word Document. Or maybe you’re looking for something that works better for your specific project. The following programs may help you out:
- Scrivener: Especially useful for longer projects, this application provides great organizational opportunities for you project, and has templates for novels, short stories, and script-writing. It does require a one-time purchase, but offers a 30 day free trial if you want to test it out first.
- One Word: This one also works if you’re looking for a writing prompt. It gives you one word and a box to write as much as you can in 60 seconds. Go!
- Writer Duet: Screenwriters rejoice! This is the website for you. It offers formatting for screenplays and stage plays. While a premium version is available, you can still write a couple scripts at a time without having to pay a penny.
Other Writing Resources:
These last few resources are criminally underrated but can often be the most valuable.
- Friends and Family: Whether you need feedback, advice, or someone to gush to about your newest project, those around you will often be happy to lend an ear.
- Teachers and Mentors: If you’re taking a writing class, talk to the instructor if you’re having trouble building a plot or character. They’re there to help you.
- Yourself: You, the author, have totally got this. When you feel lost or stuck, make sure you’re digging inside yourself for that story. The only one that can write your piece, is you.
As helpful as these resources may be to you, don’t forget: all the prompts, advice, and music in the world won’t write your story for you. Only you can do that. And the only way you can do that is by sitting down and writing.
This post was written by Jordyn Dees.