So for once I actually have something to talk about in a blog post (*party poppers “Hello Internet” style*), but before I begin I’d just like to say sorry for the absence of posts recently. I’ve not posted in… a long time, and I honestly have no excuse for that. I just lacked motivation, so no blog posts happened.
So, what I wanted to talk about today was a Writing Tool I recently discovered called Hemingway. Basically what it does is highlight all the ‘bad’ things about your writing/what could be improved on in it, such as sentences that are hard to read, or unnecessary words, or where you’ve written with a passive voice rather than an active voice, so you know what can be improved on. I’ve found that for me the most useful part is highlighting hard-to-read sentences, as I often do find myself rambling on for too long and overcomplicating what I write (aaaaand I just proved myself right there, didn’t I?) It can also give you a word count, a letter count, and an estimate time for how long it takes you to read it. This might be useful for when planning a speech or a debate or some other form of public speaking and you only have a certain about of time to speak for. Or it might be nice just for interests sake!
For example, I put the above paragraph into Hemingway (I have since edited the above paragraph slightly as I wrote it on a different day to the day this is being published, but the point still stands), and this is what it showed me:
In summary, it was a bad paragraph.
Personally, Hemingway is the only writing tool that I use. I’ve seen things about another tool called ILYS (that hides what you’re writing so you can’t get distracted by editing until you’ve reached your word count goal) that looks good, but when I googled it, it turns out you have to pay money for it, and I’ve not actually seen that much about other writing tools. It doesn’t really matter though – I quite like being able to go back and read over what I’d written and edit as I go along, otherwise I feel restricted and lose motivation. What about you? Do you prefer to write freely and do what you want when you want, or do you prefer to have structured writing time dictating what you do and when?
As it’s been a long time (about a month) since my last blog post, I’d have expected myself to have read a lot since them, however, it’s not been as much as I would have liked to have done. This is for one simple reason: my TBR pile. I have found, over multiple occasions, that the predominant reason for why I get into reading slumps is because my TBR pile is too big. I think it’s just the fact that there’s a physical manifestation of how many books I want to read/should have read but haven’t, and it gets me down in the dumps, and as a result I just tend to… stop reading. However, to combat this, I have returned a bunch of books from my TBR pile to the library (but written the titles down for future reference) and hidden the rest of my TBR pile – made up from books that I own – under my bed so that I can’t see it. Problem solved!
So, now for the rambly part of the blog post where I talk about the books I’ve read…
I’ve managed to finish Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan which I’d just begun when I wrote my last blog post, and I really enjoyed it. One element I really liked was how it told the different stories of multiple different people, but how they all linked together somehow. It reminds me of a story I began writing a while ago – about the same time that Alice began writing her now novel-length story, in fact. In that there were several different characters who all lived completely different lives, but as time went on their lived began to overlap. That reminds me, I really wanted to finish that, maybe I should go back to it?
After Two Boys Kissing I read a book called The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING. I have a confession, and that confession is that I only decided to read it because I saw a bookstagram which posted about how many Harry Potter references it had in it, but I am honestly SO glad that I did. I LOVED IT. It’s a book that I’ll definitely recommend to everyone – however it does have longs of swearing, and it all about a murder and justice for the murder and guns and shootings etc. so it might not be for everyone. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and along with hiding my TBR pile it’s recently helped me out of the reading slump.
Now I’ve moved onto Perfect, by Cecelia Ahern. IT FINALLY CAME OUT. Alice leant me the first book – Flawed – back around Christmastime, and immediately after finishing it I messaged her to ask if I could borrow the sequel mentioned at the end, and got the sorry message back that it wasn’t going to come out for another 4 months. But now it has come out, and I am reading it! Hooray! I’m about halfway through now, and I love it so far. So many twists and turns and unexpected events!
Anyway, that’s all I have to say for today, so this is where this blog post it going to end. If you have enjoyed this post please do let us know via the comments on here or our Instagram page (@writeaweek). Also, if you see any free writing tools we could try out, or have any book recommendations, or there’s something you’d like us to write about, then also let us know.