Now I’m writing trendy titles on Medium. It’s the world upside down. I don’t recognize myself anymore. I have to consult. Or maybe I’m still me and it’s all perfectly controlled. Yes, that’s it, I’m sure.
As much as I love soup, I won’t be serving it to you tonight. Those who read me for a long time know that this is not my style. I just want to talk about writing, as I’ve done before. No tricks here.
We all have our own writing habits. We all have our favorite tools to accompany us on our journey through words. We all know what our best sources of inspiration are to help us write wonderful stories.
Today, I wanted to share with you my ten favorite resources that help me live my writing practice and my role as Scribe editor fully and passionately. Maybe, at least I hope so, that it could be useful if you are starting to write or making your first steps on Medium.
Enjoy your reading!
The funny polar bear is back with a bang! For years, I couldn’t write without it. Whether it was for simple note-taking or writing long stories, I would open the app (on mobile or computer) every time I wanted to put my ideas into words. Then I wanted to try another application, iA Writer, and I let the bear hibernate wisely for many months.
Today, the bear has come out of its sleep, and I have adopted it again! I finally find the app much more pleasant to use than any other one I could test, and it is with happiness that I am writing these lines under the bear’s eyes. The classification by tags (you can create sub-tags, useful for a book with several chapters for example) and the very advanced customization of the interface are really appreciable features. In short, to try it is to adopt it!
Bear is free, but you can choose a monthly ($1.49) or yearly ($14.99) subscription to take advantage of features such as export, synchronization between your different devices, and complete customization. The only small negative is that you need to have a Mac or an iPhone to enjoy it since the app is only available for Apple users. So, hoping you are an Apple addict, keep an eye on the next Scribe newsletters, the polar bear might appear soon…
I don’t have to introduce you to Unsplash anymore, which is for me the best royalty-free image bank in the world. Not a day goes by without me collecting images and keeping them warm for future stories and poems.
I’ll tell you a secret: Many of my stories come to me when I scroll through these photos. As I look at them, I think back to moments I’ve experienced, memories, discussions I’ve had with loved ones. Or simply, the photos help me to put into words thoughts that run through me unconsciously.
I have written some of my poems almost instantly after viewing a photo. Images speak to me, and that’s why my brain is often in turmoil after a long walk in nature. It is in contact with the world that I find inspiration and that I can write more easily. Perhaps as writers, our ability to see colors and shapes is our greatest source of inspiration.
I also love to tell the story of Miles Davis, who composed the entire score of the film “Ascenseur pour l’échafaud” while watching the images, trumpet in hand. It took only one session, on the night of December 4–5, 1957, to record the soundtrack.
I’m a fan of Noisli! When I really need to be focused to write, I open a new tab with Noisli, compose my background music, and here I go for a long writing session. For example, I like to write in the rain, locked up in my tent. Try it, I’m willing to bet you won’t be able to do without it anymore.
To have unlimited access to Noisli (with many advantages) you can choose the $10 per month subscription. But the free version still allows you to enjoy great writing experiences. Finally, you should know that I have already collaborated with Noisli in a writing contest via Scribe, and it could happen again.
Not all of us are lucky enough to be able to write every day sitting on our butts in the grass at the foot of an old oak tree, so creating an atmosphere of a little corner of nature enclosed between four walls can help us to write in more pleasant conditions.
I can’t do without Grammarly anymore. I am quite good at spelling, but since I write in English and my mother tongue is French, Grammarly allows me to avoid as much as possible serious grammatical and spelling mistakes. It is an essential tool for all budding writers.
And the great thing is that the Grammarly extension for Chrome works with Medium, which means that when you write here, Grammarly watches over you and improves your writing. And the free version is more than enough. I can’t hide the fact that Grammarly saves me some time, especially when I edit and publish the stories of Scribe’s writers.
Who first realized that walking was one of the most useful activities for solving writer’s block? I don’t really know, but you hear it everywhere! Physical activity, especially walking, is as good for the body as it is for the head, and is a real stimulant for the writer in need of inspiration.
It’s all about chemistry, you see. When we walk, our heart becomes a little more active, increasing the supply of oxygen to our muscles and brain, and we start to think more intensely.
You may be familiar with the famous Henry David Thoreau quote, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live!”. Everything is said!
I can’t be more inspired than after a walk in the woods surrounded by trees, or after watching the waves of the Atlantic Ocean wash up on the shore for a long time. When I spent almost a year in the south of France in a small apartment fifty yards from the beach, I wrote all the time.
I would walk on the beach in the morning, go back to write, come back out in the early afternoon, go back in again to write, then go back out to watch the sunset and go back in again to write. The sea air drove me crazy with words, and it was so good. So if you want your writing to flow and inspire, walk in nature as much as you can.
I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new when I say that reading is a very useful activity for finding inspiration and developing your own style. For my part, I like to immerse myself in novels rather than in practical books. What better way to enrich your own writing than to be exposed to the work of the greatest authors of literature?
I shouldn’t be wrong in saying that most great authors are first and foremost avid readers. There is no secret, the more we are in contact with words, the more comfortable we are with them.
At the moment, I am reading the book “D’un cheval l’autre” by Bartabas, a horseman and director known all over the world for having invented the equestrian theater. In this book, he talks about all the horses that have been with him for over thirty years.
On each page, my heart is moved. The relationship that this man has with his horses is extremely touching. It is by feeling this kind of emotion through books, that the desire to write is even stronger.
Title Case Converter is a very handy tool if you want the titles of your stories to always be stylish.
Title case is a style that is traditionally used for the titles of books, movies, songs, plays, and other works. In title case, all major words are capitalized, while minor words are lowercased. A simple example would be *Lord of the Flies*. Title case is often used for headlines as well, for example, in newspapers, essays, and blogs, and is therefore also known as headline style.
If, like me, you are as much attached to the content as to the form when you write, using the Title Case format will allow you to keep a certain consistency in all your publications. With practice, you’ll quickly understand which characters to capitalize and which to lowercase, but this tool is useful when in doubt.
Dear poet friends, if you are the kind of person who chooses his words and verses in a very precise way, this little tool will help you a lot. How Many Syllables is a very useful tool that counts for you the number of syllables in a sentence. I often use it for my haikus, which have a very precise structure.
Of course, I couldn’t help but mention Medium in this story. You are well placed to know that Medium is a huge, inexhaustible source of inspiration for aspiring writers. We can find here exciting stories written from the heart, passionate writers, and committed readers. So don’t wait any longer, go ahead and check out the Scribe publication with its talented writers, and start writing your next piece!
I hope you found this story helpful. Please know that I’ve written others like it that you might also find interesting. The links are right below. But before I leave you, I’d love to know what resources you have. Share with me and other readers your faithful writing companions in the responses.
Let’s Write Without Constraint
Regular practice is important, but with a nice pinch of levity