Let’s talk about tools for writers. Writing a book that has any chance of getting published and selling is not quite as simple as sitting down at the keyboard and letting the words flow. Instead, it’s an often frustrating process that takes oodles of self-discipline, determination, planning, and trial and error. This is why serious writers invest in all the tools they can to make things a little less painful, but not just any tools. Tools for writers can go a long way towards productivity but shiny object syndrome is real!
Writer’s Craft 4.0 from InfoStack is a vetted treasure trove of information that will help you along your writing journey. You can buy the tools for writers recommended in this post on their own, but they are also included as part of a bundle. But are these worth it? And is there any value in buying the whole bundle? Let’s look at a few of the products on offer (including our own masterclass!) and see how they fit together.
Before the First Draft: The “Plantster’s” Guide to Pre-Writing
Writers generally fall into one of three categories. There are pantsers who do minimal planning before they write; they fly by the seat of their pants and see where the story takes them. There are plotters who, before they write, work out the entire plot and structure, so that the writing process itself is basically just filling in the details. And then there are “plantsters,” who are a combination of pantser and plotter: They do some planning beforehand–for instance, they outline major plot points–but they still allow themselves lots of freedom in getting from one plot point to the next. Most writers are plantsters to some degree. S.J. Siedenburg’s Before the First Draft: The Plantster’s Guide to Pre-Writing is a printable pdf workbook–so you can reuse it for different books–that guides you through the process of prewriting: creating a plan for your book. Some subjects it covers include crafting characters, developing your story world, plotting, choosing the right narrative voice, and doing research so that you get the details right. Your life will be infinitely easier if you at least know where you want to go with your story and Before the First Draft takes the pain out of prewriting. This product normally retails for $17.00.
Monthly Writing Focus Planner
Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to sit down and start writing. This is when many authors face their biggest challenge: remaining focused. It’s so easy to get distracted by life and before you know it, an entire week has gone by without you having written a word.
Audrey Hughey’s Monthly Writing Focus Planner is an invaluable tool to help you keep your eye on the prize. It provides monthly overview and planning pages so you can define and clarify your goals. With weekly overview and planning pages, you can set out your key tasks and the objectives you want to achieve that week. Then there are daily scheduling and focus pages to help you stay on track. Basically, it’s like a diary without dates but it gives you more than just using a regular diary would: weekly and monthly critical review pages allow you to reflect on what your biggest challenges have been that week or month, so that you can adapt your way of working if necessary. This handy planner prints out to an A5-size booklet that won’t take up too much space on your desk and can easily fit into your bag or, even better, into your laptop bag. It normally retails for $9.99.
Another workbook that will help you stay on course on your writing journey is Sherry Ward’s WriteAway! With this planning system, you can record what you’ve done so far, which is a great way to feel a sense of achievement, stay motivated and keep the old writer’s block at bay. You can use WriteAway! to track your progress by word count, hours or pages, whichever suits you best. WriteAway! is reusable and normally retails for $197.00.
A 12 Day Guide to Morning Pages
If you manage to write a book without once finding yourself staring at the blank screen and being unable to fill it because of writer’s block or page fright, you can count yourself very, very lucky. Even famous and wildly successful authors like Douglas Adams have struggled with that debilitating feeling of not being able to write a word because surely whatever they get down on the page won’t be good enough. It’s that inner critic that is your worst enemy as a writer.
A good way to silence that little voice that tells you nobody will read your book and even if they do, they won’t enjoy it, is to employ a technique called morning pages. This is part venting session, part morning meditation. What it boils down to is that you start every day by writing in a journal, getting out whatever thoughts and feelings you need to get out at that moment. Doing this every day can help you change your mindset and direct your focus for the day. You’ll stop self-sabotaging; instead, you’ll be able to fill that blank screen with words too, without deleting and rewriting the same sentence over and over and over. And this way, you can stay on schedule to finish your book.
Mari L. McCarthy, who is essentially a journaling guru, guides you through how to use the morning pages technique with A 12 Day Guide to Morning Pages. This ebook normally retails at $19.97.
Finish Your Novel Faster: How to Gamify Your Writing Life
Writing is hard work, and it’s easy to find excuses for why you’re not making progress: You don’t have time, or you can’t focus, or there are so many distractions to deal with, or, well, it’s become drudgery rather than enjoyable.
To help you tackle everything that’s holding you back, The Author Wheel’s Greta Boris and Megan Haskell developed Finish Your Novel Faster: How to Gamify Your Writing Life. This e-course guides you through building a writing system that will help you get that book done sooner rather than later. It doesn’t just apply to novel writers either: memoir and other nonfiction authors can benefit from these techniques too.
You’ll learn how to find time you didn’t know you had for writing, optimize your writing sessions, and create writing habits that you’ll stick to. Most importantly, you’ll find out how to gamify the process so that writing will become fun again. Combine this with the morning pages technique and you’ll soon have the mindset to finish your book in no time. The Finish Your Novel Faster: How to Gamify Your Writing Life course normally retails for $120.00.
Foundations of Memoir Masterclass
The products we’ve discussed so far are great for writers of all genres but there’s one challenge that memoir writers face that those who work in other genres are less likely to have to deal with: When the story isn’t something that’s come from your imagination but is something that’s based on your own, very-much-lived experience, it’s much more personal. And when it’s personal, you may feel the emotions involved in writing a book so much more intensely.
Ingenium Books’ Foundations of Memoir Masterclass is an eight-part series of video lessons that focus specifically on memoir and the challenges of writing your true story. It provides you with the tools to work in the confidence that your story is good enough to share. It will also help you figure out how to deal with the strong, often painful emotions that come with memoir writing. And it will guide you through not only the process of crafting your story but also through seeing where your story fits in the marketplace.
The topics covered in the course include what is memoir, finding your unique “why” for wanting to share your story, what’s holding you back, identifying your reader, structuring your book to create a narrative, creating your working outline, differentiating between perspectives and truth, and finding out what your writer personality is. Of course, these skills are handy to have even if what you’re writing is pure fiction too, so you don’t need to have a memoir in mind to benefit from the Foundations of Memoir Masterclass.
The Foundations of Memoir Masterclass takes a total of four hours to watch. It’s recommended that you watch these lessons at the beginning of your process to help prepare you and then rewatch individual lessons as needed along the way. The course normally retails for $97.00.
Let’s add all this up. If you were to purchase our recommended tools for writers individually, it would cost you $460.96! When you purchase the Writer’s Craft 4.0 bundle, you’ll get all of these products plus a lot more for just $49.
The Writer’s Craft 4.0 Bundle officially goes on sale on November 21st but you can join the waitlist today to get the lowest price available for the bundle. Don’t miss out!