In its simplest form, we all know that all we really need to write in some form of writing utensil and something to write on. A pen and paper will suffice, so will crayons, a white board and markers, anything. However, most of us these days use computers. I admit to being someone who likes technology and software and exploring the available programs and options to help support my writing.

Here are four of my favorites:

  • Scrivener: This is my go to writing software. Whether you are a plotter or a pantser or a hybrid of the two like me, this software makes organizing writing incredibly easy.  It also has the advantage of being able to compile a manuscript into e-book format which is very useful if you are self-publishing.However, it does have something of a steep learning curve.
  • Learn Scrivener Fast: This is the program I used to learn Scrivener.It teaches Scrivener functions in short, step-by-step video lessons. It’s currently waitlisted for new students and somewhat expensive,but for me it was definitely worth the investment.
  • Calibre: This free e-book reader software can read e-books in MOBI, EPUB, and PDF formats. In other words, you can read virtually any e-book on your computer using this software. In addition, it can easily convert between formats. Using a combination of this software and scrivener, it is possible to easily self publish your books without needing to pay for professional formatting or conversion services. I published my One of Those Nights anthology to all the major retailers using only these two pieces of software.
  • Writetrack: This is a free website that allows you to set writing goals and track your progress toward them. You set the word count you are working toward and your start and end dates, and the software automatically calculates how much you need to write each day to meet that goal. It also allows you to leave out certain dates or days of the week and will recalculate your goals based on the schedule you set.If you miss a day, those words are automatically spread out amongst the remaining days and added to your total. If you go over your goal for the day, then your remaining days word counts are automatically lowered.