Besides writing fiction, many of us hold jobs or spend free time as freelance writers, copywriters, bloggers, and in other writing-related positions. Friend and fellow freelance writer Susan Johnston has blogged a guest post with some helpful information to aid in our writing.
5 Free Online Tools for Writers
By Susan Johnston
I'm one of those writers who feels a little lost with only a pen and a blank page. Sure, I carry a notebook everywhere I go to jot down ideas, but I do my best writing on my computer. It's sad, but true. By now most writers have discovered social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. There are tons of other online tools that can help you in your writing or freelancing endeavors. Here are a few of my personal faves.
- Delicious.com: Many writers use this social bookmarking site to promote their blog posts or articles, but I use it as a virtual filing system for writing clips, research, potential markets, and more. You can mark things as private or make them public, swap links with other users, and cross-tag them for easy reference.
- Picnik.com: Need an easy way to edit photos for your blog or an article without shelling out for PhotoShop? There are a ton of free photo downloads (some of it which only give you a short trial before you have to buy the product), but Picnik.com is a no download, no strings attached option that I use several times per week.
- YouSendIt.com: Sending really big documents like photos or video is a pain, but this site makes it simply. It has saved me on more than one occasion when an editor's email box kept rejecting regular emails from me because of the document size.
- Viewer.Zoho.com: Once upon a time, I worked with a writing client in a faraway land (OK, Canada) who sent me some attachments that my computer just couldn't handle. I still have no idea what file format she was using. Then I discovered Zoho and *poof!* problem solved. The site converted them into word docs that my computer could open, avoiding an awkward email exchange.
- Scribd.com: If you need a place to post your writing but you aren't ready to commit to creating your own website, then Scribd.com is the perfect compromise. You can post word docs, PDFs, and many other file formats and direct editors to your unique URL rather than sending attachments that might get caught in spam filters. One caveat: once something is posted online, you lose the ability to sell first rights (in most cases), so don't post your unpublished novel or poetry that you're trying to sell elsewhere.
Susan Johnston is a freelance writer/blogger in Boston. She shares her tips and anecdotes about writing and the freelance life at The Urban Muse.