writing

Five Apps for the Creative Writer

Gustave Moreau’s Hesion and the Muse

Gustave Moreau’s Hesion and the Muse

Creativity can sometimes be hard to come by: a loss for words, vanishing ideas, or even diminishing plots. Add that to the pressures of writing: planning plot points, character definitions and motivations, or describing locations can really take a toll on your inspiration. However, technology can help writers rise from these challenges, thanks to smartphones, tablets, and applications. With these gadgets utilizing high-speed mobile connections, creativity now has no boundaries.

 


Kobo Books  (Kobo Inc.)

Reading is an important skill a writer needs to learn, and to be a good writer, you have to learn how to read first. With almost 3.2 million e-books available in the market today, Kobo Books helps you get your favorite titles while you’re on the go. These titles include best-sellers, classics, award-winners, and new releases which syncs right to the application. Kobo allows you to customize your reading experience by letting you pick up right where you left off. Sync bookmarks, highlights, notes, and read books from other devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note II from O2. Through the Kobo Community, you can discuss about the books you read and share your ideas with them. It’s the best place to get inspiration, fresh ideas, and meet other writers like you.

BookAuthor (AgileBoard.com)

Write your book, convert it to different formats: HTML, PDF, MOBI, EPUB, upload it on iBooks or Amazon (Kindle, and share it with your friends. Basically, BookAuthor is a good app to jumpstart your creative juices. Customize the fonts, colors, and add images to your book as you please. When writing, it also gives you the option to write your book in Landscape or Portrait mode. BookAuthor also allows you to share your book via Twitter or Facebook. This gives non-iPhone or iPad users to read your book in any browser or device. With AgileBoard’s Bookstore, publish your book for free and let everyone read your latest masterpiece.

WriteRoom  (Hog Bay Software)

Writers are basically creatures of habit and we need a quiet place think, organize, and pour our thoughts on paper. With writing applications like WriteRoom, it gives you a distraction-free writing environment. It’s plain, simple, and intuitive which helps you focus on what you’re writing. No fancy sidebar menus or other icons—it’s very clean and minimalistic. Combined with Dropbox, you can now easily sync your files and store them in the cloud. Clear your mind, focus on the words, and let your ideas intertwine without the distractions.

Writer's Muse  (2009 Positive Alliance, LLC)

When we hit “The Wall”, we tend to hit it hard, and calling out to the “Muses of Creativity” might just do the trick. Well, Writer’s Muse can definitely help you come up with another good idea. It features a predesigned Plot, Resolution, and Character details for you to use. Spin each category and find the best matches possible. Now, if you have your own ideas, you can edit and personalize each category to fill your creative needs. Let the Muses lend a helping hand and smash “The Wall” with the Writer’s Muse app.

Chambers Dictionary  (WordWeb Software)

Words can be hard to come by at times and it can make or break your story. Thanks to reference bphrases, words, and even derived forms. Combine it with the Chambooks like Chambers Dictionary, it helps you find those elusive words. Some of its features include filtering search results by adjective, adverbs, verbs, and nouns, alphabetical listings, spelling suggestions, and customized search options like case, derived forms, etc. Chambers has a rich stock of over 260,000 unique compounds, Thesaurus app; you will always have the right words at the right time.   

Learning new things about is the best way to improve our writing skills. As we improve our craft, we start to cut down distractions and eventually beat procrastination. Take advantage of the latest devices and applications to sharpen your skills. Connect, make friends, and be inspired by the world—let creativity come to you.

All images posted with this article are used under the Share-alike Creative Commons

About the Author: 

Charlie Schofield is a tech blogger and educator from London. After backpacking across Southeast Asia, he works for ed-tech organizations which support education campaigns from tech companies such as Microsoft and Verizon. He writes for Techie Doodlers, an upstart blog with his geeky friends. He is an expert yo-yo performer and Python coder.
 

Creative iPhoneographer Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann

Creative iPhoneographer Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann

Creative iPhoneographer Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann

Hello Sascha, could you tell us a little about how you got started with creative iPhone photography and art? 

I subscribed to your newsletter a while ago and so I followed your creative path with iPhone photography and art. I really liked what you were (are) doing and when you offered the Christmas Card Workshop last year I took the class and was already fascinated what one can do with an iPhone. So I took your 3 following workshops, once I participated I couldn't stop. ;)

How do you feel when you're making iPhoneography images?

Creative, playful, curious, exploring

What are you thinking about most in your creative life these days?

How I can combine my three creative expressions: Taking photos with my iPhone and adapting them with different apps, dancing Flamenco, and writing short stories/novels.

Are there any colours or textures that you keep returning to, in your images? 

No, not really, I have phases when I prefer to work with one subject a lot:

During the workshop Getting started with iPhoneography it was our cat:

iPhoneography. Black Cat. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

iPhoneography. Black Cat. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

During the workshop Creative iPhoneography I was taking lots of urban photos:

iPhoneography. Zürich: New York Food. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

iPhoneography. Zürich: New York Food. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

iPhoneography. Flamenco. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

iPhoneography. Flamenco. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

For the Alumni Workshop my project was about dancing (Flamenco), that's why dancers kept returning, but also the Spanish word „bailar“ (to dance). This project is not finished, so this theme will continue to show up in my images.

Which are your favourite apps for expressing yourself creatively? 

Oh, there are so many, and it depends on the picture I want to create.   For the last weeks: Blender, Repix, TouchRetouch and PhotoInWord

You write, you dance and you create iPhoneography. Do you feel like these different areas cross-pollinate creatively?  

There is a cross pollination effect between my different forms of creativity. I get ideas for pictures after reading what I just wrote for example. Like a scene I wrote and I think about capture it with my iPhone/with iPhoneography, it doesn't have to show the "real scene", it's most of the times just the emotions or the senses of the scene I want to capture in a picture. 

And then there's Flamenco which took its place as a theme in my iPhoneography-work and made me start to use apps where I could double a person, the repetition of dancing is showing up in the pictures. 

I didn't find a combination the other way around, I mean from my iPhoneography to my writing or dancing, but I guess there is one, I just don't get it yet...

What do you find to be the greatest challenges and rewards of being an iPhoneographer?

Challenge: Not to overdo an image with an app or different apps, when I started out I was so fascinated by the possibilities I was sometimes doing to much and I didn't like the image anymore. So during the Alumni workshop I „stepped back“ and sometimes left an image just the way it was – no apps at all. 

iPhoneography. Gorilla. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

iPhoneography. Gorilla. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

Rewards: With a small tool like the iPhone I can express my creativity anytime, because I have it with me all the time (more or less) and also if a photo I took wasn't that great, I still can use it most of the time to process it through apps. Actually the reverse of the challenging part. :) 

I finally can express myself visually! I always liked visual art, but didn't feel comfortable (being well enough) drawing or painting. With iPhoneography I found a tool I like to handle, to be creative with and express myself visually besides my writing and dancing.

What is your creative advice to others who are inspired but don't know where to start?

If you have the possibility, take a workshop with Kate! If not, just walk around with curiosity and you may see things you haven't noticed before, take a picture of those subjects. Try to cultivate your eyes. If you do this for a week, you will have a few photos you can use in apps. I would recommend to work with one app after the other, so you don't get overwhelmed. Just play around with one and when you get used to it, start with another.

iPhoneography. Lioness. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

iPhoneography. Lioness. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

The same approach I use for writing. Beeing curious, paying attention to small stuff and starting with small things. Don't try to write a novel, if you haven't written fiction before, start with a short story. And to cultivate your writing, read a lot, find out, why you like a book, maybe it's of the rhythm of the language, maybe it's just the story itself or something else.

iPhoneography. Cat on film. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

iPhoneography. Cat on film. By Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann.

Last, but not least, carry a notebook with you everywhere you go. (I also keep one beside my bed becauase late night ideas are sometimes the best!) If something comes to your mind, you can write it down. Or if you hear a conversation you find interesting, you can write it down. Every now and again I got inspired by a conversation to write a scene. Sometimes it would also fit into a story.

Thank you so very much Sascha, for your thoughtful and inspiring thoughts around your creative life! 

Find out more about Sascha-Irena Wilkesmann: 

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