I’m constantly working to become a better editor and writer. And while spending 40 hours a week honing the craft – and getting paid to do it – surely helps, I still rely on a few tools to help me along. These are some of them:
The goal of the Hemingway App is to help you make your writing “bold and clear,” just as Ernest Hemingway wrote. The app allows you to copy and paste your work into it or write directly in the app, which evaluates your work for complex sentences (highlighted in yellow or red), passive voice (green), adverbs (blue), and alternative words (purple). It stays highlighted until you fix it.
This is helpful because instead of telling you exactly how to change your work, it identifies these issues, allowing you to assess them and decide if and how to change them on your own.
You can install the free Grammarly app on your browser or Microsoft Word. It will help you correct verb tense and punctuation, find spelling errors that Word might miss (e.g., threw instead of through), improve clarity, and find synonyms for words your readers might find difficult.
It also sends you an email weekly on the progress you’ve made.
I love word games. I’m terrible at crosswords, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. And even being terrible at them helps keep my mind sharp. I know I need to continue to push my mind outside of work to become a better editor.
Word searches are my favorite and doing them allows me to see things that many people don’t. It allows me to quickly find statistics that need fact-checking or to see a typo almost as soon as I open a document.
This game quizzes you on synonyms you might know and many you might not. And as you build your vocabulary, you’ll be doing some good at the same time. The site will donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program for every right answer. Ten grains isn’t necessarily a lot, but you’ll be able to see how much of a bowl you’ve filled up as you play.
FreeRice also offers a grammar game which quizzes you on everything from punctuation to when to use certain words (e.g., affect or effect, beside or besides, etc.).
So, take some time each day to play. You’re helping yourself and others. And technically, since you’re working on perfecting your craft so you can play all day! Kidding, don’t do that.
If you have a problem concentrating when you are editing or writing, download an Internet restriction app. These helped me a lot in college. You can choose one that only blocks certain sites like Facebook or Twitter or another that blocks access to the Internet entirely. Check out Cold Turkey, SelfControl, or Freedom (keeps you totally offline).
Check out our list of writing resources to continue on your journey to becoming a better writer/editor.
For help with content writing, call us at 888-521-3880.