9 Useful Apps to Increase Productivity As A Writer

1. Scrivener.

Platforms available on: macOS | Windows | iOS.

Price: $45 on macOS and Windows & $19.99 on iOS.

• This is one app I couldn’t do without. I tried out the free trial on my desktop computer and LOVED IT. I then purchased the iOS version as I do most of my writing on my iPad. It’s definitely worth the money and I’ve gotten so much more done than I ever have with other apps/programs. It’s a fantastic way to organise your planning and you can easily view documents side by side. I would recommend this to anyone whose is struggling to manage their time or organise their writing.


2. Evernote.

Platforms available on: iOS | Android | Windows | macOS.

Price: Free (basic) | £44.99 / year (premium).

  • This is where I keep all my notes – whether it be plot bunnies, poetry or ideas for my work in progress. If I have an idea whilst I’m out or at home – I use Evernote to write it down. I love that you can separate your notes into separate notebooks so everything stays nice and organised. You can also add photos, annotations, voice memos etc if you so wish. There is also a premium plan available if that’s something you’d be interested in, but to be honest I don’t think I’d ever need to upgrade to premium as the basic free plan does everything I need it to do.

3. Pages.

Platforms available on: macOS | iOS.

Price: Free.

  • Pages is Apple’s own word processor. I use this for drafting my blog posts and editing. I love to get out my stylus and draw all over my writing – just like you would on a piece of paper. It’s quite similar to Word however I prefer this because it works a lot smoother on my iPad.

4. Merriam Webster Dictionary.

Platforms available on: iOS | Android.

Price: Free (premium version available).

  • I’ve used so many digital dictionaries and never found one that suits my needs. However, I discovered this app not long along. What I love about this app is it includes word games. I’ve tried them out and it’s helping me expand my vocabulary.

5. Day One.

Platforms available on: iOS | macOS | Android.

Price: Free (premium version available).

  • This app is basically a digital journal. One of my writing goals this year is to write more and one thing I decided to start doing was writing down my thoughts of the day. It has a simple layout, and you can add photos to your entries. It also has a little tracker so you can see how many entries you’ve made overall, in a week etc.

6. Simple Mind +

Platforms available on: iOS | Android.

Price: Free (premium version available).

  • This app allows you to create mind maps. I’m too lazy and impatient to create beautiful mind maps on paper so I just use this app. I find it useful if I’m struggling with a certain aspect of my novel or I need a quick flow of ideas. I love this app because it’s so simple and there’s no fancy settings or complicated stuff. There is a full version you can pay for but I’m using the free version which is enough for me.

7. Lists for Writers.

Platforms available on:

Price: iOS | Android.

Price: £1.91.

  • This is exactly what it says on the tin. I love lists and I especially love lists that are all in one place and easy for me to access. It has everything from physical characteristics, names, jobs, setting, genres and lots more. I only wish there was an option to add your own lists and I think I’d love the app even more.

8. Brainsparker.

Platforms available on: iOS.

Price: Free.

  • This is another app for sparking ideas. It has prompts related to goals and journaling. You can also add other packs related to characters, blogging, words, quotes and many more. It also has a handy random feature so you can mix all your packs into one big ‘pot’ and it will choose you a random question/prompt.

9. Prompts.

Platforms available on: iOS.

Price: $0.99

  • This is one I recently discovered. I love to write poetry but sometimes I lack any inspiration and can go weeks without writing any. So I looked on the AppStore for some sort of prompt app to help me get the creativity going and I came across this one. I love it because when you create a new note, it gives you a couple of words to start. I was unsure this would work but I’m amazed with how much it really helps! It also has a handy stat tracker allowing you to see your progress.

What are some of your favourite writing apps?


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Book Blogger Hop #2: One Book You Couldn’t Live Without.

book blogger hop

Book blogger hop is hosted by Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. If you like to check it out or take part, just go here.

This weeks question is: ‘If you were stranded on a deserted island, which ONE book could you not live without?’ (Question submitted by Megan @ Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest).

My answer: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.


I am taking this question wayyyy too seriously and sulking because I can only take one book. Why can’t a bumper edition of all the Harry Potter books exist so I could take the entire series with me? Although, that would be a massive book and if I had to go swimming in the ocean, I’d probably sink (at least I’d sink happy!).

The reason I’ve chosen the 3rd Harry Potter book is because it’s always been my favourite, and I personally think it’s the last book before everything goes super dark (I say super dark because there are dark aspects in the first 3 books too!) I think it’s because Voldemort returns in the 4th book and that’s when thing get really serious.


What is a book you couldn’t live without if you got stranded on a deserted island?


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WWW Wednesday #2

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The meme consists of answering 3 questions;

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

If you’d like to take part, head on over to Sam’s blog to find out how.


Currently reading.

This book has lurked on my TBR shelf for so long and I have finally gotten around to reading it. It’s slow going at the moment but I think that’s because it’s so hot and I can’t concentrate. I’m loving the magic and mystery of it all and the characters are different and addictive.

I am always learning about the craft of writing and striving to get better and improve. I like this book because it’s combined with a memoir. I love reading about other writers experiences and seeing the world through their eyes. I think it’s important to do this to help our personal growth.

I went into this book blind. It’s not a genre I normally delve into but I decided to give it a go when I saw it on Netgalley. I’m liking it so far – the descriptions are vivid and irresistible so I’m hopeful for the rest of the book.


Recently finished.

We are okay by Nina LaCour

this is a story that will stay with me for a long time. It's an eye opening, coming of age story of loss and survival. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a deep and thoughtful story. A story that will make you think about the horrors of the past but also about the people who fought to survive such harsh conditions.

I loved this book with my whole heart. It’s one of those stories that I know I’ll love forever. My review for this book will be coming soon!

I’ve read some great books lately and this is one of them. You can read my review here.


What I’m Reading Next.

As soon as I’m done with Caraval I’m going to be going straight into Legendary and I honestly cannot wait.


What are you currently reading?


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Book Review | My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih.

 

Title – My Real Name is Hanna.

Author – Tara Lynn Masih.

Expected Publication date – 11th September 2018.

Publisher – Mandel Vilar Press.

Series status – Standalone.


‘Inspired by real Holocaust events, this poignant debut novel is a powerful coming-of-age story that will resonate with fans of The Book Thief and Between Shades of Gray.

Hanna Slivka is on the cusp of fourteen when Hitler’s army crosses the border into Soviet-occupied Ukraine. Soon, the Gestapo closes in, determined to make the shtetele she lives in “free of Jews.” Until the German occupation, Hanna spent her time exploring Kwasova with her younger siblings, admiring the drawings of the handsome Leon Stadnick, and helping her neighbor dye decorative pysanky eggs. But now she, Leon, and their families are forced to flee and hide in the forest outside their shtetele—and then in the dark caves beneath the rolling meadows, rumored to harbor evil spirits. Underground, they battle sickness and starvation, while the hunt continues above. When Hanna’s father disappears, suddenly it’s up to Hanna to find him—and to find a way to keep the rest of her family, and friends, alive.’

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“How can you or me or anyone live through this and be the same again? We know too much of what evil can be and what real, intense fear is. It changes you.”

Wow, it’s taken me a good week to be able to write this review. This book is many things – but it was especially not what I was expecting. I didn’t imagine it affecting me in the way it did. That‘s one of the best things about books – they’re always surprising you.

Lately I’ve been trying to read more historical fiction so when I saw this on Netgalley, I decided to give it a go. The Holocaust is one of those terrible events in history which upsets me and shocks me to the core.

The plot of this book kept me on my toes. The fact they were never safe, how they’d get comfortable and then they’d have to move again. This was something that had me looking over my own shoulder even in the safety of my own home. The thought of human beings having to hide away in a CAVE was shocking and so sad.

I wasn’t sure how well I’d connect with the characters but I found myself becoming so invested in them. Hanna was a gem. She felt like my best friend and it was like I was right there with her, experiencing the story beside her. I also loved Mrs Petrovich – the neighbour who helps the family and refuses to turn them in despite it been a risk to herself. She’s one of those characters who make you feel warm inside because you know she cares and there’s no ulterior motive. I loved how after months of leaving her home, Hanna remembers Mrs Petrovich’s kindness, a friend she will never forget. Even being so far apart, Mrs Petrovich continues to look out for Hanna and keep her going during her time on the run. Another thing I loved was the way the whole family stuck together. They kept each other going in the most terrifying times of their lives, even when they weren’t sure they’d all survive.

The writing in this book was stunning and this is a story that will stay with me for a long time. It’s an eye opening, coming of age story of loss and survival. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a deep and thoughtful story. A story that will make you think about the horrors of the past but also about the people who fought to survive such harsh conditions.

*I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.*


Tara Lynn Masih has won multiple book awards as editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. Author of My Real Name is Hanna (a Skipping Stones Honor Award Book) and Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories, she has published fiction, poetry and essays in numerous anthologies and literacy magazines (including Confrontation, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Natural Bridge, The Los Angeles Review, Pleiades, and the Caribbean Writer). Several limited edition illustrated chapbooks featuring her flash fiction have been published by a The Feral Press and archived at such universities as Yale and NYU, and awards for her work include The Ledge Magazine’s fiction award, The Lou P. Bunce Creative Writing Award, a Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist fiction grant, and Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best of the Web nominations.’

Find Tara: Facebook | Goodreads. 


What are your favourite books based around war, real or fictional?


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What I Read in June & My Hopes for July

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

This was a re-read for me. I read it back when the movie came out but never finished the rest of the series. I chose to start the series from the first book.

• My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih.

This was one I got from Netgalley. I’ve been wanting to enjoy more historical fiction so when I read this description I decided to give it a go. I loved it – a lot more than I thought I would. It was thought provoking, emotional and had excellent character development. My review will be coming soon.

This was one of my most anticipated reads this year and I really enjoyed it. The plot was unique and the characters were super. My review will be coming soon.


I’ve almost been blogging for a month and I’m so happy to be back. I took a long break because of things going on in my personal life and I missed it so much. I made the decision to start again with an entirely new blog because I felt my old one didn’t fit my personality and what I wanted to achieve. Here is a round up of the posts I published in my first month back;


• This month I wanted to focus on getting organised in my writing life, so I can be better prepared to start the first draft of my current novel. I managed to achieve that which is fantastic because I’m the worlds worst at being organised.

• Another one of my writing goals this month was to write more fanfiction. I’ll admit I’m obsessed with it and I’m not ashamed to admit I enjoy writing it. I also find that it’s helping to improve my writing skills and keep my creative juices flowing. I managed to get out 2 chapters of my current work in progress so I’m happy with that.



  • Read 4 books.
  • Post 5 book reviews.
  • Post 2-3 blog posts a week (hopefully more!)
  • Finish character development of my current work in progress.
  • Outline a short story.
  • Write 3 chapters of my current FanFiction work in progress.

That’s it for my June Wrap up and July TBR/Goals.

How many books did you read this month? Is there anything else you’d like to see me wrap up at the end of each month?


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Book Blogger Hop #1: Do You Have Instagram?

Book blogger hop is hosted by Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. If you like to check it out or take part, just go here.

This weeks question is “Do you have an Instagram account? If so, do you only follow book folks?” (Submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews)

My answer – I do have Instagram and you can find me here.

Here is a preview if you’d like to see the kind of pictures I post ☺️

I have wanted to start a Bookstagram for so long but never had the confidence. It’s hard for me to get involved in taking the pictures because I’m wheelchair bound and I can’t arrange and take photos at weird angles. However I am starting to realise there are things I’m able to do. I currently edit the photos, write the captions and have started to suggest ways to arrange the photographs. My best friend takes most of the pictures, she loves photography and it’s a great way for her to gain experience. The pictures I have taken I’m super proud of and I’m trying to get involved in any way I can because I do really enjoy it.

As for who I follow, the majority of them are Bookstagrammers and/or writers. I have another private, personal Instagram for other non bookish accounts.

Here are some of my favourite Bookstagram accounts;


Do you have Instagram? Drop your links in the comments and I’ll check them out ☺️

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5 Terrific Books That Handle LGBTQ+ Remarkably

As June was pride month I decided to put together some of my favourite books featuring LGBTQ+ characters. I didn’t plan on posting this a day late however why should LGBTQ+ be celebrated one month a year, how about we celebrate it every month? It’s so important in the book world to highlight that it’s ok to not fit into the ‘normal’ stereotypes of society. Hopefully the more books put out into the world with diverse characters, the more people who don’t feel as alone and the more people who will learn to understand better and accept people for who they are.

Here are my LGBTQ+ recommendations.


Radio Silence by Alice Oseman.

Radio Silence was one of my favourite reads of 2016, and has become one of my all time favourite contemporaries. If you know me – you know I’m not a massive contemporary reader, but when I read the synopsis on Netgalley I decided to give it a chance. I’m so glad I did because I’d not read a book like Radio Silence in forever. The characters are incredibly diverse and there are several characters who fit into the LGBTQ+ community. This book includes bisexual, demisexual, gay and lesbian characters. It’s so important to represent everybody – no matter how they identify and this book did this brilliantly.

You can find my review for Radio Silence here.


Half Bad by Sally Green.

One thing I feel is lacking in the fantasy and sci-fi genre is the representation of the LGBTQ+ community. Sometimes it feels like somehow because were in an alternate world or reality it doesn’t exist. Fortunately there are many books now that are starting to include this, and Half Bad is one of them. I loved how it showed Nathan’s struggle with his sexuality and how he didn’t accept it for a really long time.

If you’d like to check out my review of Half Bad here is the link.


The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

This is another fantasy book featuring LGBTQ+ characters. The characters in question Alec and Magnus, have become one of my all time favourite ships. It takes Alec a long time to accept his sexuality and it’s beautiful to watch him go on that journey. I also read an article published by The Telegraph, where Cassandra Clare said we need more LGBTQ+ representation in YA fiction and I 100% agree. The article is here if you’d like to check it out. It’s definitely something I’m going to try harder to include in my own writing.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

I’ll admit, this book wasn’t one I enjoyed overall, it wasn’t my cup of tea. However, I thought it handled the theme of sexuality very well which is why I’m including it in this list. One of the characters in the book – Charlie, who is the protagonist’s new friend, is openly gay. However as he is currently embroiled in a thing with the high school quarterback Brad, he is forced to keep his sexuality a secret. The quarterback is ashamed of his sexuality and doesn’t want anyone else to know. It handles Brad’s confusion and denial of his sexuality extremely well, and also shows how hard it can be in high school.


Bonus rec – The ABC’s of LGBT by Ash Hardell.

All the books above are YA fiction, but I wanted to also include this gem of a book. I am currently making my way through this and it is filled with a wealth of information on many different identities people identify as. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to find out more about the LGBTQ+ community, anyone who wants to understand and anyone who wants to figure out how they fit into the world. look


That’s it for my recommendations – I know there are so many books now that could have been included in this list. I’m trying to read more books including diverse characters and I know more and more are been released every month.

What are some of your recommendations for books including LGBTQ+ characters? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!


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