Ditch the pen and get digital

Five Handy Programs For Freelance Writers

Becoming a full time freelance writer is a brave decision. You’re giving up the financial security of a steady job to pursue your ambitions and while the rewards are great, the risks are plenty. If you succeed then it means that you can spend your days indulging in your passion – and you can get paid for it. This is a dream for many people but if you have the right tools, your dream could become reality. Some of the essentials are listed below:


Microsoft Word 2010
If you’re going to write, chances are you’re going to use a computer rather than a pen and paper. You should splash out a little and go for the most feature packed and universally loved word processor, Microsoft Word. With features such as multi-language support, reviewing and collaborating, Word will give you everything you need to transfer the words from your brain to your screen.


If typing isn’t your thing, and it might not be, then you could take a look at some dictation software. The software is becoming more advanced every year and soon we could all be talking to our computers rather than assaulting that keyboard. The market leader is Dragon dictation software.


PDF Editing
It is useful to send your submissions and resume to prospective employers in the PDF format as this allows the recipient to open the file on any computer and most smart phones. Microsoft Word even allows you to save your documents as PDFs. However, make sure you invest in a good PDF editor as you will want to tweak your submissions over time and add all of your successes to your resume.


Sage Instant Accounts
Being freelance means that you are self-employed and this requires you to keep track of earnings and perhaps even work out your own VAT and tax returns. In this case you may need an accounting package. Sage Instant Accounts allows you to keep track of cashflow, create invoices and even keep a record of your products (your submissions).



Writer’s Block is a nightmare and it is suggested that the best way to negotiate it is to distract your mind. Stephen King takes long walks when he hits that wall, but many find that a quick game or two of Solitaire or Minesweeper can distract your mind just long enough for inspiration to pay a visit. Just don’t play too many games, you’re supposed to be writing, remember!

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xtl/524782536/

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