Writing is difficult. Especially when it is not your native language that you are writing in. How good are you when it comes to writing? A few tips to help you get started and some useful applications to write.
Not everyone has the same qualities when it comes to writing. Sure, we goo up sometimes too. It can happen to anyone, including major news organisations to publish articles that contain grammar or spelling errors. In most cases, this was caused by rushing things.
It looks fine, but is it really fine?
You should always ask yourself the question: is it really fine or ok to publish something without checking the text you are publishing? No, it is not. Even well-known authors use a program or even a person to check what they have written. Not everyone is able to use another person, who specializes in writing to check the text. But, there is always this golden rule: four eyes can see more than just two eyes. Things you did not notice before can be noticed by someone you fully trust. This trust-issue is very important. It should be someone who you can fully trust. This makes sure (or comes very close), that your words aren’t stolen.
Let’s assume you asked someone to check your text. Then what? Publish the text? No! In this day and age, where we use a smartphone or tablet to write, it is a good idea to use software to check what you have written. Yes, you can rely on the basic options in your text editor, but there is more.
Perhaps a computer instead of a mobile device?
Many of you, use a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) to write your poetry on. That is not a bad thing since there are many moments when you don’t have access to a “real” computer. Still, it is a good thing to consider the possibility to use a computer. Not for the whole writing process, just for the finalisation.
As a writer, I am not flawless. Yes, I can make mistakes. When I start to write, this will always be on a sheet of paper. I am an old-fashioned writer. This might not work for you. From there on, I use an app on my smartphone (I use Android) called Keep. This Google app makes sure, that my writings will be saved in the right cloud account. It is possible to save them to different cloud accounts. I am not limited to just one account since I write for different websites. I find this app to be very useful for me since it doesn’t have any distractions. You can also use Microsoft OneNote or EverNote to save your drafts. If you have a more useful app, let us know in the comment section below this article.
I use the term draft since the work isn’t done. It is done once I used a spell check. Yes, you can rely on the built-in functionality of Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer to check what you wrote. Sometimes grammar isn’t fully checked. Therefore I use an extra option that I added to Microsoft Word: Grammarly. The free version enables you to check the text you have written better than the built-in options. Unfortunately, this plugin will only function when using Microsoft Word. If you are using LibreOffice or another Word processor, then you are forced to use the desktop application. If you want to check the grammar once you opened the document in LibreOffice Writer, your best option is Language Tool.
After I have checked the document, I can decide to publish the document. This can be on this website (The Ministry of Poetic Affairs) or on my own websites (www.harmjagerman.com / www.goedehuisvader.nl).
There are those of you, who never have access to a computer. There are options to work around the steps I just described. Grammarly is also available for iOS and Android. As you can read on this page, iOS and Android are the only mobile platforms that are currently supported. As these are the most used platforms, I will not further discuss the options to use when not using either of these two platforms.
I am not getting paid to write about Grammarly. There are many possibilities to chose from. I found that Grammarly is your best option… so far. I am always interested in discovering new possibilities for me as a writer. Therefore I also tried Ginger.
The tricky part of Ginger: it claims to be free, but it is limited for free users. The good part, there is (just like there is for Grammarly) a browser extension). Unfortunately, I noticed that this browser extension for Chrome seems to slow down my application on my (ultra) fast desktop computer.
If you want to find out more what free programs you can use, visit the useful website Alternativeto.net.