Tips to Make Writing Easier

I must admit.  I’m a
speedy writer. Not to say I don’t work hard to get stories in by their
deadline, research new markets and craft queries. I just don’t like wasting
time. I want to get it done and move onto the part I love, the actual writing.
Here are some ways I get to the fun part.
Reference at Your Fingertips
Everyone knows that you need a good dictionary, thesaurus,
encyclopedia, and, of course, The Writer’s Market. But thumbing through
these can waste huge masses of time. Besides, why buy these reference books
when you can easily access them on the web? This saves time and money!
Wordsmyth has a dictionary and thesaurus that are quick and easy to use. All you have to
do is type your word into the box on the left-hand side of the screen. The site
will give you the correct spelling, synonyms, definition, and a list of related
Merriam and Webster Online not only has a
dictionary and thesaurus, but also Encyclopedia Britannica  for a small monthly fee. This site also helps
you with research related to the words you look up by providing helpful links.
Another great reference site is Writer’s The
digital version of this long time writer’s staple offers instant access to
thousands of editors and agents just for $29.99 for a six month subscription. This is a great time
saver because it is constantly being updated. No more getting returned query
letters because of address changes or business mergers.
Speedy Research

Doing research is one of the biggest time eaters there is
for writers. Going to the library can take up a whole day. And typing random
terms into search engines can be just as time consuming. Finding several sure
fire research sites is the best way to maximize writing time. The key is to
stay focused on your topic. Say you are looking for information on the best places
to go salmon fishing. You find several great articles on salmon fishing, but a
few pop up about salmon recipes. Even if you are tempted, don’t stray over to
other topics that may pique you interest. Stay focused! It saves precious time
that you need to write your story.
Need really detailed information like statistics or
government documents for your story? Don’t shlep to your local government agency. Turn to sites
like or has statistical data, statistical profiles of
states, counties, cities, congressional districts, and federal judicial
districts, while has just about any other kind of information you
could want related to government agencies and policies. 
Do you want to have just one
website bookmarked where you can find all the research help you could ever
need? ProfNet is the ultimate online guide to Internet research. The site
includes links to expert advice, reference facilities, and news, as well as
help and advice columns.
Speedy Inspiration Spawners
Expending too much time and energy
trying to think of  ideas for the stories
themselves? The Story Generator, at Freelance, can give you the
inspiration you need with the click of a mouse. Weekly it provides new ideas in
the form of the latest surveys and facts. These bits of intriguing information
may inspire you to give your character a new pastime or occupation, or may give
you the perfect idea for an article. A recent survey about mothers getting
information from the Internet gave me the idea to write an article called “Moms
on the Web.”
Another terrific place to find
ideas is the covers of magazines. Standing in front of a magazine stand is a
great way to jog an idea loose if you are a nonfiction writer. 
Try this: Go down the rack of publications
and randomly pick one. What subject does the publication specialize in? Think
about that subject. Say you picked the magazine Cat Fancy and you want
to write a children’s book. Do the characters in your book have pets? Could the
character be a pet? A cat? You get the idea.
Better yet, for instant
inspiration, go to Creative Writing Prompts and choose a number at random for quick inspiration. 
Swift Enlightenment
For most of us, going to seminars
and workshops is a wistful fantasy that we put off until “we get more time.”
Well, the time is now, thanks to online courses that are just as easy to attend
as reading an email. Many courses simply come to your email, letting you
complete each lesson at your ease. Best of all, many of them are free!
Make Time Your Own
Just remember to
actually write.
The worst problem with using the internet for research is
getting so distracted with email, games, and forums that no real writing gets
done. Remember to focus, and to turn your web connection completely off when
you are done. Leaving it on is a temptation to procrastinate. And
procrastination is the worst time waster of all.

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