Tools and Resources

Tools and Resources

Like in any profession, a writer needs his/her tools. These tools may be analog–special pens, paper–or the digital kind–grammar and spell checkers, style guides, and the like.

Here, we have gathered a few tools for you, which you may find helpful. The value of any tool rests in its application and consistent use, so try these out and see what you think.

If you have a tool that helps you write, let us know, and we’ll share it with the group.

typing life story on keyboard

Take a Tour of Life Writers

This course walks you step-by-step through all aspects of the Life Writers website.

Buddy Group Aids

Buddy Group Orientation and Recommendations

We’re proud of the direct and personal connections Life Writers get to make by being part of a buddy group. Members are paired up with two or three other writers to share stories, provide one another feedback, offer support and encouragement, and much more.

The Buddy Group Packet gives you an overview of how buddy groups function, how to connect with your buddy group, and everything you need to know about Feedback Group.

 

Learn more about buddy groups–view a past Buddy Group Orientation for more information.

Giving and Receiving Feedback

The idea of giving people feedback on their stories and hearing feedback on your work can be quite scary.

Fear not. We are a supportive bunch who help each other improve our writing skills. You don’t have to be an expert editor to give good and valuable insight into a story.

This video explains the feedback process Life Writers follows, and it then leads you through a sample feedback session. You’ll follow this feedback process in your buddy groups throughout each Life Writers session. You’ve got this.

Track Your Progress

Week-by-Week Task Checklist – This checklist will guide you through each week of the Life Writers session, noting the events and assignments you can focus on in any given week. Print a copy so you can stay on track, week by week.

I Wrote Today! – Here’s a pen-and-paper tool you can use to check off each day you wrote or enter the number of words you racked up. Print this sheet and keep it nearby, so it’s easy to reward yourself with a big, fat checkmark or a nice, round number.

Tracking Spreadsheet – The perfect way to claim the work you do. Enter your name at the top of an unused column, and then, every time you write, key in either the number of words written or the amount of time written or both. The spreadsheet calculates your words and/or hours each week and gives you a grand total at the bottom of the sheet.

Miscellaneous Info

Clear Your Cache

Clearing your cache will fix 90% of the technical problems you have with Life Writers.

Do this before you post your problem in the forum or email us. It will be the first thing we ask, “Did you clear your cache?” If you haven’t, we won’t go any further until that has been done.

It is so easy. Simple hold down the shift key and click on refresh at the top of your browser page. If you use Chrome, MS Edge, or Firefox, the refresh button is at the top left of the URL bar. If you use Mac products and the Safari browser, it is at the top right.

If you experience any internet trouble whatsoever, take these actions before contacting us for help. More often than not, clearing the cache will do the trick.

MS Word Tools

Microsoft Word contains a number of useful tools for writers, including a speech-to-text function, a read-aloud feature, and track changes, which records all changes to a document. Click on the button below to access a course that shows how to use these tools.