writing routine

Writing Routine: How to Develop a Foolproof Writing Habit to Write Faster

Writing routines aren’t easy to come by…in fact, it’s one of the hardest parts of writing a book.

That’s right. It’s not coming up with a great book idea, it’s not forming the right words to bring that idea to life…

It’s finishing the damn book.

And that means forming a writing habit that will help you get it done despite your busy life and schedule. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help from Julie-Anne England, an author and busy mom of 4.

For many years I dreamed of being an author. I love to write and there was something about the sound of “author” that made me desperately want to call myself that.

I pictured my brand new life; holding my very own book in my hand, getting emails from people about how my book changed their life and my world opening up as a professional once I saw my name in print.

Well, all this came true and more after I published my first book.

Author Success PLANNER  Accomplish your #1 author goal in the next 90 days with daily accountability,  structure, and tasks formulated by a self-published author of over 25 books!  YES! GET THE PLANNER!

This is how a writing habit through developing a writing routine helps you finish your book:

  1. Learn from those who’ve done it before
  2. Create a time log
  3. Prioritize your time for a writing habit
  4. Decide your daily writing time
  5. Put your writing routine time in your planner
  6. Find accountability
  7. Start your writing habit!

Creating a Writing Habit is Simple

I’m here to tell you that it all comes down to creating a habit to make the time to actually write. You can daydream about your name in lights, write pages of goals and tasks and even design your perfect book cover but until you actually write…. you have nothing.

If I can form a writing routine while also managing all of this..

  • being the wife of a very busy (and very gorgeous) American man who works long hours, including weekends and evenings,
  • mom of three children under the age of 8 who are with me. All.The.Time. (Yes I say that fondly – mostly)
  • homeschooling my children
  • running 2, soon to be 3 blogs
  • training for a marathon
  • bringing my kids to swimming lessons
  • running bible study once a month
  • all the fun stuff that comes with running a home—cooking, cleaning, shopping

so can you.

Trust me, I understand busy!

I say all this to say, it isn’t an excuse for never becoming an author. It all depends on how badly you want it.

And I bet you want it, right? How much? The truth is, it isn’t as hard as you think.

How to Build a Writing Routine and Stick to it

Here are my best tips for creating the habit of writing. These tips will have your very first book in your hands in a few months time (if you stick to them).

Before moving on, though, it’s important to understand WHY you’re building a writing routine.

You want to finish your draft as quickly as possible. After all, this is the single most difficult part for the large majority of writers.

Once your draft is done, it’s smooth sailing (and self-editing) from there.

But in order to build a writing habit that falls in line with getting your book done and accomplishing your writing goals, you need to know the word count you’re shooting for.

Once you have that, you can reverse engineer your writing habit to ensure you’re instilling a routine that gets your book done.

Here’s a calculator to help you figure this out:

FREE TOOL

Word and Page Count Calculator

Choose your book type, genre, and audience for a word count and page number total.

Enter your details below to get your personalized word and page counts for your book!

Your Book Will Have

words

pages

*These results are based on industry standards. The total word and page count will vary from book to book and is dependent on your writing and overall book formatting*

Average Time to Write This Book: 60 days

#1 – Learn from those who’ve done it before

One thing that revolutionized my thoughts around time management was a book I read called 168 Hours: You have more time than you think by Laura Vanderkam.

This book went into depth about how much time we actually spend doing daily tasks such as working, sleeping and watching TV by analyzing people’s day using a time log.

One key takeaway is that people often underestimated how much they slept by a few hours and overestimated how much time they spent working.

When it came to writing my very first book, I realized that I needed to be very intentional with my time and how I was using it.

#2 – Create a time log

After reading 168 Hours, I took a hard look at how I could utilize what I’d learned from Laura Vanderkam.

I followed suit and created a time log of what I was doing for a couple of weeks and I realized something crucial.

I really did need a better handle on what I was doing with my time. Maybe you do too.

Start by jotting down what you are doing every day for a week in 15 minutes segments. Be honest. No one has to see this except you.

Then start looking for areas where you could create more time for creating the life you want, ie. as a writer!

We often spend a lot more time than we think on mundane tasks like this:

  • Scrolling through our phone in the morning
  • Getting ready for the day (shower, brushing teeth, etc.)
  • Making/eating meals
  • Working through meaningless/non-priority tasks
  • Talking to others in person, on the phone, or online
  • Watching TV
  • (or worse) Looking for a show to watch

These are everyday occurrences that you’re probably spending far too much time on than you think. Keeping a log will help you pinpoint where you can speed up or cut out unnecessary tasks to make more time for writing.

#3 Prioritize your time

Take a look at your life and work out any free time that you could dedicate to writing.

Yeah sure, you are really busy, but I bet that you wouldn’t miss much if you cut out that second TV show you watch every night. Or maybe spent a little less time on social media.

Your time log will probably make it very clear which areas you could adjust.

I honestly struggled to find time in my day to write. Even if there was a point that my kids were playing happily in the playroom, it was never a good writing time because with kids you get interrupted. Constantly.

Even with removing time spent on social media and watching less TV, it still didn’t allow for uninterrupted writing time. So I had to be more creative.

One great way to cut down on time spend on your phone, at least, is to use an app or software like Freedom.

writing routine freedom

As seen in the example above, this app can help you solidify a writing routine by actually blocking your access to certain apps or websites in order to prevent you from going to them out of a bad habit.

#4 – Decide on your perfect daily writing time

This may be as little as half an hour, but it needs to be every day (or at least 6 days a week).

This is because creating a writing habit is so important in becoming a writer.

Habits are things that almost happen on autopilot and that is exactly what you want. Cultivating a lifestyle and a habit of writing will make the writing go so much smoother than if you write here and there when you can fit it in.

Here are a few things to think about when choosing your writing time:

  1. Will you be interrupted?
  2. Are there too many distractions happening during that time?
  3. Can you be in a quiet, secluded space?
  4. Will you be in the right mindset to write during that time?

I usually had a couple of hours at night once the kids were in bed but I found that I was too tired by this time and my writing wasn’t very good.

I had to get super disciplined, so I chose to get up earlier to have uninterrupted time to write before the kids got up.

You aren’t a morning person? Yeah, me either but sometimes you have to do the hard things to see the best things come into your life. Right now, it’s just after 5am and the house is peaceful and quiet.

This is now my sacred productivity time.

PS: Interested in some inspirational quotes to finish your project? Check out TheStrive’s 100 Self-Discipline Quotes to Help You Achieve Success


Author Success PLANNER  Accomplish your #1 author goal in the next 90 days with daily accountability,  structure, and tasks formulated by a self-published author of over 25 books!  YES! GET THE PLANNER!

#5 – Put your writing time into your daily planner

No excuses! Use an alarm if you have to and make sure you will not get interrupted. Turn your phone on airplane mode and switch off your email pop-ups.

Or use the Freedom app like I mentioned earlier.

Then show up. Every time.

If you don’t make this a priority, I can guarantee something else will take the spot. And you will find yourself a year down the track still without your book…

If you’re someone who works by an online calendar, even better! You can schedule your writing time daily and it will pop up on your computer or phone to help remind you to get some writing done like in this example:

writing routine schedule

#6 – Find accountability

The novel writing journey can be hard and lonely and there are many times where you may feel like giving up. This is when it is so important to have an accountability person ready to support you.

Your accountability buddy will be aware of your goals and will keep you on track to accomplishing your daily and weekly tasks.

This is what you can expect from an accountability buddy:

  • They know and understand your goals
  • They want to see you succeed
  • They aren’t afraid to be real with you and tell you when you need to get it together
  • They will encourage you in ways that work for you
  • They will meet with you regularly to check-in and help solve problems

Choose someone who you know will be supportive in your journey and who will push you when necessary. Even better if you can have someone who has written and even published a book themselves.

When I was writing my first book, my accountability buddy was amazing.

She checked up on me regularly to find out if I had accomplished what I said I would and encouraged me to keep going. She pushed me when I didn’t feel like sticking to my plan.

Don’t skip this step, it is so important! Add it to your to-do-list for today “Get accountability buddy”!

writing habit

And if you’re not sure where to find an accountability partner, Self-Publishing School has a Mastermind Community filled with writers in the very same stage as you in addition to experts to help you along the way, as you can see from the example above.

#7 – Start writing!

When I first started getting up at 5am, I dreaded it. Like I said, I’m not (or actually wasn’t) a morning person.

writing habit routine

Now I actually get excited about having a couple of hours of time all to myself. This is when I work on my goals and become the person I want to be.

Now it’s a habit and in less than 6 months I have written a book, gone through editing and formatting, launched, watched my book take #1 spot on Amazon in the self-help category AND am busy with book number two!

Your dream life really isn’t as far away as your think. When you make the decision to take control and you turn up day in and day out, that’s when the miracles will occur.

Don’t waste your life with excuses no matter how valid they might be.

Being an author is one of the best things I ever did (and I’ve been to Disneyland!). It showed me that I could do something I set my mind to. It taught me that I could overcome obstacles.


It ingrained the importance of creating a new habit and sticking to it. And now I have a legacy to leave my children.

You can do it too! You have something powerful and exciting inside you that needs to get on paper. Share your story with the world. And when you take this first step, you will never look back!

writers block

Writer’s Block: 13 Hacks to Overcome Writer’s Block For Good

Writer’s block can stump even the best authors in the world. Finding a solution isn’t nearly as difficult as they make it out to be.

But first, let’s uncover what it really is and how writer’s block can affect you.

Writing is hard enough on its own without writer’s block crawling into your brain and snatching up the words you really need to get that chapter done.

But the thing is, we’ve all been there before.

Every writer has experienced the struggle of forcing words onto a document one by one, dragging them kicking and screaming from the corners of your mind only to be left with a single sentence…one hour later.

And you don’t even really like that sentence.

This is how to overcome writer’s block:

  1. Outline your book to beat writer’s block
  2. Research before you write
  3. Write more often to get over writer’s block
  4. Write despite writer’s block
  5. Read often
  6. Get moving
  7. Take a walk to get over writer’s block
  8. Talk about your writer’s block
  9. Gain inspiration elsewhere
  10. Put your phone away!
  11. Reread your writing
  12. Stop comparing your writing
  13. Think “big picture” to get over writer’s block

Being Informed is the Key to Beating Writer’s Block

If you want to cut right to the chase – and save some time – we can sum up what writer’s block is all about: not being prepared.

The more you know and understand about the publishing process, the less you’ll become blocked because you’ll have clear direction – one of the biggest reasons writer’s block encompasses your mind.

And to do that, we put together the free training you need.

What is Writer’s Block?

Writer’s block is what happens when writers and authors can’t think of what to write next and their minds are “blocked” from creating anything new or what they see as good.

It’s a nasty hindrance where you just can’t think of what to write no matter how hard you try and how much you challenge your mind – and a blank document quickly becomes your worst enemy.

Even the best authors out there still deal with this from time to time.

It can slow down your progress and end up taking much longer for you to write your book.

And with so many reasons for writer’s block to take hold – like insecurity, a lack of direction, or maybe even just a bad writing day – it can put you down and complicate the whole writing process.

Getting rid of it is not only the best thing for your book’s progress, but for writing faster and with more quality overall.

If you, much like the rest of us, have ever dealt with writer’s block, here’s how you can sever its annoying restraints for good!

What causes writer’s block?

Underlying issues like insecurity, a lack of direction with your plot, or even too many potential options for your book can cause writer’s block along with your creative “tank” being empty.

While this might sound bad, the best part about all of these is this: they’re preventable.

How to Overcome Writer’s Block by Prevention

Why do we wash our hands frequently during flu season?

That’s right. To prevent succumbing to debilitating illnesses.

And why do we get our oil changed regularly even when our vehicles are (seemingly) running well?

Right again! To prevent breaking down on the interstate and destroying our vehicles from the inside out.

That’s exactly why writer’s block is best beat by preventing the darn thing in the first place!

But how do you do that? It’s not like you can wash your brain or change its oil.

Well, not in a literal sense, you can’t. But you can try a few of these methods to keep your creative juices flowing like Niagara Falls in the springtime.

#1 – Outline Your Book

If there’s one technique that’ll prevent writer’s block the best, it’s having an outline.

These handy tools you didn’t pay attention to creating in school are essentially roadmaps for your book. They cover what happens next and what specific information you need to include.

There are a number of ways you can create your outline; using sticky notes, writing it in bullet points, or even using one that’s attached to a writing software.

How can you not know what to write next if you already have an outline telling you exactly that?

Many of us are stuck and blocked simply because we’re not sure what we should be writing next. Your imagination is at a standstill. You may just be divided between which path your book could potentially take.

Creating a thorough outline squashes those issues so you can write fluidly, quickly, and with quality.

When you’re not focused on what to write next, you can turn your attention to the quality of your writing while pumping out those words much faster, rendering writer’s block inactive.

Use a simple method like the one this student of ours used:

get rid of writer's block

The post-it note wall is one of our favorite methods of outlining here at Self-Publishing School.

It allows you to consistently have eyes on what’s happening next when you’re writing – which can prevent writer’s block.

#2 – Research Beforehand

There’s nothing worse than getting into your writing groove only to freeze because you’re not 100% certain of the facts you’re putting down. Your mind goes blank and the words stop coming.

But since you’ve outlined your book, you know what you’re going to write before you even type that first word. Which means you know the research you need to do beforehand.

Having all the facts makes writing a breeze, and it can also kick-start some fresh ideas and a more imaginative way of thinking.

Here are some of our tips for researching to get rid of writer’s block:

  1. Compile a list of what you don’t know
  2. Highlight or make note of the most important parts
  3. Jot down why it’s causing you to have writer’s block
  4. Make a separate document for what you find
  5. Start researching by using .edu or .gov website (if your topics call for it)
  6. Write down everything you needed to know
  7. Look it over one last time to determine that it’s all you needed to research
  8. Start writing again to beat writer’s block!

Knowing more about a subject enables you to better explain it and writer’s block will run screaming for the hills.

#3 – Form a Writing Habit to Beat Writer’s Block

How often do you write right now? One day a week? A few days a week?

The more you write, the more effortless writing becomes. It’s like running, or exercising in general—the more often you do it, the easier it gets.

Not creating a writing routine those creative muscles. It makes it harder to think in an innovative way, and so you spend hours on a single page simply trying to find a better way to phrase something that’s not even critical to your story.

Keep those writer muscles strong by writing as often as you can – every day, even! If you’ve got the time to flex your creativity, do it.

writer's block

Using a tracking sheet like the one above is a great way to schedule out your goals and then execute in a way that makes you WANT to write every day.

You can also schedule your writing time into your calendar to get alerts and notifications for you to stop and write. This also ensure people don’t schedule meetings with you during this time—so there’s no excused to get writer’s block in this case!

get rid of writer's block

This particular sheet is from a NaNoWriMo blog post, but it serves as a writer’s block cure as well.

How do you get over writer’s block?

So you didn’t survive the preventative measures. That’s okay! We’ve all been there at one time or another and thankfully, we also managed to get through it.

Writer’s block may be fickle and frustrating, but it’s not without weaknesses.

All you have to do is find a way to break through to your true creativity and these are some of the best ways to destroy writer’s block and find the words again.

#1 – Write Anyway to Get Over Writer’s Block

I know what you’re thinking:

“But I can’t! I’m blocked!”

Most of the time, you may just be out of practice and need to find your rhythm again. Even if you’re struggling to get the words out, write them down anyway.

You may not like it and you may go back to change what you wrote later, but it’s the single best way to force writer’s block into submission.

It can’t win if you still write despite its grip on you.

So get those words down and after a little while, writer’s block will scurry back into the darkest corner of your mind and stay there. Finding your flow is sometimes all you really need.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

If you’re feeling blocked with your current story, perform a writing exercise where you just describe your day in prose – like you would writing. Make yourself the main character and craft your day like you would a story in order to gain that momentum again.

#2 – Read

Nothing can get your mind in a creative state more than reading. Picking up a book – any kind of book – and spending 30 minutes reading can spark your imagination and light a fire under you to get back to writing.

It’ll also motivate and inspire you to work harder to reach your goal of publishing a book.

When you’re holding someone else’s hard work in your hands, it’s proof your dream can come true. It’s justifying everything you’ve worked so hard for.

You can also research books about writing in order to learn more about the craft. This can often help with insecurity so you feel ready to write again.

writer's block stephen king

Here are our top recommendations for book about writing to beat writer’s block:

That may just be the push you need to shove writer’s block from your mind and get back to your work.

Never underestimate the power of a good book.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Grab your favorite book and spend 30 minutes reading it – or until you feel inspired and ready to write again. Trust us, it works!

#3 – Get Moving

Exercise isn’t just great for your body, it’s also powerful for your mind.

Scientifically speaking, exercising more not only increases your mood, but your creativity gets a boost as well!

It’s not always easy to coerce yourself into going for a run or even doing a few sit-ups at home when you just settled into your comfy couch to write, but if writer’s block is preventing you from actually getting any productive wordsmithing done, it could make a huge difference.

You can simply do some jumping jacks or take a quick walk around the block. Stimulating your creativity physically might just beat writer’s block for you!

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Get off your butt and do a few jumping jacks! Spend at least 3 minutes doing some sort of exercise, or even go for a full 30-60 minute workout before coming back to writing.

#4 – Take a Walk or a Drive

Mindless tasks help your brain get out of a funk because it frees it from focusing on your daily tasks, the insecurity you may feel about writer’s block, and even the pressure of finishing your book.

The more you can let your mind go, the more creative it becomes. Plus, a change of scenery never hurts the creative process.

Always looking at the same place or even sitting in the same spot to write can be an issue. It’s hard to come up with new ideas and think creatively when you never have anything new fueling your imagination.

Taking a walk or going for a short drive can help you recharge so you can kick that writer’s block to the curb and get back to writing again.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Put on those shoes and hit the pavement. Take 10 minutes and observe your surroundings. Pick one thing you see outside and throughout the duration of your walk, craft a story in your mind focusing on that object.

#5 – Talk it Out

Are you struggling with something specific? Sometimes the confines of your own mind isn’t the best place to work through your writer’s block.

You may be the type of person who needs to verbalize your concerns in order to work through them. And that means you need to get up and actually speak to someone (or even yourself!) about what you’re struggling with.

Writer’s block feeds on uncertainty. The more you question what you’re doing, the worse it’ll get.

By talking through it out loud, you’ll have a new perspective. This will often offer fresh solutions that’ll make you eager to get back to that keyboard.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Try to get your critique partner on the phone or active via messenger. Tell them what’s going on and even ask if they want to take a look at where you left off to bounce ideas off each other.

#6 – Find Inspiration

There are a lot of ways you can go about getting inspired again. While inspiration isn’t necessarily required to write, it certainly helps your drive and imagination.

These are a few ways to get rid of writer’s block if you feel lost:

  • Research related images on Pinterest
  • Read through your outline
  • Read a related book
  • Create a vision board for your book
  • Create a list of goals for after your book is complete
  • Listen to an influential Podcast
  • Watch or read successful author interviews
  • Subscribe and keep yourself updated with the best websites out there

Inspiration is specific to each person. Meaning, it may take a few attempts before finding the method that works best for you.

As an example, whenever I feel stuck or blocked when writing, I open my Pinterest board dedicated to my book and often find this helps.

Here’s an example of what a board for your book may look like in order for you to beat writer’s block.

writer's block pinterest

A Pinterest board like this really just serves to bring your book to reality. When you see what it could look like in the minds of others, it helps you get back on the writing train.

Anything that rouses your excitement to write again tramples that pesky writer’s block.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Get on Pinterest or just Google and look up images that are reminiscent of your book, theme, or story. Compile a folder or board of these and notice the details that make them related to your book.

#7 – Put Your Phone Away!

Are you really experiencing writer’s block or is that “block” in the shape of your phone?

A lot of us love to use the excuse of “writer’s block” in order to justify spending far too much time perusing our social feeds.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to catch up with friends and stay in the know, sometimes it can drag you away from achieving the goal of writing your book.

What you need may not be a cure for writer’s block at all, but something completely different: self-control.

There are even apps for this now! Going to your phone every now and then can be a bad habit, but apps like Freedom help you stay on track.

Freedom works by blocking your ability to access different websites or apps on your phone. This is what it looks like when you attempt to go online or open an app that you have disabled through Freedom:

writer' block app

If you struggle to focus on the task of writing and you somehow always find your phone open to a mind-sucking app, it’s a good idea to switch your phone to silent and shove it aside for the remainder of your writing time.

This alone might be enough to get rid of what’s really blocking your stream of words.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Put your phone in a completely different room and on silent. This will stop you from opening your phone just to scroll and will block any other messages from distracting you until you’re done writing.

#8 – Reread Your Writing

As mentioned above, getting into a rhythm is essential for keeping writer’s block at bay. When you suddenly can’t come up with the right words to describe what’s going on in your mind, it could be because you’ve lost momentum.

Taking some time to reread your previous writing can help by putting you in the same frame of mind you were in the last time you had to stop writing.

This will catapult your brain back into the right place so you can make progress and write easily again.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Head back to the beginning of your current chapter (or the beginning of the previous one if you’re just starting a new one) and just read. Allow your mind to get lost in your own words. You can go further back to read if needed.

#9 – Stop Comparing Your Writing

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Theodore Roosevelt knew as much and we’d wager to bet it also steals any progress you could be making.

The more you worry about how your writing compares to someone else’s (who usually has much more experience than you), the harder it will be to write anything.

That’s where writer’s block comes from in this instance.

You’ll find fault with every word and every sentence even though your work is fantastic the way it is.

Remember that nobody can write the story you are. Your voice and perspective are what makes your book unique in the first place. Changing this will only pull you further away from your identity as a writer.

And most importantly, comparing your writing to someone else’s isn’t productive or helpful for anyone.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Write down 10 things you love about your writing. Get specific and mention why you love your dialogue or why your theme is so unique and special. Recognize your own strengths and then say them out loud to yourself.

#10 – Think of the Big Picture

Writing and publishing a book can be a long, hard process. Sure, the first week is exciting and you want to write all the words but that motivation probably won’t last through the entire process because it is work, after all.

You’ll have rough days – including moments when writer’s block takes hold. What’ll get you through them the easiest is taking a step back and thinking about the big picture.

Ask yourself some of these questions to get rid of writer’s block:

  • Why did you want to write this story?
  • How will it benefit you?
  • How will it benefit others?
  • What message do you hope others receive?
  • What value does this hold in your life?

Pushing yourself to view your writing in terms of the end goal will not only motivate you to get started and put some words down, but it’ll also help remind you of your true purpose for telling this story.

Writer’s Block Action Step:

Write down the answers to the questions above in detail. Then read them out loud to yourself, really hear your own purpose for this book and that can often unclog your writer brain.

How Long Does Writer’s Block Last?

Writer’s block lasts as long as you allow it to, which can often be days or even weeks if you don’t act on it and try these preventative and curing methods.

Ultimately, the longer you put off dealing with the underlying causes of writer’s block, the longer it will last.

Face your writer’s block head-on in order to get rid of it for good and get back to creating something that will resonate with people from all over.

hemingway app

Hemingway App: Hemingway Editor for Writing Improvement [Review]

Writing without editing is like building a house without walls.

If you don’t think so, then you’re probably not someone who’s serious about writing – and writing well.

Not only does editing your own writing help you improve as a writer, but it’s also necessary to turn your very first thoughts of the story or book into something that actually represents how it looks inside your mind.

You know how it is.

Sometimes your writing just doesn’t do the story in your head justice.

Using the Hemingway App editor is a perfect way to get as close as possible to bringing your true vision to life.

In this Hemingway Editor review, we’ll cover:

  1. What is the Hemingway app editor?
  2. Is the Hemingway editor right for you?
  3. How the Hemingway app works
  4. Hemingway app benefits
  5. Hemingway App editor review
  6. Why are adverbs bad in the Hemingway editor?
  7. Next steps for using the Hemingway app editor

What is the Hemingway App Editor?

The Hemingway App is an editor that highlights and corrects grammar, fluency, and sentence structure in order to help your writing read and look better. It’s a self-editing tool that allows you to write more concisely.

If you’re new to the world of writing software, you may not be aware of what’s available for you.

The Hemingway App is just one of many resources out there designed to not only improve your writing as you have it but also teach you how to write better and produce tighter, neater prose in your books.

When it comes to choosing a writing software that’s best for you, there’s a lot to consider.

We make it easier for you. This quiz will tell you which writing software is best for your needs. Who knows, maybe the Hemingway App is your perfect match!

How Does the Hemingway App Editor Work?

Before we get into the Hemingway editor benefits, let’s first touch on how the editor works and what you can expect.

How to Use the Hemingway Editor

STEP #1 – When you visit the Hemingway Editor website, you have the option to paste your writing directly onto the website, or you can download the desktop version to use anytime.

NOTE: If you want to be able to download and save what the Hemingway editor is correcting (or what you correct within the editor) download the Hemingway App for your desktop in order to do so.

STEP #2 – Paste your writing into the app editor directly from the writing software you’re using to complete your manuscript, like in the example from my own work below.

hemingway editor review

STEP #3 – Determine whether or not to take the advice highlighted in the various colors.

This can be the hardest part of using the Hemingway editor. You can’t take every suggestion because then you may lose your own writing voice.

Knowing what each color means in the editor will help you decide what advice to take, and what to leave for stylistic purposes.

Here’s what each color represents in the Hemingway app editor:

Light Blue –

Light blue highlights in the Hemingway editor represent weak words (typically adverbs) that this app believes could be made stronger.

Green –

Green highlights in the Hemingway Editor indicate passive voice—which is not as strong as active voice.

Purple –

When the Hemingway Editor highlights something in purple, it’s telling you that what’s written is a little too complex and it would be easier to read if you altered it or shortened the word.

Yellow –

Yellow highlights are indicative of complex sentences or common writing errors. This means you are better off shortening or splitting up this sentence in order to make it easier to read.

Red –

If your text gets highlighted in red, it means this text is very difficult to read. Think of red as the more severe version of a yellow highlight—it’s usually best not to ignore this suggestion entirely.

The key with using the Hemingway editor is to understand that these are only suggestions. It’s up to you to determine what advice you want to take in order to make your writing stronger.

Remember, this is just an automated app—it cannot replicate your voice or style.

Hemingway App Benefits

Before we get into the real review, let’s touch on the benefits of the Hemingway App in order to help you understand exactly what this writing program has to offer.

#1 – It’s very simple to use

The Hemingway editor is not a difficult editing tool to use. In fact, it’s as easy as copying and pasting – because that’s literally all you have to do.

Just copy the writing you have and drop it into the editor. Then, BOOM, your work has been edited.

Technically, your work has been commented on, and it’s up to you to make the necessary edits suggested by the editor.

As far as ease of use, the Hemingway app is perfect.

#2 – It creates better-sounding writing

A lot of what makes the Hemingway app unique is that its purpose is to help your writing read more fluidly.

One of the main issues with many people’s writing is that it often sounds choppy.

The smoothness of writing is a coveted skill not many possess naturally and therefore, the Hemingway app editor makes it easy to see where your flow is falling short.

Once you know what to watch out for and what habits you tend to fall into, you can correct them going forward and have smoother, easier-to-read prose.

#3 – Anyone can use it

If you have the ability to write, copy, and paste, you can use the Hemingway app editor.

Because this editor works by giving you suggestions within your writing, you’ll have to be able to read and decipher what each piece of advice means as well.

But as long as you can copy and paste your work as well as understand the tips the app is giving you, you can use this.

#4 – It’s cheap or free

Although you can purchase a desktop version of the Hemingway app editor, it’s also completely free to use on their website.

You can just go to Hemingwayapp.com and paste your writing in the space where their writing is.

The results and editing tips immediately populate – all for free.

hemingway app editor review

#5 – You get better the more you use it

As I’ve mentioned above, this is a great app to use whenever you want to check your writing for major grammatical and spelling errors, but you can also use this as a learning tool.

Whenever you input copy for the app to edit, make note of results that pop up time and time again. This will show you where your weakest points are and it also allows you to gauge how much you’re improving whenever you use it.

Hemingway App Editor Review

Let’s get into the real stuff – whether or not the Hemingway App is really worth all the hype.

Take a look at the video below to understand how it works and your different options when it comes to using the Hemingway editor.

Ease of use: 5/5

This editing app is the easiest I’ve seen to use. It’s literally as simple as copy and pasting, as I mentioned above.

The best part about this editor, though, is that its simplicity allows you to use it often and quickly.

Even if you want to just check over an urgent email before sending it, you can do so within a minute.

Functionality: 4/5

The Hemingway app functions just as you’d expect. As far as whether or not the editor does as advertised, it does – but only to a certain extent, which I’ll touch on in the next point.

The app does actually highlight and pinpoint the different areas you can improve on, as well as telling you what reading level your writing is at and how many words it is, as seen below.

Reliability: 3/5

hemingway app review

It’s easy to want to listen to every little thing an editor like this says. After all, it’s factual and that means my writing will be better because of it, right?

That’s not always the case.

One of the downsides of this editing software is that it doesn’t take style and writer voice into account when editing.

This app basically works to correct the most basic common writing problems. However, if you have a very distinct style or a writing voice that strays from “normal” writing guidelines, this editor won’t be able to detect that and edit accordingly.

Therefore, it’s not as reliable for fiction writers because the voices used in writing tend to differ.

Overall: 4/5

Overall, the Hemingway App editor is a great way to make your writing stronger very quickly. However, keep in mind that this should not be used as an editor for every piece of writing you do.

If you’re someone who wants to use it in order to see which areas you need help with, that’s great.

But you will still need to hire an editor even after using this if you want the best quality writing.

Why are adverbs bad in the Hemingway App?

Adverbs are considered bad in writing because they’re weak and can often be replaced with a stronger, more accurate word to reflect the same idea.

I’m sure you’ve heard the famous quote by Stephen King about adverbs.

“The path to hell is paved with adverbs.”

If you want your writing to be impactful, you have to use strong verbs instead of adverbs in order to get the point across.

She ran quickly to grab her backpack before leaving for school.

She sprinted to grab her backpack before leaving for school.

These two sentences say the same thing, but the second is stronger due using a better, more fitting verb instead of an adverb.

How does this involve the Hemingway App editor?

The editor is designed to find little mistakes like this in order to help you write with more clarity and intrigue.

You won’t have to worry about missing these mistakes when self-editing because the app will point them out for you.

strong verbs

Strong Verbs: An Easy Guide for Using & Understanding Strong Verbs

Strong verbs are essential for great writing.

Not only do you need to know HOW to use powerful verbs, but having a strong verbs list at your disposal is invaluable. We’ll cover both for you.

I used to think writing a book was easy.

And in all honesty, writing has never been the most difficult thing in the world for me but when it comes to writing stories and crafting my writing in a way that compels others and pulls them in deeply, it’s been an uphill battle – before I discovered using strong verbs along with interesting and cool words to use, that is.

INSTANTLY Make Your Writing Stronger!

300+ Strong, Impactful Verbs List (including the weak verbs to replace!)

Strengthen your writing by downloading your FREE strong verbs list with over 300 verbs paired with common weak verbs that make your writing worse!

Here’s how to use strong verbs:

  1. What is a strong verb?
  2. FREE downloadable 200+ strong verbs list
  3. Strong verbs versus weak verbs
  4. Weak verbs to replace in writing
  5. What are to be verbs
  6. To be verbs list
  7. How to use strong verbs the right way
  8. Why you should use strong verbs
  9. Strong action verbs for better writing

I never struggled with putting my thoughts on paper or even coming up with the story ideas in the first place. In fact, outlining a book is one of my favorite things to do!

Nope.

My biggest hurdle was bringing the emotion I was trying to convey to life.

And as I delved deeper into the literary world, I quickly realized that using strong verbs is a must if you want to create something that leaves a lasting impact.

What is a strong verb?

Thanks to every English class growing up, you know a verb is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.

But what’s the deal with strong verbs? It’s not like they can hit the gym and bulk up, right?

A strong verb is a better and more descriptive version of a basic verb that creates a stronger visual and can help create a mood (or vibe) for the scene.

Weak VerbStrong Verb Variations
RunBolt, sprint, jog
WalkSlink, trot, mope
MakeCreate, forge, foster, brew
SaySpeak, voice, purr, mutter

So although you can use the basic verb and still tell the same story, you will create a deeper impact within the reader if you use a strong verb in its place.

Strong verbs only help your writing

I’ll be real with you here. Using strong verbs will definitely make your writing more intriguing and will increase the chances of someone buying (and loving!) your book.

BUT, they won’t help you know how to publish a book that sells.

And what’s the point of having incredible writing if you can’t publish it in a way that allows for the world to see it?

Well, that’s where we come in. No matter how great your book is, you still need to know how to put it all together, market it, and then self-publish in a way that generates sales.

Strong verbs vs. weak verbs

What’s the real difference here? How can you tell the difference between a strong verb and a weak one?

Since you can’t exactly ask words to flex, you need another system to determine if your verbs are weak or not.

Here’s how we define strong verbs vs weak verbs:

Weak verbs are the “basic” forms of a specific action, like “walked” or “ran.”

Strong verbs are a specified form of a broader action, like “stomped” or “bolted.”

So the main thing you need to remember when it comes to strong verbs vs weak verbs is how specific it is.

[Tweet “HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WRITING: Use strong verbs instead! Weak verbs are the “basic” forms of a specific action, like “walked” or “ran.” Strong verbs are a specified form of a braoder action, like “stomped” or “bolted”.”]

Weak Verbs to Replace in Writing

The weakest verbs you can replace in your writing are to be verbs. These pull your writing quality down and peg you as an amateur.

Other weak verbs include basic forms of any verb, like run, walk, say, sit.

Now, keep in mind that weak verbs are absolutely okay to use on occasion.

The issues arise when you’re using these verbs over and over again when there are better, stronger verbs you can use to make your writing more powerful.

Sometimes the best verb to use in a situation is the weak verb. Just keep a look out for how often you’re using that basic form so you can beef up your writing by replacing them in other places.

What are to be verbs & how to replace them in your writing?

To be verbs are any verbs used to describe a state of being, including these terms: is, am, are, was were, be, being, been.

In order to make your writer stronger, it’s important when to use them and when they’re making your writing clunky and weak.

Here are a few examples of how to replace to be verbs with something stronger:

"To Be" Verbs SentenceReplacing "To Be" VerbsReplacing Weak Verb with Strong Verb
She was walking through the corridor.She walked through the corridor.She slinked through the corridor.
Conrad is afraid of the dark.Conrad fears the dark.Conrad cowers from the darkness.
I was being chased by someone I didn't know.I was chased by someone I didn't know.Someone I didn't know chased after me.
I was wanting to visit this forest for as long as I can remember.I wanted to visit this forest for as long as I can remember.I longed to visit this forest for as long as I can remember.

To Be Verbs List

One of the best ways you can strengthen your writing is to use strong to be verbs. These will instantly make your writing more compelling and less amateurish.

These are state-of-being verbs like to be verbs to look out for in your writing:

  • Am
  • Are
  • Be
  • Been
  • Being
  • Can
  • Could
  • Did
  • Do
  • Does
  • Had
  • Has
  • Have
  • Is
  • May
  • Might
  • Must
  • Shall
  • Should
  • Was
  • Were
  • Will
  • Would

How to use strong verbs in writing

Littering your writing with strong verbs won’t necessarily make it any better. In fact, if you overdo it, those verbs will have the opposite effect.

Instead of making your writing stronger, it can bring it down to an amateur level.

That being said, I created the video below in order to help you understand how to use strong verbs in your writing the right way.

https://youtu.be/AkaDkGgmeS8

Why & How to Use Strong Verbs in Writing

Because your writing will be better overall. One of the best ways you can immediately make our writing stronger is by going through and crossing out each weak verb and replacing it with a better one.

Here’s how your writing will improve when you choose to use strong verbs.

#1 – Stronger visuals

One of the most important parts of any book is that your readers can get a precise visual. If they’re going through the chapters not fully picturing what’s happening, they won’t be fully invested.

And readers who aren’t invested don’t become fans. And they don’t leave reviews. And they don’t buy any other books you publish.

Strong verbs take a basic sentence and form a very specific image in the reader’s mind. Doing this throughout the entirety of your book will leave your readers feeling as if they just stepped out of an entirely different world.

And that’s exactly what you want.

Take these strong verb descriptions for example:

  • She walked into the room, her cape trailing after her.
  • She charged into the room, her cape billowing after her.
  • She strutted into the room, her cape flowing after her.

Each of these sentences is extremely similar in what they tell you; a girl with a cape entered a room.

But changing the verbs from “walked” to “charged” to “strutted” alters the way in which she entered.

It tells you the how.

And knowing how an action takes place sets up far more than just the image for the reader. It tells them the mood the character’s in, increases suspense in some cases, and even creates anticipation for what’s to follow.

strong verbs definition

#2 – More impactful emotions

The goal of your book (and any book, really) is to make your reader feel something. You want to stir emotions in them.

That’s why they read books. That, and they want to be transported to a different world, which strong verbs are also used for.

But one of the main reasons to use strong verbs in writing is to create a more emotional impact.

When you want to create a strong reaction in your reader, no matter what type of reaction that is, you need to use strong verbs.

Here’s an example of creating more anxiety or anticipation in your readers:

  • My heart was beating so fast I could hear it.
  • My heart crashed against my ribs, echoing in my head.

Which sentence gives you a clearer picture of the anxiety that must be felt?

The second, right.

Because replacing “was beating fast” with “crashed against my ribs,” shows you just how hard my heart felt. And that’s the difference between a weak verb and a strong one.

[Tweet “Strong verbs in writing are the KEY to “showing and not telling” in order to hook readers.”]

#3 – Helps you show, not tell

By now you know just how important showing versus telling is in writing. And one powerful way to show more and tell less is to use strong verbs.

It forces you to think more about the visual you’re trying to show the reader instead of just telling them what happened.

Because showing creates a stronger emotional connection between the reader and your book, replacing weak verbs with more powerful ones will hook your readers.

For those of you who struggle with showing and not telling, focusing on using better verbs will help tremendously.

#4 – They reduce weak adverbs

When you’re writing, you may have a tendency to write sentences like, “I gripped the steering wheel firmly.” While this doesn’t look like a terrible sentence, it also doesn’t convey a very strong visual.

Whenever you have an adverb, you should replace it with a stronger verb. That’s all an adverb is. It gives your weak verb a boost but it doesn’t actually make your sentence any stronger.

Instead, replace “gripped firmly” with a powerful verb like “clenched” or “squeezed.”

“I clenched the steering wheel” is a much stronger sentence that gives a clearer visual.

Go through your writing and pick out some adverbs to replace. Your writing will be better because of it.

#5 – They make for more concise writing

strong verbs list

Have you ever picked up a book that looked decent enough and even had an awesome title only to start reading and be turned off by how wordy and jumbled it is?

Strong verbs prevent this.

When you replace weak verbs and adverbs with a single stronger verb, you get rid of the excess writing that can make reading harder.

It also saves you a ton of time cutting words during the editing phase.

Because you’re using one word to create a strong visual, you won’t have to write more trying to describe how it looks to you. That strong verb does the job for you.

This also allows for easier, more fluid writing and reading.

Strong action verbs for better writing

I won’t lie. One of the most frustrating things to read is a book that lacks strong verbs in scenes that are meant to be full of action.

You’ll find this most often in fiction, but nonfiction books can be just as (if not more!) guilty of this. When you have a story that should leave the reader’s heart pounding but it doesn’t even raise their eyebrows, you have to do some digging to improve.

Here’s a list of strong action verbs to improve your writing:

  • Slam
  • Strike
  • Crash
  • Slice
  • Smash
  • Ram
  • Smack
  • Bang
  • Dash
  • Bolt
  • Charge
  • Shoot
  • Bound
  • Plunge
  • Hurl
  • Fling
  • Lob
  • Carve
  • Forge
  • Force

Take One To Go…

Grab your copy of our Strong Verbs List to download to your PC, phone, or place in your cloud storage – for a strong verb when an idea strikes you on the go!

INSTANTLY Make Your Writing Stronger!

300+ Strong, Impactful Verbs List (including the weak verbs to replace!)

Strengthen your writing by downloading your FREE strong verbs list with over 300 verbs paired with common weak verbs that make your writing worse!