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Websites And Tools For Future Authors: My Journey To Authorship

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Up until my time here at MSU, I was using Google Docs to draft what I hope to be my first published book. While attending Creative Writing Club during fall semester I was informed that Google Drive utilizes its users’ documents to help develop AI’s ability to write. This scared me immensely — the threat of my ideas and work having the possibility of ending up on the other end of someone else’s search result, ending in stolen ideas which prevents me from harnessing my own originality. This led me to a long and hard search for tools to not only ensure that I develop my story away from these influences, but that also offer me interconnectedness to the world of authorship. Over the course of these past couple of months, I have tried out and used multiple different websites and tools that have diversified and expanded my portfolio, knowledge, and connectedness within the writing field. 

The first website that I came across while on my hunt for a platform to develop my work was a website called Reedsy (Reedsy.com). Something that really drew my attention to this site was not only its ability to deconstruct what I had written into chapters and parts with their own titles and sections unlike Google Drive, but its accessibility with reference to the tools that it offers to its users. Reedsy has the ability to connect potential authors to editors, cover designers, marketers, literary agents, ghost writers, publicists, web designers, and free learning courses. This lengthy list of tools had me picturing all the possibilities that were at my fingertips, and all the different ways that I could go about my future of writing and publishing my book. While using Reedsy to draft what I have of my book, I found that they had very helpful tutorials throughout each part of the drafting process. For example, how to correctly format and word an interesting title, how to design cover pages and chapter pages, along with general formatting tips and tricks. Along with this, they had an entire “planning” section that allows authors to outline important characters, plot points, and developments within the storyline that they can refer back to throughout their drafting process. 

Reedsy does a great job at offering authors a multitude of tools so that they can not only know exactly what to expect throughout the publishing process, but also the creationary process as a whole. From what I have seen from my research and personal experience using websites such as this, Reedsy offers its users absolute control and endless help for absolutely free! 

Along with drafting my book, I have been working on my own personal blog to write about the things that I read and find interesting within movies and shows that I watch. I had scoured the entire internet to find a tool that could help me make a website for free… and let me tell you, that was an extremely difficult task. After days of searching, I came across WordPress.com. WordPress, I will say, is one of those websites that makes it very difficult to use for free with all of its “upgrade here” pop-ups and small exit buttons, which I will say is very annoying. But despite this, I do really enjoy using the site. While creating my blog, I found that they had many templates to select from, ranging from webstore templates to blog templates. I found these templates to be a huge help when constructing the blog that I wanted. While the editing process is difficult and a bit messy, there are countless videos on YouTube that show how to use the site and tailor it to your needs. After watching some of these tutorials, I found the navigation of the site to be a lot easier. 

WordPress not only offers your readers options to subscribe for email notifications when you post (I know so cool right… I feel so professional!) but also offers its website creators to access analytics on how many subscribers, viewers, and readers that they have — all for free! If you plan on using this site, make sure you watch tutorials and use the templates; but as writers always do, add your own pizzazz. WordPress is another great website for aspiring authors and bloggers to expand their audiences completely under their control and their own timelines!

The last extremely helpful tool that I have come across while on my journey to authorship is the website Evernote.com. Evernote allows its users to quickly jot down notes with its free desktop app, and along with this, attach videos, pictures, and multiple notes to one another! I know that when I finally act on my interest in writing a fantasy novel, Evernote will be my saving grace when it comes to tying character descriptions and plots together to create my story. On the topic of character descriptions and plot points — Evernote has creative writing note templates that allow its users to insert pictures and descriptions of their main, antagonist, and additional characters along with their important plot points which I think is such a crucial aspect to the planning process. With this, it also allows users to sync their calendars to the app so that you stay on track of your projected timelines. 

Overall, Evernote offers so many different templates and possibilities for authors during their planning process that it is hard for me to even comprehend. Using this, for classes specifically, has helped me stay on top of assignments and jot down quickly stated due dates and project details. I know that when it comes time to draft my first fiction/fantasy novel, this tool will be one of my most used!

As an aspiring author, the world of authorship can be daunting with how many new books are published each month, how many stories have been told, and how many characters have been drawn upon. These resources allow authors to explore new ideas and stories. Playing around with these tools allowed me to be able to come up with ideas that I had never thought possible and pushed my creativity to limits that I didn’t know existed.

Mia is a freshman at Michigan State University studying both English and Philosophy with a deep interest in publishing her own book one day! Some of her favorite books include: Game Of Thrones, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Fourth Wing, Where The Crawdads Sing and Harry Potter. Mia has always had a love for writing, both academically and creatively. Throughout her life, she has written hundreds of papers and articles and is currently in the process of working on her own biographical novel that she hopes to be published by the end of her time at Michigan State University. Mia is constantly working on expanding her knowledge of literature, music, and writing and hopes to explore these topics even more during her time with Her Campus MSU!