New Places to Write

Startup Stock PhotosIf you like, or are interested in writing, you’ve probably heard of National Novel Writing Month, also known as Nanowrimo. Here, writers of all kinds attempt the intense challenge of writing 50,000 words over the 30 days of November, which is about 1,667 words a day! 50,000 words is a large amount, and is about as long as a 200 page book. Some authors have even been published with the books they started during Nanowrimo, such as The Night Circus, Fangirl, and some of the books in The Lunar Chronicle series.  

Even if you’re not interested in writing, you have probably written something recently, including at some point during November, even though we’re only 9 days in. The most obvious example are things for school, especially around this time of year now that classes are in full swing and more than halfway done for the marking period or semester, but they can also include jotting quick ideas or to-do lists. For some, writing is therapeutic as well, where you can have a private space to write about how you’re feeling that day or over a certain period of time.

The classic journal is always an option for scribbling down thoughts and ideas, but in the technological age, the convenience and the fact that we spend so much time on our electronic devices already can make computers and cell phones much more ideal options. Another classic is Microsoft Word, which for some, can feel like the only option to get things written down. Unfortunately, while effective, it may not be the best fit for all of us, and the spaces where we work can make a huge difference, whether it be our physical location or where we’re staring for hours on end. If you’re looking for something new, here are a few writing systems you can install, and the best part? All of their main features are free, and are available as phone apps too!

StockSnap_M6XC5T3JY3Google Docs You’ve likely also used Google Docs at some point, since Google Drive is pretty much the Gmail equivalent of Microsoft Office. It can be really convenient, since everything syncs up to your Gmail and you can access it on all your devices. It’s also great for collaborations and group projects, since you can add others to read and edit the same document too.

Evernote Evernote is also a cloud, letting you access anything you’ve written on all your devices with the same login. You can organize similar documents under the same folder to keep things de-cluttered, and Evernote is also connected to Google and Siri so you can update things using your voice.

Bear Like the other two, Bear can be used for a variety of things, from checklists to prose. Te variety of things available from Bear can seem endless too: you can change color schemes, link notes together, and use a markup editor. You can also have the app take over the entire computer screen so you’re not distracted by other things too. Unfortunately, however, it’s only available for Apple products.


Do you like to write? How do you think writing, whether for fiction or nonfiction, can help with mental health? Do you have any other recommendations for writing apps?

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Hi! The moderator is a research team member with a background in behavioral health. We're here to help answer your questions and stimulate some great conversation! We don't provide therapy and are not available 24-7 so please if you are in crisis, go to our crisis page: https://sova.pitt.edu/i-need-help-now We look forward to talking to you!

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