When I’m depressed, writing and journaling becomes impossible. I stare at the page with nothing to say because (insert self-shit-talk here).
Since the lockdown in 2020, I’ve desperately explored various software as avenues for more automatic creative expression.
For context, I have very little experience with creative software and I am legally blind so, in many cases, I had to take online classes on YouTube (free) or LinkedIn (monthly subscription, I paid for 3 months). The classes were well worth it.
Lately when I find myself in a rut, after I get through the initial “please kill me” week, I branch out into a different medium. The freedom to kind of suck at it and the joy of discovery take over and I find some form of expression most of the time.
Take a look at the list below and try out a story-telling software. But, one tip, set a time limit. Don’t spend hours in a brand new medium crafting a “masterpiece” that you will ultimately feel embarrassed about ten minutes after you’ve “finished”. Just play around with one of these and see if you can find your voice again. You’ll get there.
- Wattpad (free, online or app store)—Tell stories, write an entire book, meet friends, read amazing fan fiction. There’s freedom here to write whatever you want in book form. Maybe try poetry or a cook book. A kids book? An epic.
- Evernote (free, online or app store)—Digital notepad or virtual post-it pile. I can spend hours writing lists and reading old research
- Canva (free, online or app store)—great way to play with images if you’re afraid of photoshop or prefer free software. You might surprise yourself with your designer’s eye.
- Adobe Photoshop (subscription, online)—Requires some training but legit has changed my life and made me feel like a much more capable storyteller
- Adobe Illustrator (subscription, online)—If you want to play around with your own drawings, better option than photoshop
- Splice (subscription, app store)—BEST mobile video editing tool. It does come at a cost but if you use it a lot, it’s awesome. This app was the first I ever used to make stop motion.
- Videopad (One time charge, online)—Easier to use and more affordable AND requires less RAM than Creator Studio, but a little more frustrating and strange
- Adobe Premiere Pro (subscription, online)—Take a course and it’s easy as pie
- Ultimate Guitar Tabs—I randomly purchased a cheap ukulele and taught myself to play using these tabs. I suck at it. But it’s fun.
- Tik Tok–Sounds lame but try it. Try those dances. I am not a good dancer and it was a good laugh.