Yesterday I said I would talk about the Hemingway App, so here goes. The Hemingway App is a word processor technically, but it does more than run a spell check on your text the way Microsoft Word does. The Hemingway App doesn’t do spell check at all. The Hemingway App is tuned to pick up passive voice, hard to read sentences, and the overuse of complicated words. The New Yorker did a story on it, which I found interesting. For this post, I’m calling applications that go beyond spell check, grammar word processors, rather than just word processors. I won’t review the Hemingway App, but here’s a decent overview if you’re interested.
Anyone starting out attempting to write long-form pieces should use a grammar word processor like the Hemingway App. It’s an easy way to clean up your text if you simply take the application’s suggestions and swap out words like “utilize” for “use.” But if you make all the changes the Hemingway App suggests, you’ll end up with many short choppy sentences that my 7-year-old would be happy to read. So don’t do that. Use it to root out passive voice and adverbs. It’s an easy way to make big improvements and find other low hanging fruit. And don’t bother buying the software download. Copy and paste your text into the web application for free in your browser. It does the same thing as the $19.99 version. Easy peasy.
Another grammar word processor is Grammarly. Now hear this: everyone should take the five minutes to install the free version of the Grammarly keyboard. Because why not? It’s free, and I just used it to change 7 year-old to 7-year-old in that last paragraph. Normally I’d eat up a minute or two looking up something like that, but with Grammarly, it took no time at all. Sweet. The free version of Grammarly is GREAT for everyday writing such as emails and maybe longer social media posts. It’s annoying for text messages, however. The Hemingway App is not practical at all for day-to-day writing. For 99% of people out there just wanting to write more, the Hemingway App plus the free Grammarly version will answer the mail in leveling up your writing skills.