32 best writing tools and tips of 2020

And that's according to you – readers of the Unslush newsletter.

Hello there

2020 has felt like being trapped in an elevator with doors that never open and a fart with nowhere to go but up your nostrils and into your very being.

I suspect, for a brief moment, the changing of years will briefly feel like those doors being pulled apart. We will step out, not into the fresh air that we all so desperately need, but into another elevator. Its doors shall close. The fart shall follow.

However, speaking from experience, if you wait long enough and keep yourself busy, all farts do eventually escape into the ether. Doors do open. Fresh air awaits.

I'd like to welcome you to the last edition of the Unslush newsletter for this godforsaken annum. In it, you will find the most popular links from every single email I've sent in 2020. Which means it's full of gold dust.

Before you dig in, I have one request.

The newsletter has doubled its readership over the last 12 months and that's with only the bare minimum promotion from me. I'd love to see it grow much more in 2021 and for that to happen, I really need your help.

If you know someone who wants to improve their writing or build a platform for their work, please tell them about Unslush. Forward this email. Share on social. Here’s an exciting button to help you out.

Share Unslush Weekly

I hope you have a very quiet, safe new year celebration.

See you on the other side.

Iain x


New to all of this?

I'm Iain Broome. I wrote a book. Made a podcast. Run a business. And every week I send out an email full of links that help you improve your writing and build an audience for your work. Join 1100+ other sensible folk and get the next edition.


Links of the year

For this special end-of-year Unslush I have been through every edition from the last 12 months and found the link you clicked on the mostest in each email.

The list you find below is in no particular order, though it is sort of backwards chronological in places. And yes, I know that's probably not a thing. I've rewritten the titles so they make sense and you know what you're clicking on.

  1. Writing a Novel When You're Too Busy to Write a Novel

  2. Story Planner – an app for outlining your novel or screenplay

  3. Kurt Vonnegut on how to write a short story [video]

  4. Don’t Be That Person: Classic Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  5. Tools and techniques for taking notes by Jonathan Clem

  6. How to Write a Book: 23 Simple Steps from a Bestseller

  7. How to start a successful membership business without a huge audience

  8. Why and How I Plan my Novels by Sophie Hannah

  9. What To Tweet: 21 Unique and Useful Twitter Post Ideas

  10. Joanne Harris on creative writing courses [video]

  11. How to write a short story... with Joe Dunthorne

  12. The 6 Steps of Building an Audience From Nothing

  13. Ten authors share their best writing advice

  14. The evolution of curated newsletters

  15. How to Remember Something for the Rest of Your Life

  16. How to Keep a Writing Notebook: Notebooks of Famous Writers and Thinkers

  17. Ten lockdown self-care tips for writers

  18. My Tools for Writing Workflow by SL Huang

  19. Authors, Here's How to Build a Fan Base

  20. Stress-testing your freelancing against coronavirus

  21. The Right Way to Peel a Sticky Note

  22. How to Write an Ending that is Surprising Yet Inevitable

  23. How to Read a 240-Page Book in 2 Hours

  24. How To Run Your Life Inside of Notion

  25. Journalistic – an app for micro journaling

  26. Writers and Their Favourite Tools

  27. How To Build a Daily Writing Habit and Write Every Day

  28. How to Create a Writer’s Business Plan

  29. A simple note-taking practice to increase productivity & creativity [video]

  30. How I grew my newsletter to 38,000 people in a year [video]

  31. How I Curate A Weekly Newsletter

  32. The Burner List: My Simple, Paper-Based System for Focused To-dos


Help us grow 🌱

If you enjoy this newsletter, there are three things you can do to help it (us!) grow and reach more people. Which would be lovely.

  1. Share it with someone else. Forward the email. Post on social.

  2. Click/tap the little ❤️ icon there at the bottom. It actually helps.

  3. Subscribe for free.


Tweets of the year

Tweets are but rancid droplets in a tanker full of long-curdled milk. But some of them are quite good. You can follow @iainbroome and @unslush on Twitter.


Who goes there?

Unslush is an email newsletter written and published by Iain Broomefreelance copywriter and author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Join 1100+ other fine people and subscribe for free to get the best writing and publishing-related links sent straight to your inbox. Learn more and sign up.