Specifically a writer’s tools. The must beautiful thing about writing is you don’t need much to do it. It can be a relatively inexpensive hobby, all you really need is a pad of paper and a pen or pencil and bam, you can be a writer.
I have the standard pens and notebooks (yes plural), but I prefer to write using my computer. I can write faster and delete errors. Typing allows me to minimize that delay from my thoughts to the screen. My preferred word processor is Microsoft Word. I have a hard time straying way from the tried and true Microsoft products. I have attempted to use Scrivener (which a lot of people swear by), but I just keep coming back to Word. I use the heading functions for chapters and just type away with not a care in my mind, except for where the story is going.
I recently have started making more extensive outlines to expedite the writing process. I typically start out with a handwritten outline or ideas page, but then I go back and add those notes to MS OneNote so I don’t lose them or the notebook I wrote them in. Now with Windows 8, I can save everything on the cloud and access it anywhere, even on my crappy Windows XP machine (yay internet!). I love being able to access my outline at every possible moment. If I have a random idea in the middle of the day at work, I pull up my OneNote notebook and add in a note, in the park during lunch I pull out my phone (you see my point). It’s so handy to be in the age of technology.
Speaking of technology, the best tool I have in my writer’s toolbox is the internet. How marvelous that is! I need to research possible birth defects from drug use…. I’ll Google it and come back with an answer in seconds. It’s amazing the types of information you can find. Even if I want a first hand account of some type of event, I can typically find it through people’s blogs. The best part is I can do it in my lounging pants and a tank top, never having to leave the house (if I don’t want to).
Though for me the internet houses the biggest motivational tool of all times. It allows me to connect and form friendships with a diverse group of writers. I love getting to meet new people, that if it had not been for the internet I would have never met. I have friends all across the world and even though I have never met them in person, I consider them just as much friends as I do someone I met in high school or college. I love being able to talk to an independently published author as I’m reading their book. It also allows me to support other writers when they are feeling unmotivated about their WIP, but also it helps when I feel that way. We all understand each others problems, in the writing community, because we have been there too.
What are your most used writer’s tools?