5 Essential Pieces of Equipment for Writers

We all know that in fact you don’t really need any special equipment to write except for your brain and perhaps a pen and paper, but there are things which can make writing easier.

Write like the Wind

Essential #1: A portable notepad and pens/pencils: Inspiration can strike at any time so it pays to keep some notepads handy at all times. A portable laptop can be helpful but is by no means essential. Of course, most writing in today’s world occurs with a computer but computers, no matter how portable they are, are always going to be somewhat less portable than the humble and low-tech notepad. Also you don’t need to buy an ornate or overly expensive journal. You can go down to your local drug store and buy a slew of pencils, pens and notepads for the same price as one expensive leather bound journal. You can buy a leather bound journal if you want, but it is not essential.

Finding the best word

Finding the best word

Essential #2: A Dictionary and Thesaurus: When you are a writer words are your life so it pays to keep words near you at all times. If you want to be sure your readers understand what you are trying to say it’s a fantastic idea to be sure you are using the best words possible, or that you are using them properly. Have you ever read a book where the writer used a lot of posh words but rarely used them correctly? It’s like Amy from Little Women. She was always trying to speak with really grown up words, but she usually got either the pronunciation or meaning wrong. Writing works the same way. A handy dictionary and thesaurus are the best tools to help with this. (Note: If you are using Microsoft Word and you want quick access to a thesaurus take the word you want to find a new version of, highlight it, and then press the shift and f7 keys at the same time. A window on the right-hand side of the screen should pop up giving you access to Word’s thesaurus.)

Technology for the win!!

Technology for the win!!

Essential #3: USB Drive(s) or a portable hard drive: Most writers know that in today’s world of technological advances that most writing is going to occur on a computer. Like I said before, cheap pens and notepads are a great and simple way to jot down ideas whenever they happen to pop into your head, but in most cases the finished product is going to be written on a computer. USB drives can hold a massive amount of data and these days are relatively inexpensive. I caught a sale and was able to purchase a 15 gig USB for under $10. Portable hard drives are more expensive than USBs but they are another great way to backup your digital data. There’s nothing worse than the feeling of utter abandonment you get when your computer crashes and you lose your work.

 

Essential #4: An expansive library: All writers begin first as readers so having a large library of books at your disposal is an essential tool for generating ideas. You don’t need to break the bank to do this either. One of the best ways to do this is to gain access to your local library. Many libraries are now allowing their patrons to check out Ebooks as well as paper books. All you need is one little card and you have access to as many books as your heart desires. I spent my entire college career working in my school’s library and my hometown one as well so libraries will always feel like home to me. I say again, always remember that all writers begin as readers.

Virginia Woolf ~  A Room of One's Own

Virginia Woolf ~ A Room of One’s Own

Essential #5: A space of your own: Virginia Woolf once wrote that since the 1800’s in order for a woman to feel the freedom to write she must have at least €200 to herself and her own room. If she had those two things she would not have to be afraid of whatever other people may think of her and she could write as she saw fit. The same type of thing is still true today and not just for the female writers. If you want to write it is key that you have your own space in which to do it. Maybe your space is just a desk in a dorm room, maybe it is an office in your house, but the important part it that the space is yours. For my own part I like to write either at my desk in my room or on my bed, and I usually have either music or a movie playing. All of those things added together equals a place where I feel comfortable enough to write whatever may pop into my head. Writing is hard enough, give yourself a break and give yourself a comfortable place to do it.

Exercise of the Day

Exercise of the Day

Exercise of the Day: The Fortune Teller

Take a character from one of your favorite books and write a story that takes place before the events of the book where they meet a seer and get their fortune told. The fortune teller lets the character know what will happen to them at the end of their story. Imagine how the events of the original story would change if the character had known what would happen to them at the end. For example, how would Othello had been different if Cassio or Roderigo had known about Iago’s intended treachery from the start? Would Nils Bjurman from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo have betrayed Lisbeth the way he had if he had known how that would turn out?

Have fun with this and I will talk to you later. Feel free to comment, I love feedback!!!

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12 Comments

Filed under Characters, Creative, Creative writing, Dialogue, Drama, Ideas, Imagination, Literature, Novel Writing, Playwriting, Plot, Screenwriting, Uncategorized, Writing

12 responses to “5 Essential Pieces of Equipment for Writers

  1. That’s quite a comprehensive list, and a fun prompt.

    Like

    • Thanks! Say, what characters did you end up writing about? I’m always curious to see what characters other people use. I ended up using Grendel. I wrote what would have happened if he had known how Beowulf was going to kill him and rip his arm off. Thanks for reading

      Like

  2. ninakaytel

    One of the downsides to my disability is I can’t write by hand, but even my low-tech phone has a notepad and that lets me jot down ideas. The prompt is fun. I’m reading Game of Thrones, I originally thought of Ned, but now I think of Cat, if she had known .. well there would be no book at all.

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    • I have a hard time writing by hand too, but my trouble is that my handwriting is awful. When I first learned to write I was told that I wasn’t allowed to write with my left hand so I had to switch to the right. Ever since then my handwriting has been atrocious. I have a better time when I write in cursive so that’s what I try to do when I have to write something down. Thanks for reading!

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  3. #3 Couldn’t agree with you more. I keep an updated hard drive in a fireproof safe!

    Like

  4. I completely agree with this list. Thankfully I have everything, a laptop, a good library, I’m a huge reader, and I’m a guy! I have a few USB’s, and my dictionary and thesaurus are my best friends. I write in my bedroom, usually at night, and it’s pretty quiet. Might give that fortune teller challenge a try as well 🙂
    I remember when I wrote my first novel, my computer crashed and I almost lost the whole thing. Thankfully it started quickly so I could get it on my USB!
    God Bless, and great post!

    Like

    • When I was in high school I had to save all my writing on floppy disks. *gasp* LOL! UBS drives existed back then but they were still too expensive. Protection of your material is ESSENTIAL!! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ruthcwelsby

    Your writing is not only fun it is informative – the ideal mix. Thank you for following my blog, its a wonderful boost for a beginner like me.

    Like

  6. Thanks for following my blog. As a former librarian, I appreciate your recommendation of taking advantage of your local library to broaden your reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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