Unconventional Tools for Writers

It would be natural to assume that writers don’t need much in the way of tools or equipment. After all, the only things you really need in order to write is something to write with and something to write on. And compared to other occupations, where people might be required to work with several pieces of specialized equipment, it is a very simple and inexpensive set-up. However, most writers use a variety of other tools to aid in their process and today I’d like to take some time to discuss a few items I believe are invaluable for a writer.

The Internet: A Life-Saver (or a Time-Waster)

The first of these tools, and arguably the most important one, is the Internet. It might be a font of useless information, time-wasters, and distractions, but it’s also one of the most important tools in a writer’s arsenal. The Internet makes research as simple as a Google search and also consolidates a variety of tools—such as dictionaries and thesauruses—into one location. The only problem is that it is also an easy way to procrastinate and avoid the actual work of writing. Luckily, there are a variety of tools online that can be used to restrict Internet access, such as Cold Turkey and StayFocused, making it much easier to only use the Internet as a productive tool to enrich your process.

A Notepad: Mobile Tools of the Trade

Another fantastic tool is much simpler and old-fashioned: the notepad.I can’t even begin to count the number of times that I’ve had fantastic ideas while I was writing, only to forget them because I didn’t write them down. Having a notepad by your side makes writing down notes and ideas a breeze, leaving them waiting for you to come back and realize that all of your great ideas were stupid or completely unworkable.

Headphones: Tools for Keeping the Outside World Out

Finally, we have headphones. A lot of people need silence to write, but there are plenty of people in the world that need some sort of noise or music to keep the words flowing. In either case, headphones can be used to control external sounds and keep a writer focused on the task at hand.

Of course, these are only a few of the fantastic tools a writer can use. The important thing is to find the tools and equipment that make your process easier and adapt them to your own use. So, experiment with various things, try new ways of writing, and investigate how useful various tools and pieces of equipment can be. If you do that, you’ll find your own utility belt of tools and reduce the amount of work you have to do.

That’s it for our discussion on the tools of the trade. Next week, we’ll get our hands dirty with some practical exercises. Until then, stay safe and keep writing!

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