Sunday, April 28, 2013

22 Question of the Week - What are your essential writing tools?

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April 28, 2013

Question of the Week
What are your essential writing tools?


We all have our favorite writing tool, whether it be a book on craft, or computer software, or index cards. An ergonomic chair, perhaps. An MP3 player loaded with motivational music. A specific mug filled with a specific tea. It’s something that, once discovered, we can’t imagine how we had ever written without it. What writing tools do you consider to be essential?




My answer: Because my family is crazybusy and sometimes I have to write wherever and whenever I can, I cannot be dependent on a specific place or certain conditions in order to write. However, one thing I can’t imagine writing without is Scrivener writing software by Literature and Latte. Coming in a close second is Freedom software, which turns off my laptop’s internet connection for a length of time so I won’t be distracted by email and Twitter. When I’m away from home, I make heavy use of my smartphone’s Evernote app. I use it to jot down ideas for both my current and future manuscripts, and sometimes I even write complete scenes on it. When I return home, all I have to do is sync my notes to my laptop. Easy peasy. My only low-tech essential tool would have to be my knit, rainbow-striped slipper socks. Because, as everyone knows, cold feet block the flow of creativity.

YOUR TURN: What are your essential writing tools?

22 comments:

  1. Foam ear plugs. Even if the apocalypse arrives I intend to keep writing.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. Ha ha, I love that! I have foam ear plugs in right now. Music blocks the distractions. You're right--a zombie apocalypse could be happening right behind me and I'd never know it.

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  2. Not sure if this counts, but my laptop. I have to be able to write all over the place and while I love my desktop I just couldn't be quite as productive without my laptop. Past that — a cold drink, writing makes me thirsty I guess.

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    1. Absolutely, Brandon. I love the portability of a laptop! It's essential tool for me as well. Thanks!

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  3. I love OneNote, but stupid MS hasn't made one for the Mac, and evidently, they don't intend to. I used to be able to keep all my stuff synced between my iPad and my laptop, but the idea of having to transfer everything over to Evernote makes me cringe. I need to do it though. For the moment, when I'm doing research, I am bookmarking things and those are at least available on my iPad and my laptop.

    My most indispensable writing tool? Tea. The act of taking a sip gives me long enough to think about where I'm going and it's like a mini recharge of energy. :)

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    1. Nice, Martina! Too bad about OneNote. I heard somewhere that Scrivener has an iPad app, or they're close to releasing one. Maybe that will solve your syncing problems!

      Yay for tea!

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  4. My trinity is: macbook, ipod, and a trenta berry hibiscus refresher from Starbucks (or sometimes Chai Tea if I'm feeling spicy).

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    1. Nice, Leslie! My favorite Starbucks drink is the venti skinny vanilla latte, iced.

      Do you do all of your writing at Starbucks while you drink your hibiscus refresher and listen to your ipod? Sounds like a perfect writing environment!

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  5. My little tiny netbook (I have little tiny hands so the keyboard is perfect for me), movie soundtracks, and diet coke or coffee.

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    1. I have a netbook too, Jan! I carry it in my purse during weeks that are exceptionally busy so I can grab every spare second to write. A few months ago I almost cried when it died on me. Turns out it just needed a new battery. D'oh!

      What movie soundtracks to you like to listen to?

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    2. I'm glad it was just the battery! My battery holds like zero charge now. I really need to order a new one but I keep forgetting. I mostly listen to a soundtrack station on Pandora. There's a station called Spooky Symphonies that I really like too.

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  6. Coffee for me or tea and my laptop and I have to have it absolute quiet. I am too distracted otherwise. I also have either a notebook or index cards to write notes on.

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    1. Absolute quiet: sounds heavenly. Kathleen, I take it you have a quiet, private room for writing? I'm jealous!

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  7. Ooo, smart to disconnect from the Internet to save on distractions. I've uninstalled yahoo messenger and email alerts. I only check my email when I need a brain break.

    I've never used Scrivener. All I need is Word on my computer, a glass of water, quiet (no music!) perhaps a few scribbled hand notes, and I'm off!

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    1. Love it, Carol! So easy and simple. Fantastic!

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  8. MS Word is a given, since it's what I would use for all polishing at the end, but during the writing process, my favorite go-to tools are: Scrivener, Scapple and Aeon Timeline.

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    1. Oh, I'm jealous! Scapple and Aeon Timeline aren't made for Windows yet, and that's what I have. I'd love to get a Mac, mostly so I can import Scapple and Aeon Timeline into Scrivener. I'm glad they work so well for you!

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  9. - Samsung Galaxy Note tablet with its keyboard
    - Evernote to write down ideas as I go
    - Write or Die for when I need to write fast without thinking
    - Google Docs to access my file anywhere
    - My ipod for good music
    - A coffee shop with good quality coffee
    - My moleskin to write down outlines and character bios

    I've tried scrivener but it just doesn't work for me.

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    1. Nice, Stephanie! I'm way too scared to try Write or Die but I know many people love it. Thanks for the comment!

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  10. Agreed with most of you that a laptop (NetBook because I'm cheap) is a must! Good headphones that fit over my ears, music without lyrics, good quality decaf coffee, and OpenOffice.

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  11. I love your list, Sarah. Except for the decaf. I must have caffeine!

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  12. My mac. Warm socks. (I too can't write with cold feet) and sometimes a favorite sweatshirt-- or comfie clothes. No music, but do love looking out at my backyard and hearing the birds when possible!

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