10 Essential Tools For Writers

Every writer needs a certain set of tools in order to write. And, trust me, it’s not as simple as to just pick up a notebook and write. It might be for some writers (mostly intuitive writers,) but for most of us, there is a need for much more than just a pen and paper.

If you wish to become a professional writer then there are some things that you need in order to get started and some things that you need in order to help you write consistently, making it not feel like a task. For this I have come up with a list of 10 things that any writer who wants to write regularly must have.

Out of these some things you’ll need right away, while some things you can get over the course of time, so don’t think that you need these tools to begin writing. You just need them to be able to write regularly. Especially if you are planning to write a book or a story.

Following is my list of 15 Essential Tools for Writers that are a must for any writer who wants to write professionally and hopefully full-time someday.

10 ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR WRITERS

1. PERSONAL WRITING MACHINE:

These are my writing machines – The silver one is my first ever personal laptop and hence I refuse to part from it. The grey one is my new one and the one I presently use. 

The first and most important thing a writer needs in order to write is a writing machine. A lot of people are of the opinion that writing can be done on a simple notebook and that they don’t need a machine for it. I agree with the first part of that statement, but not with the second one. Here’s why – imagine writing a 60K-80K words long novel in a bunch of notebooks and then having to TYPE the entire thing just because no publisher would accept your handwritten manuscript. 

You see the point, yet?

You can write in a notebook, no question about it, but the thing is at some point you’ll have to type the entire thing, so why to waste all that time (or money in case you get a professional to do it for you) when you can simply type your notebook. If you are serious about your writing then I am sorry to break it to you but you need to type it on a computer/laptop or tablet. And no, you can’t use a phone to write your pieces simply because it’ll be a nightmare for your eyes as well as your mind after the first couple of thousand words.

So what you need is a personal writing machine. Why I say ‘personal’ is because you will have a lot of files, a lot of document, folders and pictures related only to your writings to be having to share your machine with anyone. Having said that, you absolutely do not need an expensive machine, you can go for a basic 2nd hand laptop too. All you need is a personal writing machine which you can use to write.

If you are planning to buy a new machine then I’d highly recommend MacBook Air.

2. WRITING SOFTWARE:

Now that you’ve got your own machine, the next thing you’ll need is writing software. Why I have it here at the 2nd place is because as a writer you’ll be spending a lot of time using it, so make sure that you explore all your options and choose wisely. 

There are tons of writing software in the market these days, but the most popular one that is used by most writers is Scrivener. It is a one-time buy and you can totally get it but I don’t use it myself as I find it too complicated to be worrying about while working on my writing. I’d recommend it to writers who are planning to write fantasy novels because it has some great planning tools and most of the self-published writers swear by it as it compiles the book and produces it in any desired e-book format.

But, if you are a beginner and find it better to use simple things (like me) then go for the most basic ones:

  • Microsoft Word for Windows
  • Pages for MacBook

I personally use a 50-50 mix of Pages and Word as it serves me well. I do the initial drafts on Pages and the later ones on Word as my editor uses it. Also, in the latest versions of both these softwares, you can compile the document into e-book formats. So better start simple.

3. NOTEBOOKS OR JOURNALS:

Having a writing machine is never enough, trust me. There will be times when you’d want to either write down your ideas or develop them in longhand. So you do need notebooks or journals with you. 

If you are a beginner and don’t know what kind of notebook or journal you may need then go for simpler ones. If you buy expensive notebooks or journals you’d face a form of writer’s block that will prevent you from ruining a good notebook/journal. So buy the rough ones in which you can squiggle easily and won’t mind if you end up ruining them with you ‘not so good ideas.’

Also, try and maintain a Morning Words or Morning Pages journal and fill it with 200-500 words every morning. This brilliant writing advise is by Julia Cameron and she writes in detail on this in her book The Artist’s Way.

4. Reading Material:

If you want to be a writer, you’ll have to read. Read all the book you can get your hands on, especially the genre you want to write in. But don’t get too stuck over on genres, try and read a mixture of books because reading teaches most of the things you need to know about writing. OS unless you read at least 3-4 books a month, you won’t get very far in your writing.

You can always buy books from shops or online or from sale or seconds. If you want to explore cheaper and better options then get e-books or a library membership. Also, there are millions of free books you can simply download and read on your laptop or phone if you don’t have an e-reader through websites like Project Gutenberg and Librivox.

Bottom line is that you NEED to read.

5. Language Guides:

If you don’t already have a guide for the language you write it, then get one today because grammar is one hell of a tough cow and at some point or the other you’ll need it for guidance. So better be prepared. As they say, practice makes one perfect and perfecting your grammar can go a really long way in helping you to improve your writing.

Again, a lot of people believe that they don’t need to be good in grammar for writing. You don’t have to be perfect, agreed, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn it to get better. You need to constantly grow as a writer and trust me, there is no bigger turn off than a writer with poor grammar, no matter what language you write in.

6. Writing References:

Being a writer is a tough job and one needs to constantly keep on learning and growing in order to get better at their craft. Writing talent is a gift, but the craft of writing and the skill of a writer has to be learned and constantly improved. Any art form is a learning curve and so is writing, the sooner you accept it the sooner you can learn to allow yourself to grow and become better. And the best way to learn this amazing and multi-faceted craft is to read writing references on writing.

Some of the best books on writing that I recommend to all my students are:

7. Printer:

Every writer has a thing for the printed words. Whether you have already realised this or not, but chances are you would be completely exhilarated to see the words you’ve written printed on an A4 sheet of paper in a font of your liking. Personally, it gives me a kick and love, absolutely and shamelessly, seeing my work in print. Therefore, if you want to be a serious writer I would advise you to get a printer as it gets very handy to print out your work even at midnight.

Also, there’s a more technical reason for this, it always helps to edit better in print. Even if you just want to revise a draft or proofread it, printing it out would give you far better results.

You don’t have to get it right away, but do start looking for a good fit for your writing. I would recommend getting a black and white printer. I use an HP Laserjet printer, even though I have a colour Deskjet.

8. Internet Connection:

A writer needs the internet more than anyone will ever care to admit. It is not only necessary for writing-related research but is also needed in order to create and establish your social media platforms. Now again, there will be a lot of differing opinions on this, but if you want to be a professional writer you have to get your ‘out there’ and for that internet is the best possible tool.

If you are a beginner, I’d highly suggest starting your own writing blog and posting there regularly, interacting with the blogging community as well as with the writing community in general over at Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. As a writer, you need to have, if not a very significant, then at least somewhat strong social media presence.

You can get a broadband connection or a WiFi connection whatever floats your boat. I personally prefer and use WiFi.

9. BACKUP:

It is a sin to not have a backup of your work, at least the work you are proud of creating and that is worth saving. Especially if you’re working on a book, it gets very difficult to have to lose the work and then start over. It is simply the stuff of nightmares so start smart and back up before you burn your fingers.

There are enough horror stories in the online writing community about writers having lost entire manuscripts because of silly mistakes, out-of-the-blue glitches or their writing machines bailing out on them. Always backup your work.

The easiest and the cheapest way is to email it to yourself or using a simple Pendrives. You can even go for free online cloud storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox. Or you can invest in a hard drive or buy online cloud storage space. Anything works as long as you back up regularly.

10. STATIONERY SUPPLIES:

If you love writing then chances are that you love buying stationary. They both kinds of go hand in hand. I am a big-time stationary freak and love buying supplies as I hate the thought of running out of something. Being a writer is a good enough excuse for you to indulge in a little stationery splurge and get those cute little sticky post-its and the index cards that you like.

If you love writing then chances are that you love buying stationary. They both kind of go hand in hand. I am a big time stationary freak and love buying supplies as I hate the thought of running out of something. Being a writer is a good enough excuse for you to indulge in a little stationary splurge and get those cute little sticky post-its and the index cards that you like.

Some of the things that you need by your side while writing are:

  • Pens (in black, blue, red and green colours) and lead pencils
  • Compact notebooks or diaries
  • Index cards
  • Post-its
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Tagboard and clips
  • Paper pins
  • Highlighters
  • Stapler & pins
  • Folders and files
  • Filofax
  • Scheduling calendar
  • Bullet Journal (if you’re into them)

Apart from these tools, there are a couple more that you might need:

  • Speech Recorder
  • Speech-to-text software
  • Whiteboard and/or tagboard
  • Headphones or earplugs or some good Bluetooth speakers
  • A good playlist – try some music that helps you write
  • Spectacles

So these are the 10 Essential Tools For Writers that I think every writer needs in order to write with ease on a day-to-day basis. Please feel free to add more to this list in the comments section below.

If you are planning to write regularly then do check out these articles cause they might help you get started:

10 Things That Are Stopping You From Writing

Every writer, whether they are big or small, experienced or newbie, published or unpublished, old or young, face the same fears and feel jittered before putting their work in front of the public (books, articles or any other content.)
What are these fears? What are the reasons that demotivate writers from writing? And finally, how to get over them and come out as a winner and go ahead with writing?

If you’re looking for answers to  these questions then go ahead and read.

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10 Things That Are stopping You From Writing:

#1 Self-doubt

Self-doubt is nothing but a state of mind, just like confidence. But its one that can either stop you from growing or completely destroy you.

Everyone, at some point or the other, experiences the bitter taste of self-doubt, but the people who get over it are the ones who do not let it stop them from doing what they really want to do. By doing this they defeat self-doubt hands down.

Self-doubt is a plague that destroys your confidence and affects you in more ways than one. But don’t worry, if you’re going through a phase of self-doubt, then you are anything but alone. All you need to do  get a grip on your thoughts, be positive and believe in yourself and your work.

A long time back when I was facing self-doubt, I wrote down a very famous quote by Sylvia Plath on a square white paper and taped it to the wall opposite my study table.58888-51854

“The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt.”
– Sylvia Plath

#2 Trying to do everything at the same time

This reason has plagued me for years and years. I can’t even remember a time where I haven’t faced this particular problem while starting with a new project (an article, essay, poem and even a book.) Whether it’s be writing or any other field, I always start a project and try to do everything at the same time, without realising that it is actually getting me nowhere.

10 Things To Make Your Mornings Fulfilling

Mornings are the most important aspect of each and every day. Depending upon how you spend your mornings, your day can be either very productive or simply horrible. Starting the day right is the key to have a more happy and productive day.

You might have observed that some days you are happy throughout the day and some days you feel irritated or agitated the entire time for no reason at all. Have you ever wondered why? Well, apart from the hormonal issues, most of the times it depends on the way you start your day.

If you begin your day on a happy and calm note, then 90% chances are that you’ll spend the rest of the day in the same way and vice-versa. So here are some things that I do to make my mornings happier and more fulfilling. These things have always helped me and I hope that they’ll help you too.

10 Things To Make Your Mornings Fulfilling

  1. Smile as big as you can right after you shut off your alarm clock (or phone.) It might make you feel silly and you might end up smiling some more.aa67cb553f5efcf3f24da2235eb81674
  2. Have a glass of warm water with juice of half a lemon (freshly squeezed.) It helps you get rid of all the toxins in the body and this greatly helps in reducing stress levels.Glass-of-water-with-lemon-and-lime
  3. Meditate for atleast 5-10 minutes.meditation
  4. Do basic stretches (hands, legs and neck.) It’ll hardly take 5 minutes.Woman practicing yoga in living room
  5. Make a list of 10 things that you are grateful for (a mental list will also do.)a12a89c6977728cb117a268d2d0d6881
  6. Think about the 3 things that you have to do today no matter what (it can be simple things as well, like laundry, watering plants etc.)
  7. Listen to one of your favourite tracks  or read a few pages of your favourite book while having your first cup of coffee/tea. IMG_2638
  8. Sing a song while you’re having a bath.367462-spongebob-square-pants-singing-spongebob
  9. Have a healthy and satisfying breakfast.Screen-Shot-2013-04-22-at-2.05.21-PM
  10. Smile as much as you can.smile-10

The basic idea is to not stress over anything. Don’t think about work or try not to in a way that makes you feel stressed. Try and be as calm and positive as you can.

Try to do these things and you’ll see the difference from the first day itself. From my experience I can say that you’ll feel very happy and fresh and your day will be quite a bit more productive than usually it would. good-morning-quotes-for-friends-good-morning-quotes-with-images-good-morning-cool So, what do you do to make your mornings fulfilling? Do share in the comments because I’d love to add more stuff to my personal list 🙂

Have a great day!

Being Unconventional

made by me!
made by me!

Life is too short to worry about each and everything that we do. Sometimes it’s liberating to ditch what people think is the correct way to live… Being unconventional makes you feel free, well atleast it makes me feel free! Being an Indian one might think that I’m totally surrounded by orthodox people, but that’s not the casunconventional-lifee. Luckily I’ve had parents, specially my father’s family, who believe in one’s freedom and space. My husband V, is my soulmate, he also believes in doing whatever feels right, no matter how bizarre it may be for others. My mom’s not typically orthodox but she does worry about what everyone’s gonna think. The way I see it, this way she gives others the power to decide everything for her. Seeing the difference between her and my father, I very well chose to be like him (genetically also I’m more like my father… thanks to the gene-genies!) Unfortunately, many people let problems and work take over their lives. They forget to live in small moments. Not everyone is lucky or brave enough to do things the way they want to. I strongly believe in doing what I like and I also try to encourage everyone close to me to do so. Here are some things that I do and I think that everyone should do some of these at least once:

  1. Have an ice-cream when it’s really cold outside.
  2. Try and have a good laugh at-least once a day.Felix_the_Cat_laughing
  3. Watch your favourite sitcoms or movies or whatever it is that you enjoy.
  4. Read at-least one book in a month or two (if you don’t already!)
  5. Try and be good to your maids, servants, watchmen or whoever helps you everyday.
  6. Listen to a song that you love and sing along ALOUD. You don’t have to be Adelle to sing, just sing for yourself!sponge-bob-sing-sponge-bob-coloring-pictures
  7. Get a stuffed animal, name it and talk to it whenever you feel like (no harm in living your childhood again!)
  8. Go to a cafe to have your favourite coffee in your favourite cute pink and white pyjamas! Even if you’re a guy.large
  9. Understand that sometimes it’s okay to sit quietly and do nothing.
  10. It’s okay to have a bad hair day, after all you’re not Jennifer Aniston.
  11. When life get’s too rough, just take a day off.3-day-off
  12. It’s totally fine to have a breakdown once in a while.
  13. Someday wake up at 5 am just to have a cup of coffee!coffee-cup-bean
  14. Treat yourself every once in a while to things that you control/ stop yourself from… like fries or cheese burst pizza!
  15. Have a internet-free day once every month… no fb, no blog, no mail peeping.2807100863_4878e36d73_z
  16. Get a full body message/spa once a month.
  17. It’s okay to cry yourself to sleep if you need to or if you feel like it.10062aac28457afc03a42b9e00e2254b
  18. Bathe in the sun every now and then.

Just do whatever you feel like. Remember, it’s YOUR life and you can do things the way you like! 539db8bcaa12f84db68d6b79344d89d8 - CopyWhat is your idea of being unconventional? Please share them so that even I can learn new ways to be unconventional 🙂

Have a beautiful day!