As writers write more, they eventually start to settle into patterns. This may include how they research, how (or if) they outline, what kind of background work they do before starting, and what order they write in. But one other thing that writers tend to develop as they go is their arsenal of writing tools. Note: I do not mean resources, like websites; that will be a different post.
Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite tools of the trade. These are things I use specifically for each of my projects (some more than others), and do not include reference materials.
Let’s dive right in!
- Writeometer: This is an app I keep on my phone that lets you record all your word counts. It’s been incredibly helpful to me during slumps to keep me going, adding motivation and a reward-based system for hitting your goals. Another part that’s super helpful is the ability to track how long it will take to finish a project… and compare it to a deadline, either self-imposed or given to you. Highly recommend!
- Google Docs: So, it used to be that I used Word for all my writing. Then I tried Scrivener, but I couldn’t quite get the hang of it. Now that I travel back and forth between computers all the time, I’ve found that Google Docs is my favorite place for drafting new stories. They’re easy to share with critique partners and betas, and it has all the functionality I really need. Once I’m ready to put the submission manuscript together, I’ll migrate it to Word, but until then, Docs is perfect.
- Pen and Paper: Yup, this one is easy. More specifically, notebooks! I tend to do a lot of research for my stories, and so I need an organized place to take my notes. For every project (as I’ve mentioned before), I pick up a new notebook, one that I love, that I would want to carry around, and that inspires me. Pro tip: I picked this idea up from Alexandra Bracken’s newsletter… if you don’t get that, she’s amazing and shares her own writing tips and progress there. She’s also super nice and down-to-earth. You should sign up!
- Pinterest: Finally, one of my first go-tos is a new, fresh, clean Pinterest board for all my projects. I love creating a place with visual inspiration for what I’m working on; it definitely gives me an aesthetic and a mood (like an actual mood board, but digital) for when I need a boost to jump into the world. It’s also a pretty great place to save information and ideas I find online. I’ll share some of my personal boards with you, so you can get an idea of the kinds of things I save.
Pinterest boards for stories:
- Foxfire, the urban fantasy fox shifter story I’m still trying to edit
- A board for all short stories I work on or have completed
- My newest WIP and the one I’m most excited about right now, Sea of Broken Glass
- My grad school story that is on hold, Life After College
Pinterest boards for things I might write one day:
- A board for all my high fantasy musings
- All my post-apocalyptic inspirations, like melting glaciers, the post-antibiotic era (scary), and coral bleaching. I am always adding new, scary things here as I find them.
- A board of cool things I’d love to one day use as inspiration
- A board of writing prompts I like
Finally, Pinterest boards with writing resources:
- Things for Writers, or resources the help writers with blogging, general writing, useful websites, etc.
- Writing Reference, or guides that might come in handy for creating worlds and stories
5. Coffee: …just kidding. But I do love coffee!
So there you have it: my four favorite writing tools. One of these days, I’ll finish compiling my list of favorite writing resources and share it with you. But until then, enjoy these boards and ideas. And share your favorite writing tools with me in the comments!