What's In My Writer's Toolbox?

by - October 16, 2015

what's in my writer's tool box? #write31days

We all have ways of making things happen. If something is important we will amass a collection of devices that will allow our passion to see the light. Everyone's approach is different but here are some of the things I keep around to make writing a reality in my life...
1. Ideas
Nothing can happen without ideas. They can be bright. They can be dim. But you'll have to have something or you'll write nothing. Most of the things I've written so far have been birthed from the tiniest glimmer and it was only once I was in the thick of it that I found the real story behind the conception.

2. Notebooks
If you've been following this series, you'll already know the importance of a notebook. Ideas can strike at any moment and it's imperative that you keep on your person a place to write them down OR they will escape you like the fog of your breath on a late autumn day. No matter how clever you think you are, great ideas will be lost without a surface on which to capture them.

3. Caffeine 
I recently dreamed that I became a whiskey drinker. I thought myself rather dapper, tipping back that shallow glass and downing the dark rye without flinching. I also dreamed it tasted like maple syrup. I think, perhaps, I'll stick with my familiar mug of steaming, flinch-free tea...

4. Laptop
I know someone who wrote an entire first draft on an old typewriter *sigh* how beautifully romantic! I love the idea of such an endeavor but I'm a computer writer for sure. I love the speed of it. I love the way the cursor races across the screen, leaving behind the quivering wake of my creation. It's exhilarating! There are moments, of course, when the feeling of pen against paper brings the good out of me but for the most part, I'm all about my MacBook Pro.

5. Google
Because I don't know everything. And google does. Almost.

6. Scrivener 
I've already mentioned Scrivener during this series but I'm going to mention it again because IT'S AMAZING! I helps you organize your book project by chapter and/or scene; it keeps personal notes, reminders, and research website links with each scene; it helps you keep track of minute character and setting details. It let's you set personal word-count goals. IT IS AMAZING! The idea of ever attempting another novel-length project without it just seems ludicrous. {Click here to get a 30 day trial or to learn more about it}

7. Sunlight
I'm not a vampire. I'd kind of like to date one but I am not a vampire...I need sunlight to feel like a whole human and I need sunlight to fuel my writing marathons. As I said before, I am not a morning writer BUT if I take time to appreciate the beauty of the day I have more creative energies when it comes to pouring out my story as I sit down at my desk at night.

8. Bravery 
Writing is hard and raw and intimate and vulnerable and every time I have to tell myself not to be afraid to tell the story I want to tell. I don't want to tell the story you want to read. I don't want to tell the story that the trends say I should write. I don't want to write the story my mother wishes I would write. I want to write my story - the thing that grows from the pit of my gut - the beast that riles it's head ugly one day and lovely the next - I want to write what I want to write and I have to do it bravely or I won't do it at all.

9. Pressure
Life is too much for a dream alone to propel me. I crave the push of deadlines and I need the public accountability to force content out of me. I feel more capable when I feel the hot breath of a deadline chasing me towards an ending. It's invigorating and addicting and IT MAKES WORDS HAPPEN.

10. Support
Writing takes a village. Without the constant support of family and friends nothing I do would be possible and I'm to-the-moon-and-back-grateful to have such a large community surrounding me and cheering me on.

What about you? What's in your writing tool box?

http://selfbindingretrospect.alannarusnak.com/2015/09/challenge-accepted-write-31-days.html {click the image above to see all the #write31days posts}

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  1. A giant phone full of fake notebooks and a brand new computer!

  2. Is there some kind of tutorial for Scrivener that I missed? I'm on my 30 day trial, but I can't seem to get the hang of it. Everyone who uses it just raves about it.

    Otherwise, I'm on the same page with you on everything else. I laughed at an earlier post that mentioned your obsession with notebooks. I thought about piling all of mine up and taking a photo. But I don't have a wide-angle lens...

    1. I watched some demo videos about Scrivener that really helped - not sure exactly where I found them though... :( There is a guy I follow on twitter - @ScrivenerCoach - and he often posts greats tips and things. The website is here http://learnscrivenerfast.com/free-mini-course I haven't really looked around it much but you may find some great stuff. Good luck!

      The notebook thing is crazy right?! I really can't help myself and right now I'm having an internal duel trying to convince myself I don't really need another one as NaNoWriMo approaches...but I do I REALLY DO!

    2. One more thing - I was just floating through the ScrivenerCoach twitter feed and learned that Scrivener has a built in character name generator!!!!! How cool is that?? Way better than those links I sent you earlier in the month! I just tried it and it works incredibly!

  3. Love the glimpse into your creative process and resource. Two points I love and are especially true for me - pressure makes words happen and bravery to write from you gut with your own voice.


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