Tools of the trade. Contractors have construction tools, and doctors have stethoscopes. Just about every profession requires specific tools that are unique to their craft. Without them the job can’t get done, or at least not done well. And what about writers? Writers, whether they write for a living or just for a hobby, also need certain tools of the trade to help them along. Here are the seven things every serious writer needs to own.
Notebook and Pen
Whether it’s a classic Moleskine or spiral-bound, you need a notebook for writing down ideas, thoughts, drafts, and sketches. Writers do most of their writing on the computer nowadays, but there is no substitute for the feeling you get from hand-writing in a notebook. You also need a good pen to go along with it – a good pen that makes you feel fancy, professional, and comfortable when writing with it. You should also have a mini-notebook to carry in your pocket wherever you go, because you never know when an idea will come to you.
Digital Tape Recorder
Even if you’re a creative writer who doesn’t plan on doing any interviews, a tape recorder is an essential tool to have. You may never use it, but you never know. If you do interviews or have discussions that you want to remember, quote, or refer back to later, a tape recorder will make it possible. It will allow you to just talk and listen without worrying about scribbling throughout, trying to remember it all. You don’t have to mess with clunky tapes, either. There are digital tape recorders that work just like your digital camera.
Speaking of digital cameras, you need one of those, too. You may also think you’re a writer and photography isn’t really your thing. But photographs can be taken to illustrate your stories, or for inspiration. If you see something beautiful or interesting, snap a picture of it. It will help you write about it in more detail later. Images are excellent enhancements for all types of writing.
Desk and Desk Chair
If you’re going to splurge on anything, it makes sense to splurge on your office furniture. Writers spend a lot of time sitting at their computer desks. Why not get a desk that you love? A big, fancy desk can make you feel accomplished and important. A comfortable, well-designed desk chair will help lower the stress on your back and entire body caused by hours of sitting.
Every writer should have a business card, just like any other professional would. You’d be surprised how many people are interested in your craft when you tell them you’re a writer. They may tell you they have a great story for you, or they may say they need something written, like webpage copy or even a memoir. Keep a few business cards on-hand at all times to pass out to these people when you meet them. You also never know when you’ll get a job opportunity or great lead.
Mark Weatherford is a high school English teacher and published author who loves to give aspiring writers advice on anything from the best ways to record new ideas to the use of grammar checkers.
Photo Credit: p.w.