My Tools Of The Trade

Every writer has tools of the trade; things they need to use every time they write, maybe a certain book they always consult when their stuck, or a font they prefer, or a beat up old notebook they use to jot down ideas and notions.

My tools of the trade are below. Feel free to get in touch and share yours.

downloadI’ve had this laptop for five years. It’s my second one. My first one was a great heavy thing that could have cracked someone’s skull open. This laptop is starting to get sluggish so I’ll probably get a faster one in the near future. I prefer to work on a laptop. I can sit where I want to write and take it with me.

download (1)Every writer uses notebooks. Or they should. I carry one everywhere. I write the first draft of most of my poems in them. I use notebooks to write down story ideas, snippets of ideas that could become a story someday and to work through stubborn plots that stump me. At one point I had a box under my bed filled with almost 200. I didn’t have enough space and eventually typed up the contents of each one onto OneNote and shredded the original notebooks. Since then I type up the contents to OneNote as I go and dispose of each notebook. I don’t have enough room to keep them. I always use Paperchase notebooks. They’re nice and thick so last for ages. I love choosing the cover I want.

imagesUnfortunately, I live in a one-bedroom flat with my partner so don’t have my own room. I don’t think I’d like a separate room as I’d be uncomfortable locking myself away from my partner. I’ve got a big desk that sits in the corner of the room, beside the bay window. I write at this desk when I’m alone in the house. When my partner is up and about I usually sit my laptop at the coffee table. The coffee table isn’t very comfy and I end up with sore knees. I don’t like to sit at the desk when my partner is about because I’d need to have my back to her.

download (2)This book is a brilliant guide to editing your work. It’s practical and easy to follow. I’ve never been the best at editing my own work. I find it hard to kill my darlings. This book helped me immensely. Thanks to this book I learned to distance myself from my work, take a step back, put on my reader head and edit my work objectively. I’ve turned to this book time and again over the years.

download (3)This book is also a brilliant guide. Most similar books are very thick. This book is very short and contains no bullshit. It contains really useful tips to help you kill your darlings and be really ruthless. This book isn’t for the faint-hearted. Be prepared to have a good cry as you cut and cut and slice the sentences and paragraphs you love the most into pieces.

download (4).jpgI’ve read this book at least half a dozen times over the years. I just find it so hilarious and real. This is another book with no bullshit or mollycoddling. Jane Wenham-Jones will tell you things other writer guides are afraid to. The book is packed with anecdotes from the author’s own experiences. I absolutely love it.

download (5)This is one of my very favourite non-fiction writing books. Stephen King is one of my favourite writers. Similar to the book above, I love King’s stories and anecdotes about how he gained success as writer and his honest tips. I’ve read this book at least ten times and return to it at least once a year.

images (1)I got this pen for my birthday years ago and it’s my favourite. I love the way it feel in my hand. I love the way it writes. I carry this with me all the time along with my current notebook.