♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Tools Every Writer Needs
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are always grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors will engage and impress you weekly, so be prepared to become a regular reader.
This makes me feel like I’m showing my hand, but I am sure I’m not alone in using the tools of the trade, not to mention that I insist on helping other writers. When I was struggling up through the ranks, which seems an endless journey because even now I am struggling to move even higher, there was no one to really guide me. Sure there were teachers and professors and gads of advice on the burgeoning new internet. Very little helped. I mean that, wholeheartedly. That’s could be why you, budding writer, are struggling. Good help is hard to find.
The writing world, believe it or not, is loaded with people who want to trip you up, delay you, and even completely stop you. There are those who feel that there are only so many seats at the table, and their job is to be the Maitre d’of La Maison d’Écrivain. Why? Because the struggle is real and so is paying some serious dues. People believe that you should have to do the same as they did to get wherever they are in your shared fields. It makes them feel better.
For me, I get it. I want to save other authors that heart and soul crushing portion of the journey. The last thing we need on our plate is the world against us. Writers are sensitive, as they are authors, and constant opposition can kill their stride.
The tools that I use, without further adieu…
- Webster’s Dictionary App (Go to your app store, and download it if you don’t have it already. It’s free.)
- Thesaurus.com – stop using words over and over again.
- A good computer with good back up drives. – I can’t emphasize this enough. I used to love a fresh notebook and new pen, but at some point, the manuscript will need to be typed up. It’s flat out easier to start in word processing program than to try and prop your notebook or papers beside your monitor and copy. It’s painfully slow and makes the process of writing your book oppressive. That’s the last thing you want happening around you and your writing. Ritual or not, and I had them, go with the computer not the notebook. You can always print pages. If you’re afraid of losing your files, which I have also done, get a good back up drive with lots of memory and back up often.
- Time Management Skills – You’re going to need to figure out when is the best time to write, as well as taking time to relax and live your life, along with working and researching–eventually, you’ll need to add marketing to your calendar, if you can’t afford to pay someone.
- Budgeting skills – as I mentioned above, there is an expense coming along with writing, if you intend to publish or not, because the tools you’ll need cost money (that computer isn’t free).
- Internet research skills – not just for your topics, but ways to reach out to agents, editors, designers, publishers and your market.
- Image/Photo management software – Photoshop is a priceless piece of software, and it costs a pretty penny. There other image tools available, but this is the one I use and I adore it. I took a class through a University I used to work for to learn all about it. Thankfully, that class was free to me as an employee. If you’re lucky enough to work for an employer that will provide improvement courses, take them.
- You’ll use it to make marketing materials,
- manage your head shots (which you should get professionally done, don’t rely on selfies).
- and even design your covers (if you can’t afford a designer).
- Making quotes/memes is a great way to engage readers.
- Coding Skills – You don’t need to be able to code the next great video game, but understanding some basic code can save you a lot of effort, frustration and money. I learned the basics that I consistently use during an active stint on deviantArt.com, where I needed to use it to do my journals and fancy up the descriptions on my submissions.
- Snacks and Beverages – Remember to eat right and drink plenty of water. Your health is your greatest asset to a long career.
- Your Brain – Don’t abuse it. Your brain is what allows you to do this. Drugs and alcohol in excess aren’t going to open up your brain cells. You want to smoke a little, drink a little, that’s entirely different. But, I’m not getting into this debate here.
- A job you can love that can help you pay for your writing while you wait to become a bestseller. – I think you get why, because of the previous entries. There are things you’ll need to buy and maintain, but also investing in yourself is going to help you get to your goal.
I hope the eleven items above will help you on your journey. Let’s go over and see what the other writers have to say. You can’t ever get too many tips from which to glean things that ring true with you and your style.