Before you get started, make sure you have the right tools for writing. Every writer is different, so choose a selection of tools that suits you.
The items listed below are readily available at most book or office supply stores, with the exception of some of the software.
Let's get started.
If you like to write by hand, this is the way to go. A quality ballpoint pen will glide smoothly across the page. It won't smudge or blot.
Ink pens range in price from pennies a piece to hundreds of dollars. Start with the least expensive and try different pens until you find the one that makes you want to pick it up and write with it.
The right pen will feel good in your hand, give you strong, clear writing and be easy to replace or refill.
No, not a computer. We'll get to those. Here I'm talking about paper.
Find a notebook that is durable. One that you can carry with you wherever you go. Spiral notebooks are okay, but not as practical as bound notebooks.
And if you want the perfect notebook to carry around, I suggest the pocket Moleskine notebooks. Mine comes with me everywhere.
The great thing about Moleskines, too, is that they come soft-bound or hard-bound, small, medium and large, and with a variety of page types from blank to grid-ruled.
Not into the Moleskine books? Or can't afford them yet? That's okay. You can find good notebooks in any department store school supply aisle.
If you are reading this, odds are you are on a computer. Computers are a boon for writers. As tools for writing go, they almost have it all.
Computers can be portable - laptops, tablets or phones.
They allow you to write clearly and quickly - word processing programs.
And you can easily save your writing - drive space.
Computers also have downsides.
They can be costly. And they can crash. Also, it is so easy to edit as you write that it is a challenge to get a piece written before editing it.
Still, in our increasingly electronic world, every writer needs a computer, or at least regular access to one.
No, not for research, though that is handy. But for typing and printing manuscripts. Even for submissions, as more publications accept work electronically.
When you get a computer, if you don't already have one, consider also getting the following:
External memory for a computer takes many forms, including:
The advantage of using these backups is that you can also take your work with you everywhere. You are not tied to a single machine.
This will not cover specific software programs. You will find that information elsewhere on this site.
However, there are many programs out there to help you improve your writing, organize your writing and get published. Be careful, not all of them are everything they claim to be.
As you check out different software packages, remember that writing can be done with the most basic tools: a pen and paper.
So don't worry about having all the bells and whistles. You'll spend more time figuring out how to use the program than you will writing anything.
Now, gather your tools and go write something!
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