Tools for Writing Like a Pro



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.

Tools for Writing

Ballpoint Ink Pen

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 get.

Notebook

notebook and penNo, not a computer. We'll get to those. Here I'm talking about the paper variety.

Find a notebook that is durable. And that you can carry with you wherever you go. Spiral notebooks are okay, but not as practical and bound notebooks.

And if you want the perfect notebook to carry around, I suggest the pocket Moleskine notebooks. Mine come 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.

Computer

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. 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

External memory for a computer takes many forms. From external hard drives and flash drives to burnable CD's, you have many options for backing up copies of your writing. You can also do this online with free tools like Google Documents.

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.

Software

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 go getting overly fancy. 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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