Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Writer's Toolbox

Betty Dobson at Apollo's Lyre had a great post yesterday: The Top 10 Things Every Writer Needs. I love her list, but I'd like to add just a couple of items of my own:

1. A baby name book. This sounds strange, but it is an invaluable tool. Most times, writers have the names of their main characters already picked, but there are times when a minor character needs to be named and a baby name book can help with this.

2. A flash drive. Backing up your files is extremely important!
I've blogged on this before. Having a good flash drive will make backups much easier.

3. Index cards and a small file box. Every time you finish a story or other writing project, write down the information (title, word count, genre, etc.) on the file card. Under that, keep a list of the markets you are submitting to (noting the date you submitted and the date your response came). This is an easy way to keep track of your writing and submission record.

4. A library card. Writers need to read as much as possible, but who can afford to buy every book she wants? Libraries are a poor writer's best friend.

5. A sense of humor. Don't get me wrong, I love to write, but writing can be one of the most discouraging, frustrating endeavors a person could ever take on. To keep up my spirits, I keep cartoons (Snoopy atop his doghouse, writing 'It was a dark and stormy night'), funny bumper stickers ('Sometimes I creep myself out'), pictures of my kids (to remind me that there are other things in life besides writing) and other positive motivators pinned to my bulletin board.

6. Patience, patience, and more patience. Patience with yourself, with your writing, with the response times of the markets, and with everyone and everything that seems to get in your way when you want to write.


Rebecca said...

No doubt all of these are needed to keep writing.

I'd say the most important is a sense of humour. If you can't write without it the work is hard to do.

And patience as well. This comes in handy!

Elle Scott said...

I think the list could probably go on and on. Kind of like the list you need to be a parent...

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