Lately I’ve seen a lot of writers talking about the tools that they use to get their writing done. And I’m always interested, because it’s fun to get a peak into what other writers do.
So I thought I’d share with you the tools I personally use to do my writing:
Scrivener is writing software that you can use to write a novel, screenplay, nonfiction book and more. It has a lot of features, but I pretty much only use it to do my writing.
Specifically, I use it for writing my novels.
I love being able to write one scene at a time and have it be easy to move things around when I want to.
And only having to look at one scene at a time keeps me from looking back at what I wrote earlier and then writing and rewriting over and over again.
Dropbox is an online storage program that lives in the cloud and on your desktop.
I love it because I can sync my account to my Mac, my iPhone and my iPad. It’s so nice to have instant access to everything I need right at my fingertips and on all of my devices.
Evernote is an app where you can store clips, bits of writing, notes, soundbites, links, etc. You can connect it with your Internet browser and be able to save things you read online.
I don’t use this as much as I’d like to, but I have a backlog of writing ideas stored in my Evernote account. Whenever I run out of ideas or feel like I’m lacking inspiration in the moment, I login to my account and read through the ideas I have in there.
I’m a messy, but super-organized person, so this program is perfect.
Moleskines are my favorite notebooks. I love them so much, I probably own fifty of them (and counting).
The pages are so soft and writing on them is smooth, like butter. And I love the history behind them.
So I spend a little bit more than your typical notebook to have the history and the quality that I love.
All of my writing ideas start here. And then from here they either get their own notebook or I transfer them directly to the computer.
My iPhone has a timer on it, but I still prefer my little Pampered Chef kitchen timer. It’s simple to use and I can carry it with me wherever I need it.
I use a timer to help me get in the writing zone. I’ll set it for 30 minutes and see how many words I can bang out on the keyboard.
It’s also great for days when I’m feeling distracted. I’ll set it for 15 or 20 minutes, and then tell myself when it goes off I can do something else for 15 minutes and then I have to go back for another session (this is also known as the Pomodoro Technique).
And speaking of distractions…
6. Self Control
Self Control is an app for Mac. It does one thing: blocks your access to the Internet.
The Internet is the biggest writing distraction. Avoid this trap by blocking it during your writing sessions.
Self-Control is cool because you can add specific websites to it that you personally use (and want to avoid). And what’s even cooler is that once you set the timer on it, you can’t turn it off ’til it goes off on its own.
You can’t even delete the program from your computer–it won’t let you until the time is up.
I like having a tablet for my writing, as well.
I mostly use my iPad for reading through my stories and drafts. This saves me from having to print out tons of pages that will eventually get thrown away.
I just turn the Word doc into a PDF and save it in my Dropbox. Then I pull it up on the iPad and read it through.
I also use it to do writing on occasion (though not often because typing on it for long periods of time is a bitch).
These are the tools that make up my writing life.
But the most important tool I have is my Story Roadmap Kit. I created this kit to walk you step-by-step through the process of putting together a story plan. I use this kit to plan and develop all of the stories I write.