Seven Tools Every Writer Needs

Seven Tools Every Writer Needs



Writing for some people is​ the toughest job you can ever ask them to​ do yet given the right write tools and circumstances anyone can actually write high quality articles with a​ little bit of​ work and practice. There are in​ fact seven tools every writer actually needs regardless of​ whether they are writing a​ novel, a​ science document, a​ University assignment, a​ web article or​ journal for the local paper. Without these tools you will find it​ very difficult to​ succeed.

Tool #1 - Book and Pencil

The Book and Pencil is​ one of​ the most important tools you will ever use. I carry a​ book and pencil where ever I go so that I do not miss out on the ideas I have, words that I have heard and the visuals in​ front of​ me. The key advantage of​ the book and pencil is​ that when you see something or​ have a​ good idea, you write it​ down so you do not forget.

For example, while I was in​ bed last night I was thinking about a​ new article that I could write. This article in​ fact because I wanted to​ help new writers. The first thing I did was to​ jot down the title in​ my book and then the seven tools I believe every writer should have.

I actually have two books I use for writing, a​ little A6 size pad that fits in​ my wallet and another journal size A4 book for writing more detailed information. Whenever you a​ walking around a​ shopping centre or​ out to​ dinner, use the little A6 wallet book to​ write down words you hear and phrases you see so that you can use those in​ your writing. Often people you come across from other states or​ countries will use different phrases to​ say the same thing, and often those phrases can be sexier than your own and may inspire more readers to​ read your material.

Tool #2 - Dictionary

No writer can survive without a​ dictionary. I still have my Macquarie dictionary I got when I was in​ Grade 2 which is​ some …(a slight pause here to​ realise one has gotten old) … 30 plus years ago. However, if​ you are just starting out there are lots of​ really cool online dictionaries out there for free now. Alternatively, I also recommend visiting a​ book fair held by Charity Groups. in​ Australia, Lifeline holds a​ book fair every year and you can actually buy bags of​ books for a​ dollar and very often they will have a​ couple of​ thousand dictionaries there for just $1 which is​ really cheap.

So, why do we need a​ dictionary? Actually for two reasons, the first is​ to​ make sure we spell the words correctly and for all the techno geeks who say, but the computer can do that, let me inform you, not all words in​ the electronic dictionaries are correct and there are lots of​ words that do not exist. The second reason, and this is​ the most important reason, the dictionary will tell you the meaning of​ the word, which helps ensure the word you are using is​ the right one for the context of​ your article.

Tool #3 - Thesaurus

This is​ one of​ the most awesome tools for writers. a​ thesaurus allows you to​ look up a​ word and to​ find a​ better word to​ use than the one you used. So here is​ a​ really good exercise. I have used my thesaurus to​ locate more appropriate words for that previous sentence so here is​ the result …

The Thesaurus allows you to​ hunt for those words that are more appropriate and improve the sound of​ the language in​ your article.

You will notice that I substituted the word "better" for "improve" and rewrote the statement using words that were descriptive to​ outline what you were trying to​ achieve like "hunt", "more appropriate" and "sound of​ the language". When you are writing the thesaurus can be a​ fantastic and fun tool to​ help you dramatically improve the language of​ your documents or​ articles.

Tool #4 - Digital Recorder

As a​ writer the digital recorder has become a​ mainstay of​ our industry. The digital recorder allows you to​ simply speak into the recorder and record parts of​ your article without having to​ laboriously (notice the use of​ the descriptive term … my thesaurus is​ working overtime today) write it​ down. One thing you might want to​ consider is​ purchasing a​ PDA that includes a​ digital recorder and the ability to​ write down notes and take phone calls so that you are not carrying a​ million and one devices. The new PDA's I have bought for my team actually have software that is​ voice activated so that when they have an​ idea or​ want to​ add to​ a​ previous message you can do so without having to​ press any buttons.

Probably the most common profession that uses the digital recorder is​ the legal profession. My lawyer uses one every single time I go into a​ meeting to​ tape his notes and letters I am going to​ receive and get charged a​ fortune for.

Tool #5 - a​ Good Library of​ Books

Look the number ONE tool every good writer needs is​ their own library of​ books. a​ good writer will also be a​ good reader and the more you read the better your writing will become. I now have in-excess of​ 10,000 books in​ my collection and growing. My library of​ books range from fiction to​ non-fiction, research journals, magazines and much much more and I am building an​ even bigger video selection as​ well.

Why?

Well the more exposure you have to​ the various writing techniques and languages by the citizens of​ the world and the more refined your own technique will become. Further to​ that you need to​ gain a​ solid understanding of​ what technique is​ appropriate for the medium and the audience you are writing for. For example, the style of​ writing I use for articulating articles for the web will be of​ a​ more relaxed nature and more personal than for a​ document I might be producing for a​ corporate organisation. to​ be a​ really great writer you must be able to​ be flexible in​ the style you use dependant on the type of​ document or​ article you are writing.

Great writers are not born, they create themselves through practice. When I was at​ school, even through to​ high school I was a​ terrible writer but as​ I have practiced more and more (with the help of​ my mum), my writing has improved 100,000 percent and I know the more I write the better I am getting at​ structuring the article and making it​ flow and the faster I can write.

The library of​ books will be a​ great source for research as​ it​ will allow you to​ see how different writers structure their sentences, the sort of​ words they use how they describe experiences and use descriptive words like adjectives in​ their sentences. When you are building your library, do not get caught into the trap of​ buying just brand new books and to​ be honest that is​ an​ expensive way to​ start. Like I said before, visit places like the Book Charity Fairs and second hand book dealers and often you will find bags of​ books for just $1. I recently went to​ a​ Lifeline Book Fair and we bought bags of​ books for $1. The more extensive the library of​ books you have, with styles from the past and the present, the more effective, fantastic and outstanding your writing will become.

Tool #6 - Quality Music

Everybody has heard of​ writers block and I am not really sure there is​ such a​ thing, but some days I do find it​ harder to​ write then others. However, one way I overcome this problem is​ by listening to​ music that will help entice the creative element of​ my brain. The music I have found that is​ really good for this is​ baroque music which is​ played at​ 60 beats a​ minute.

Briefly, research shows that baroque music at​ 60 beats per minute causes your brain to​ produce more alpha [calmness] waves. This happens on both left and right sides of​ your brain.

This simply means that you calm down and relax, in​ a​ way similar to​ when you whistle a​ happy tune, or​ when you daydream. This "alpha" state of​ mind is​ ideal for learning, creativity, or​ just relaxing. it​ is​ used in​ schools all over Australia. a​ quote from the teacher of​ a​ remedial class here in​ Australia: "It seems to​ slow them down so they can think."

I have seen corporate trainers improve the effectiveness of​ training sessions dramatically by playing Baroque Music during a​ session and the creativity really comes to​ the forefront. a​ colleague uses the music as​ background for his memory training seminars and swears by it​ because recall and creativity are improved.

Tool #7 - a​ Good Computer

Nobody in​ the world today can seriously survive a​ writing career without a​ good computer. if​ you are going to​ be writing professionally for a​ media house, newspaper or​ magazine, you will need a​ good computer as​ they will not accept your copy without it​ being in​ electronic form. Gone are the days where a​ writer would produce their manuscript in​ hand written form and send it​ to​ their editor. Those days are well and truly over.

On your computer you will require a​ few pieces of​ software to​ make your computer worthwhile. The first thing you will need is​ an​ Internet connection, without it​ you will not be able to​ email your copy and as​ I said all media houses, newspapers and magazines today require their writers or​ journalists to​ produce electronic copy. You will also need a​ good word processing software application. if​ you can afford it, I strongly recommend Microsoft Word 2018 simply because of​ the quality of​ the spell checker and built in​ Thesaurus. I also recommend this version as​ you can now use the speech recognition software in​ the application to​ dictate your article into the computer. Many years ago you had to​ actually buy third party applications, like Dragon Speak.

The last thing as​ a​ writer you will need is​ a​ good printer. Do not scrimp on printers, because as​ a​ writer you will probably find it​ is​ easier to​ review you work printed out, so buying a​ cheap printer will normally cost you 3 times as​ much as​ a​ slightly more expensive printer. I recommend to​ all my clients to​ buy a​ laser printer over an​ ink jet when you are writing as​ a​ laser copy is​ less likely to​ smudge when you write notes on the copy.

To finish off, writing can really be a​ really fun and exciting career or​ simply something to​ do in​ your days off, but having the right tools will certainly make life a​ lot easier for you. Here are the seven tools every writer must have:

Tool #1 - Book and Pencil
Tool #2 - Dictionary
Tool #3 - Thesaurus
Tool #4 - Digital Recorder
Tool #5 - a​ Good Library of​ Books
Tool #6 - Quality Music
Tool #7 - a​ Good Computer




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