Tools for Serious Writing

If you are to be a serious writer, you must find a writing system that works for you. Notice I use the word, “system” in describing the component parts of the mechanism that allows you to be productive as a writer.

Yes, you need a computer and or printer, more than likely. Even at that, the printer is coming closer to extinction by the day. But more than just a computer and printer, I am referring to all parts of your system which allows you to produce as a writer.

For instance, you must have a place in which to work. It must be quiet, if you must have quiet to work. On the other hand, if you are more productive in noisy places, you should probably at least turn on a television or radio.

You also need rhythm–you know, that sense of internal timing that allows one to work at a particular rate. You may measure your rate by the hour, days, or weeks. It is what gives you the ability to answer the question an editor will invariably ask: When can I expect the final 12-page polished project?

How well your writing notes are organized will also impact how well you can answer editor’s questions about the final product. The better you are organized, the easier and faster you will be able to write. This is also an important component of your “writing system.”

You are the only person who can develop the system that will work for you. Writers will have their own ideas of what will work or not.

For instance, sitting on a beach may sound like a great way to work, but is it really? For some, it may well be; for others, they may be so distracted by good-looking beach bodies their work may never be finished.

Each writer has to determine what works best for their methods of production. Some are capable of writing on the beach or in the middle of watching a movie. Some need quiet.

For me, the key is a moment, an ability to withdraw from the world around me for about five or ten minutes, and my phone. A couple or three paragraphs at a clip several times throughout the day can eventually add up to an article, or as in this case, a blog. In this day and age, technology is one of the most useful tools in a writer’s toolbox.

Sometimes, however, there is nothing better than a good, old-fashioned pencil and notebook.

And maybe a beach.


© 2011 J. Clark

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1 Response to Tools for Serious Writing

  1. flyinggma says:

    I found it interesting as I read your post on writing tools this morning after frantically searching for the piece of paper that I was jotting notes down on in the car as I was driving home. I usually carry a index card in my back pocket while I am working to jot an occasional idea on until I can get to my computer.

    I could easily be convinced that my best writing place is at the beach but then I should have done some writing while there to test my skills in that environment.

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