A Writer’s Toolbox

Every writer has their own schedules and quirks, their own methods and madness. But we also have our own little personalized toolboxes—the place where we keep our inspiration and motivation locked up.

I always enjoy getting a glimpse into some of the tools that keep writers going and help them stay on track. Here’s a little glimpse into the things that help me to keep the words coming, whether its for my ghostwriting projects or my own fiction.

Coffee. I’m not one of those coffee snobs. As long as it contains caffeine and has a coffee-like aroma, I will drink it. Very little cream, and a little mound of sugar. When I know there’s going to be a massive word count to hit, I brew a pot. But if it’s a more relaxed day, I resort to the Keurig. (Yes, we have two coffee makers in the kitchen).

Spotify. I’m not sure how I ever made it without Spotify. Before, I simply tossed together some iTunes playlists for my projects. But with Spotify, I know that I’m just a click away from discovering artists similar to the ones I’m listening to. Also, the social aspects of it are amazing. It’s cool to get a glimpse into the playlists of other writers to see what they have been listening to. Currently, I’m listening to two playlists over and over—one for my Cooper M. Reid books and another for a project that is going on a year or so in the making.

Ambio. This is a new addition to my toolbox. It’s a smartphone/tablet app that was created as a noise-maker for sleep. It allows you to build your own noises, blending together textures and sounds that you might think wouldn’t go together. I use this for sleep but also have a few tracks created for just zoning out and coming up with ideas. From looped synth noises to the more traditional nighttime forests and crashing waves, Ambio has everything. My writing drone consists of a blended loop of Urban Rain, Cosmic Om, and Heartbeat. My sleep track is a blend of Ocean Wind, White Noise, and Cosmic Drone.

Vanilla Coke Zero. Because sometimes, the coffee pot is empty.

Twitter. I know I don’t use it like writers are supposed to in terms of marketing, but I love using it to get inspired by other writers. It’s also a great way to keep up with how the industry is changing on what sometimes feels like a daily basis.

Plain old boring voice recorder app. I have one on my phone. Most writers know the pain of coming up with a great idea while driving or walking or, let’s be honest, on the toilet. Without pen and paper, the voice recorder on my phone comes in handy. And with the hands free function, this becomes an invaluable tool while in the middle of traffic.

It’s not much of a toolbox, sure. But I prefer to keep it clean and simple. What are some other tools you’ve been using that have been helpful?

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2 comments

  1. My toolbox:

    1: Coffee or beer (depending on the time of day).
    2: Spotify (movie soundtracks)
    3: Headphones (to hear music better AND block outside noise).
    4: Draftin (distraction-free writing).

  2. 1. Spotify: For the music I had forgotten about and for the music I have yet to discover. When it comes to writing, I usually go with an instrumental mix of experimental jazz or the “Focus” playlist.
    2. Black tea: I tried the coffee thing to keep me alert when, because of having small children, I lacked the necessary sleep to get me through the day.
    3. Voice recorder: It’s how I get my writing in for the day when I can’t physically put pen to paper for whatever the reason.
    4. Tumblr: Mainly for the “art” tag. Art just does something to my brain and inspires creativity even if it’s not drawing I will be doing.

    Nice post.

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