A couple of weeks ago, I published a blog post on the 6 Mental Tools Every Writer Should Have. Now, here are 6 Physical Tools Every Writer Should Have.
These tools aren’t the kind of thing you would keep inside of a toolkit, in fact you don’t even need an actual toolkit. However, they do have physical affects on your body and mind, and are important when it comes to the craft of writing.
Even if you are dedicated to using digital media for the rest of your life, you need a notebook.
The human memory is terrible, and the subconscious mind can have a spontaneous burst of creativity at any time. When that happens, you’ll need a place to write down your ideas.
You may think that you’ll be able to just write it down in an app on your phone, but what if your phone is dead? What will you do then?
You can find lots of tiny notebooks that can fit in a small pocket or wallet, and you can get them at pretty good prices as well, so make sure you keep a notebook and pen (or pencil) nearby at all times!
If a pocket sized notebook isn’t your cup of tea, then here are some other options:
You can get these for great prices during back-to-school sales.
Like with the composition books, these are super cheap during back to school sales. I think I’ve seen them for less than a dollar each, so stock up during August and September.
While journals tend to be more pricey than regular notebooks, they do look a lot prettier and you’ll have a wider variety of cover and design options.
If books in general aren’t for you, then index cards could suit you. The best thing about index cards is that they’re great for arranging ideas in new ways.
Post-it notes work just as well as index cards, except they’re sticky. I love using post-it notes to keep track of ideas on the fly, especially since I can stick them up by my computer where I work.
2. Books to Read
We all have to get inspiration from somewhere. As a writer, what better way than from books?
It’s probable that a special book or series of books made you want to become a writer. And reading tales of adventure, action, and romance probably kept you wanting to be a writer. So keep reading books and keep writing.
3. Word Processing Program
You don’t actually need a word processing program to write, but it’s a blessing to have when you need to edit or format.
For writing you could use a simple writing program, like FocusWriter, which is what I use.
Editing is different from writing, and word processing programs do make the editing process simpler, by allowing for grammar and spell checking, as well as multiple formatting functions.
Some of these editing and formatting functions include:
- reference additions
- the ability to go to specific page numbers
- change tracker
- find and replace tool (which is super helpful when renaming a character)
You can use whatever you want for your writing process, be it notebooks and pens, parchment and quills, a typewriter, or a writing program on your computer.
However, I’d recommend you use a word processing program for editing, as they make things 10x easier.
This is where things get really fun!
There are so many different kinds of music, and so there is a song for every scene, a melody for every melodramatic character, a harmony for all the hair raising plot twists in the world.
The music you listen to can be fun and happy, or somber and sad. Music can make you feel nostalgic, or in love, or angry.
You can use these emotions to your advantage while writing, to help you feel more confident about writing the emotions that characters are feeling.
You can listen to any kind of music you’d like to listen to while you write, but my personal preference is a soundtrack from a video game.
Video game soundtracks are specifically designed to keep you focused on the task at hand, which would be the game they’re designed for. When listening to a soundtrack while writing, you can use this trick to focus more effectively.
The best thing about video game soundtracks is that they come in all sorts of styles.
It doesn’t matter what kind of genres you’re into, there are video game soundtracks out there to suit your needs.
You can even mix and match, and make playlists that have battle music for action, and calm ambient music for scenes that have less conflict.
It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially since a couple of the side effects of dehydration are:
- Difficulty concentrating
Both of those side effects make writing difficult, and so staying hydrated can help you get more writing done.
There are many healthy beverages that you can enjoy while writing, such as:
- Green tea
- Black tea
- White tea
Teas are great, because they don’t have the same levels of caffeine as coffee does. This means that you won’t get a huge crash a few hours after drinking tea.
Staying hydrated is important, but it’s also important to have enough nourishment throughout the day.
If you’re a morning writer, like me, a few light snacks spread out evenly in your writing sessions will help you maintain energy levels, while keeping heavy digestion from bogging you down.
If you’re writing in the evenings, avoid foods with caffeine in them or that give you heartburn, since those can disrupt your sleep.
If you’re having an amazing writing day and you want to keep yourself going for even longer, promise yourself a special treat if you reach a certain word goal.
What’s your favorite tool to use while writing?
If you’re looking for mental tools, I have 6 Mental Tools Every Writer Should Have.
If you enjoyed this post, or found it helpful, please leave a like, a comment, or share it on social media. It helps out a lot.
I blog about writing on Wednesdays, so check back next week for some new content!