May 5, 2015
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In this week's episode of the "Write Now" podcast, I talk about caffeine addiction, my obsession with Bic 0.7mm #2 mechanical pencils, an intense personal dislike of sports, the ubiquitous egg timer, and (bonus!) Jane Austen's homemade ink recipe.
Buckle up, because this is going to be ONE WILD RIDE.
What are the tools of the writer's craft?
Sculptors use a hammer and chisel. Knitters use needles. Writers use... what? A word processing program on a laptop? A composition notebook and pencil? A vintage Lillian Rose typewriter from 1945?
My point here is that YOU COULD LITERALLY USE ANYTHING to write. Soggy Alpha-Bits floating in milk. Chalk. Blood and bones.
But every writer has his or her preference -- and not only
regarding what they use to create their art, but what they use to
get inspired, stay focused, and get published. John Steinbeck used
only one specific type of pencil. Jennifer Crusie uses a program
called Scrivener. You'll hear more about all of that in today's
My eight favorite writing tools, you guys.
And bonus -- they're all free, or at least incredibly cheap!
OmmWriter: OmmWriter is a beautiful, minimalist writing
program that enhances your focus and removes distractions.
It's about $5 and up for either Mac or PC.
Pencil & paper: I prefer Bic 0.7mm #2 mechanical pencils (they're SUPER cheap) and yellow college-rule legal pads.
Idea book / reminder app: I use a more affordable knockoff version of the Moleskine ruled cashier journal. They're unobtrusive and fit perfectly into pockets and purses.
Coffee: Oh you guys do I ever love coffee. (Not free, sadly.)
Timer: I simply use the timer app on my phone. Otherwise, a kitchen timer, stopwatch, or online timer will do.
Pinterest: Free! Might want to use your timer in conjunction with Pinterest to ensure you don't waste all of your lovely writing time.
Sound: Be it music, silence, or a tool such as Rainymood (free website) or Noisli (app & free website).
Dropbox: Don't lose your novel to a faulty hard drive or fried motherboard. Save it to the cloud using Dropbox and access it from any electronic device. The basic version is free.
Please note that I'm not getting paid to shill any of the above
products -- rather, I'm telling you about them because I use them
The book of the week.
Another home run this week! (AAA! Sports metaphor!)
I'd never read Isaac Asimov before (he's the guy who wrote I, Robot and all sorts of other formative sci-fi), and I figured it was about time.
Written in 1954, The Caves of Steel is a sci-fi murder mystery that stars a cop and his robot partner. It sounds cheesy, but OMG SERIOUSLY it is amazing.
The twist is that robots are slowly replacing humans in the workforce, and if this cop wants to keep his job, he'll have to solve the murder before his robot counterpart.
I expected this book to be dry and dull and dated, but it remains immensely readable, with natural language, masterful storytelling, and social messages that are still relevant today -- if not more so.
It's the mark of great sci-fi and I can't wait to read more of Asimov's books.
Keep up-to-date with my reading exploits on Goodreads.
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