Last year I wrote a post about getting started with publishing, The New Author Starter Kit. But what if you’re just getting started with writing itself? Here are some “essential writing supplies” that I hope will help out!
- A notebook and pen
- You might get an idea in the middle of the night or right before dashing out of the house, and you don’t have time to turn on your computer and wait for it to start. Or maybe you get an idea while you’re on a nature walk, and you don’t have your computer with you. During times like these, you can pull out your paper and pen and jot down that idea before it vanishes away!
- Why a pen? I like that I can’t erase my pen ink. It pushes me to go forward instead of letting me backtrack by erasing pencil or deleting words on a computer. Crossing out mistakes isn’t the same to me as erasing or deleting them. Of course, if you enjoy sketching ideas with pictures, you might want to carry a pencil and eraser instead. I have a separate sketchbook for drawings, but I prefer to write with a pen.
- Computer with a word processer and internet access
- As much as I enjoy drafting with a pen, all of my submissions to publishers have been typed up on the computer. I use Microsoft Word, but other programs work well, too. Online word processors can be especially useful if you’re collaborating with other people, and multiple people want to type in the same file at the same time.
- The internet enables me to look up information, whether fast facts for research or a random name generator for a character. I also submit to publishers electronically. Just be careful that you don’t get distracted by all the info you can find online!
- First reader/critique group/editor
- After you’ve written your story, it helps to get another pair of eyes to look at it. My writing partner and I swap stories and offer feedback on one another’s work. After polishing my manuscript thanks to my writing partner’s feedback, I can then send it to the editor at my publishing house, who offers additional feedback.
- Parents and friends might make good first readers, but loved ones may have a tendency only to provide positive feedback. Remember that, ideally, you want to get a mixture of critique as well as encouragement.
- If you’re a student, teachers might give good feedback, but please also be respectful of their time, which applies to any reader. If someone tells you that they can’t read your work right now, try asking someone else or wait for a time that is convenient for them.
- Good books
- If you want to write, it’s important to read! Read in the genre that you want to write in, but don’t forget to read other books, too. Reading a wide variety can enrich your writing overall.
- Other interests
- As important as it is to have skill in writing, be able to give yourself a break. Try to develop a wide array of interests. Be curious!
- I can’t think of any professionally-published authors who have never received a rejection letter. It’s OK to be sad when you encounter rejection, but if you really want to write, keep writing!
And that’s my list of “essential writing supplies!” Would you like to add something (or someone) else to the list? Please let me know in the comments! Thank you!