Thesaurus & Dictionary
Every writer knows not to use cliches and the same goes for using the same word over and over again. It’s mundane, boring and loses the reader’s interest early on, that’s where a thesaurus comes in, giving you options instead of using the same word. A dictionary on the other hand is to help you learn new words and clarify that you’re using a word in the right way. Both resources are key to maintain and improve any writing practice.
I use a physical agenda to plan out my weeks and months and set deadlines for myself. Not only does this motivate me to get my ass in gear and get my work done on time, but it gives me a routine. Having a set routine might sound constricting but the reality is, having a routine can be freeing for the creative mind, allowing you the space to explore and find your voice through the page.
The purpose of a journal varies from person to person. For someone like myself, a journal serves the purpose of being a convenient place to write the ideas that pop into my head at any given time–which is why I carry a journal with me almost everywhere I go. For others, a journal might look like a bullet journal or just a place to get the creative juices flowing. Every writer has their own methods but a journal is a must in our tool-kit.
Some people like to write in silence, I am one of those people. However; silence is not always an option. A writing playlist is helpful for getting you in the zone to hone your focus and concentrate on whatever you’re writing and inspire you to write new ideas. I recommend instrumental music so you don’t get lost in lyrics and end up plagiarizing what’s already been written.
On top of a playlist you’ll also need some kickin’ headphones. If you live in a busy house like I do, great headphones are not just a smart buy, they’re an investment. As most people know, working from home has its up and downs and most writer’s work from home it’s worth it to help you maintain focus. So while the rest of the house is bustling and doing its own thing, you can sit, focus and write from the heart.
As someone who writes both digitally and physically, black sharpies always come in handy for blacking out the mistakes I’ve made. Not only is it satisfying to cross off what no longer vibes with me, it serves me well to know what I’ve made progress on and what I need to address.
Now, as I’ve said earlier, every writer is different but I feel as though we could all benefit from coloured pens. Coloured pens are wonderful for editing and making changes clear plus you can find ballpoint, gel and even felt tip coloured pens–depending on your preference. If you work in non-fiction, they can still come in handy when making edits and even can help you identify what’s true and what’s false.
Highlighters are for more than just selecting everything that’s important. As a writer, you can highlight things to identify what they are, their level of importance, when they need they need to be done by… the list goes on. I prefer thick highlighters but everyone’s taste is different. I’ve found many people don’t see the purpose of highlighter’s and would rather leave them behind to when they were last in school, and that’s fine. However; I ask that you consider highlighters as a possible organization tool in your writing practice.
This is another optional resource but I find sticky notes come in handy when jotting down notes of any kind: for stories already in progress, buds of ideas for stories or even scenes that need to be written. For non-fiction writers, sticky notes are a necessity for deadline reminders, notes on stories and convenient for marking down your references.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression
I know this seems like a product placement but, this one, I found by accident and boy am I glad I did. This resource is optional unless you have difficulty coming up with physical behaviours to display emotions. It gives options for physical behaviours that display emotions as well as internal sensations and what it may look like when someone withholds a specific emotion. This book is an essential resource in my practice as I write almost exclusively fiction (apart from the odd blog). I don’t see how this could be useful to bloggers or journalists but, poets and novelists could put a book like this to good use. You could spend the twenty dollars on the full book or visit the online version here.