My Five Writing Essentials – Winter 2020

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Hello Friends and Welcome.

Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite writing tools. Every single person is different and we all prefer different tools to write with. Throughout my life, my favorite tools have changed as my writing process has changed. When I was in middle school, I loved to take composition books and hand write everything. When I was in high school, I liked to use an old desktop computer to compose on. In college I used my MacBook Pro. As life has changed, my writing process has changed and evolved.

One: A Spiral Notebook (Or Several)

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I enjoy writing by hand on occasion. I use my notebooks to jot down ideas, flesh out outlines, take notes on things that I think are useful, and even start short compositions. I like using a cute notebook because it looks pretty, but I find it useful to put my phone and computer away and have my writing be my sole focus. To me, there is freedom in a blank sheet of paper that a blank screen doesn’t give me. I can scribble away without worrying about format or if it looks “right.” Many people prefer to compose and take notes digitally. I prefer having something that I can take anywhere with me without worrying about losing power or damaging it when I drop it.

Two: My MacBook Air

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While I like being able to scribble and fill notebooks up, I do the bulk of my writing on a computer. I am a very fast typist, so I am able to compose my words much faster on the computer than I can by hand. It also allows me to easily save multiple copies of my work (for example I save to my desktop, I save a copy to the cloud, and I email a copy to myself).  It’s much easier to cut and paste to move words and ideas around on a computer. I like my MackBook Air because it is so lightweight and the perfect size to fit in my purse with a large enough screen that I can have multiple documents open side by side, which is great when setting up my draft with the plot outline next to it for easy reference or during rewrites if there is specific wording in the prior draft that I really loved.

Three: Scrivener

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Scrivener is the word processing program that I personally use to write my novels. I just started using it last year and have been extremely happy with it. The first draft of Autumn Sunrise was written entirely in the Scrivener program and I plan to use it to write the draft of Serial News. The program is able to manage notes, documents, concepts, and research all in one program. Scrivener offers templates for screenplays, fiction, and non-fiction manuscripts. Once you’ve completed your draft, it is very easy to export it to a Word document or PDF. It will even compile it into a document that conforms to publisher’s standards. There are so many awesome things that the program can do and I am excited to continue learning as I continue to go through the different stages of the writing processes with my work.

Four: A Big Mug of Tea

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I have found that I really enjoy writing with a mug of tea by my side. In the morning I will write with a mug of English Breakfast tea and then in the evening I will switch over to either Peppermint or Sleepytime tea. I also have some great loose-leaf teas that I enjoy making on occasion – these I will make on Saturdays when I have more time to write. Many writers believe that tea helps boost creativity, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Five: Pilot G-2 07 Gel Pens

We all have our favorite brand of pens and mine happen to be the Pilot G-2 pens. I love the way that these pens write, I love how bold the colors are, and for me I enjoy how thin they can write as I tend to make a lot of notes on my work and prefer to keep my lines and letters thin. For me, these pens write smoothly and handle beautifully. I tend to use the blue, red, and green colors the most when it comes to my writing.

Bonus: The “Elephant” Technique

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Have you ever found yourself unable to recollect the word you need? So often, I will be in the middle of writing and find that while I know that there is one word I want to use, I cannot for the life of me remember it in that moment. The “Elephant” Technique is something that I learned about from one of the writers in my creative writing class in undergrad. Instead of sitting there racking your brain or going into the rabbit hole of internet searches, you simply write “ELEPHANT” and move on. Once you’ve completed your writing, use the search and find resource to find all the ELEPHANTs in your writing.  Usually, once you read back those sentences you will be able to recall the word you need or you will be able to take the time to search for the word without the pressure of having to get a complete draft done.

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These are some of my favorite writing tools (and the bonus technique) that I really enjoy right now. I’d love to hear what some of your favorite tools are!

Signing off,

Kellie Katrin

Published by Kellie Katrin

Hello, my name is Kellie and I am an author, editor, underwriter, marathon runner, and a lover of words. I seek to bring joy to the world around me and share my words with the world.

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