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A writers tools of trade
by Lynda Archard
©: February 19th 2001

You are a writer as soon as you put pen to paper. You are a successful writer after acquiring a few essential items.

These are what you need and why:

ˇ        A note pad and pen to take notes and to jot down ideas while you are cooking, walking or sitting in the car (providing you are the passenger and not the driver).

ˇ        A typewriter or computer for typing all of your notes and the article or story.

ˇ        A telephone is needed to call editors. You should always give a quick call to check the name of the editor you are submitting to. They can change quicker than the editor of writers market books can update their records.

ˇ        You need a tape recorder to read your articles and stories into so that you can play it back and see how they sound. This is especially important if you are creating scripts for radio stories, TV or to broadcast in any way. If you stumble on any sentences then go back and rewrite them. A recorder is also useful for interviewing people. You can go back over anything that was said and not only get it right but use the description of how things were said. Emotion is just as important as the words you use. Keep interviews until after publication and if anything is disputed then you have the evidence.

ˇ        An Internet connection is useful for making contacts. Join as many writing groups as you can and search for markets to write for across the world.

ˇ        A fax machine will get your manuscript to an editor within seconds. This is especially useful in journalism and reporting careers.

ˇ        Files are needed for all of your research and notes.

ˇ        One of those little index boxes is good for storing ideas. Because they are indexed you can use a single card for a 50-word description of characters, story outlines, scenes and situations. Store them until you run out of ideas and then take one of each at random to create a fresh idea.


To all of these things you need to add your vision. See your career in front of you and steadily work your way to a successful career. Use all of your tools to your best advantage and store everything you don't need now for later use. Keep every rejected piece of writing to rewrite another time. Don't ever waste your time or your research.

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© Lynda Archard