Sunday, January 01, 2006

A Writer's Tool Box

The Merriam Webster Dictionary has multiple definitions for the word tool. My favorite is something used in doing a job. At the most basic level, a writer needs words, something to write them with and something to write them on. A napkin and the mini-golf score card pencil serve the same functions as a leather journal and a $100 pen. Many writers today, myself included, prefer to write on the computer. I'd call the computer an optional tool while paper and pencils are required. I haven't asked the rest of the staff here at The Scruffy Dog Review but I'm willing to bet none of us go far without paper and a pen or pencil. I keep index cards and several pens in my purse, a notebook and two pens within reach of the bed, a notebook and pens in the kitchen and I have a clipboard to make outdoor writing easier. I'd look funny carrying a laptop around the grocery store. So far our writer's tool box has paper, pencils or pens, and an optional computer. Other optional but useful items to add include a dictionary, thesaurus, and library card. Writing guides and grammar handbooks make life easier, too so add some of those if you wish. Just a few more things and we'll be finished. You can't touch these things but, if you look, you'll probably find some in every successful writer's tool box. They are self-discipline and determination.

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