Survival! 2012 got us all thinking about it. Now that we’ve made it through to 2013, we here at Pub(lishing) Crawl asked ourselves:
What are the writing /working tools we couldn’t survive without?
Mine is Scrivener, hands down. I don’t know how I wrote before that program. It has literally changed my life.
(Also, I must include my writer friends. Because seriously, I would be lost (and completely insane) if it weren’t for the support of fellow writer besties.)
Yesss, Scrivener! Drafting in it is optional for me (I actually prefer drafting in Pages…as well as doing final line-edit type edits in Pages), but doing big, structural changes? Scrivener all the way!
So, I will just throw in another shout-out for the amazingness that is Scrivener. BUT, the one thing I really couldn’t survive without is my music. I could write by hand, if I had to, but I couldn’t write without all my tunes (and a way to hear them, of course!). Heck, I’m not even sure I could live without music either!!
Jordan Hamessley London
Over the past few months, I’ve been using rainymood.com when I’m editing in the office. It helps me tune out all the office sounds and lets me focus on the words. Depending on the manuscript, I’ll also play some music on top of the rain sounds, usually just piano concertos, but when I’m editing something scary I tend to listen to requiems or Camille Saint-Saëns’s Danse Macabre. Obviously, when I’m editing my series about band geeks I listen to a lot of french horns or concert band music. Can you tell that I was a total music nerd in a past life?
Also, there is NO way I could keep track of everything I have to do without my planner. I have a great calendar that has the days of the week on the left side of the spread and a to-do list on the right side. I would be lost without it.
Others have already said Scrivener, which is also one of my most necessary writing tools, but lately I’ve been discovering a new one I don’t know how I lived without for so long: Goodreader for iPad. I turn manuscripts into PDF files, then mark them up like I would if they were manuscripts on paper. This has been super useful for me when I’m line editing and when I’m critiquing. And even though I’m still looking at a screen to read the manuscript, it feels like getting away from the computer to work, which is nice.
I agree with the music thing. I must have some sort of soundtrack playing, even if it’s just the sound of tides or rushing water. I also love having a sketchbook nearby. When I get stuck on writing, I like being able to doodle a bit in order to get the creativity going again.
I couldn’t live without my lava lamp. It takes about an hour to warm up, so when I’m struggling to get things done and I sit down to write, I tell myself my butt has to stay in that chair until the wax had melted and the lava lamp is doing its awesomely retro thing. No snacks, no walks, no standing up to plug the router back in. Just words!
Vanessa Di Gregorio
This is going to sound pretty lame, but I couldn’t live without my phone (for work AND for writing). I’m out and about a lot, and while I lug my laptop and iPad with me EVERYWHERE, if I need to make a note for work, or keep track of my appointments, or GPS my way around my territory (especially when it comes to finding all-day breakfast places), or write down the bits of dialogue or parts of scenes that pop into my head at random, my phone is my lifeline. No more scrambling at my bedside table or through my purse for a pen and paper (and then forgetting everything when I finally do find it), or giving up when the urge for pancakes kicks in (happens all the time when I sell my list). No more forgetting where I’m supposed to be and at what time, or which ARCs I need to send someone, etc. My phone is my go-to for it all.
A dictionary/thesaurus is probably one of the very few things I would not be able to go without. It can drive me absolutely insane if I have the idea of the word but can’t remember what the word actually is. Also, Wikipedia for quick and general fact-checking, and this website for names: http://www.behindthename.com/
And like Erin said, writer friends. Definitely something I would never be able to sacrifice. 🙂
Sarah J. Maas
I’m going to echo both Erin and Sooz: The two things I couldn’t live without are music (music inspires 95% of my stories) and my writer-friends. I honestly couldn’t function as a writer/human being without either. <3
Noise-cancelling headphones, and this is so old school, but I couldn’t live without those little three subject spiral notebooks. I buy one in a new color for each new book and each big revision. I also need my whiteboard. In fact, I fantasize about having an office with just whiteboards for walls.
What about you guys, PubCrawl readers? What tools do you need to survive? Also, we are giving away a set of two moleskine notebooks—great tools for writers, readers, and just about anyone! Enter with the Rafflecopter form below: