Welcome to my blog

Tools of the Trade

Posted on


On a recent school visit a young boy asked me what tools I needed to write. That really made me think. The obvious ones are pen and paper, of course, and my computer but there are lots of other things I use too. Like notebooks, especially pretty, decorated ones. I have a collection of special notebooks, like these:



And I like pretty pens to write in my notebooks:




 Although most of the time I think the notebooks are too pretty to write in, and don't want to use up all the ink in my pretty pens so scribble notes down in a plain notebook like this with a biro.

purple notebook

Then there's my reference books like this very battered Roget's Thesaurus.


My ideas file and cuttings.

cutting file

And my CDs for calm background music while I write.




How about you? What tools do you need to write?

Add a comment:

Leave a comment:


  1. Karen

    Thank you all for dropping by and sharing your 'tools of the trade with me. Great comments. :)

    Posted on

  2. Ann Evans

    I love pretty notebooks too, Karen, but I also always have normal spiral bound shorthand pads on the go too, then I can never find which book I've written what in! Early mornings are a good time to write for me with a nice hot cup of tea within easy reach.

    Posted on

  3. Stephanie Michels

    I don't think I could live without an office supply store close by -- or at least a good stationery department in my favorite store. I can browse for hours in those places and end up buying pretty journals and pens and colorful folders. I usually do most of my writing on a computer (laptop, desktop or tablet), but when I am stuck, nothing unlocks my creativity like the physical act of putting pen to paper. I heard Jude Deveraux speak at RT last year, and she said she writes ALL her books long hand and has a secretary who takes the sheets and types them up for her.

    Posted on

  4. Shea McIntosh Ford

    I'm with ya on the pretty notebooks. My last one wasn't so pretty, but ironically fit the research. Red is a magical color for Irish faeries so the illegal book of magic in my story certainly had to be red. It just so happens that the notebook I wrote in had red faux leather binding. :) Then, of course, coffee (decaf if I happen to be writing late), a good pen, pandora music (anything that has no lyrics), and most importantly (if I can finagle it) no kids. ;)

    Posted on

  5. Krysten

    I am the same way with pretty notebooks--love them, but sometimes have to get over thinking they're too pretty to write in. I don't have cute pens because I always lose them, but I'm obsessed with Atlantis pens and have them in all my bags.

    Posted on

  6. Patricia Kiyono

    I need quiet, my laptop, and a pot of decaf coffee or tea. My best writing gets done after my husband goes to bed. Fortunately, that's at 6 pm!

    Posted on

  7. Karen

    Thanks for sharing, everyone. :)

    Posted on

  8. Mike Overs

    wine? For the over 18's of course. Insence ..... For the ambiance......

    Posted on

  9. Kelly

    As long as I have youtube and a computer, I'm fine :) Great post!

    Posted on

  10. Naomi

    I get distracted easily so I need phone turned OFF, internet OFF, a big cup of tea, either no music or classical/instrumental music, and a massive amount of willpower to get over my 'creative block'!

    Posted on

  11. Sherry Gloag

    Great blog. I use the same tools you mention and rely heavily of online sites for research words that were around in the Regency period, and both the thesaurus and American and UK dictionaries to check the differences in spelling, depending on my story/character. And - because I am grammatically challenged, I rely on a lot of English grammar books/courses.

    Posted on

Add a comment