Tools of the Trade

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And now, for installment #2 of the Blog Hop for Writers.

Last time we discussed our writing goals. This week we’re discussing what writing tools we use.


In my opinion, the computer was one of the best technological advances for writers everywhere. I cannot imagine finding a mistake on Page 1 of a manuscript and retyping the entire thing. Edits and revisions . . . it just wouldn’t happen. Insert. Delete. Copy. Paste. What would I do without my computer? Personally, I wouldn’t want to find out.

The Web

Yes, I love physical books, but hunting through them for that tidbit of information I want to include in my writing is not my favourite thing. Whatever info I need at my fingertips in seconds . . . I love it!

Skills Development Books and Blogs

There is such a wealth of information available. Literary agent Steve Laube provided those of us who took his class with an extensive list of the best books for writers. (He has been in the industry over 30 years in various capacities and really knows his stuff.) I have a number of these books (plus many others) and plan to read some of them this year. It may sound strange, but just having them on my shelf gives me inspiration.

Writing Conferences

Opportunities to develop skills and rub shoulders with industry professionals. The chance to talk with men and women who “speak your language,” who know the joys and challenges that writers face. A place where authors, agents, editors, and publishers can network. If you haven’t been, you really should make plans to attend. Check out the Write Canada conference coming up in June. It’s going to be great.

My Library

Faith. Fitness. Pregnancy and childbirth. Writing and editing. And, of course, novels . . . lots and lots of novels. Both my physical and virtual bookshelves are bowing under the weight. And this year I’ve gotten back into reading mode. I love it. Though many of my volumes have nothing to do with the craft of writing, it’s as if I’m surrounded by dozens of fellow authors all the time.


My son’s girlfriend bought me a small, rolled notebook made from handmade paper and leather. I keep it in my purse should inspiration hit. (Thanks so much, Laura.)

Sarasa Gel Pens

It is said all writers have a favourite pen. I don’t know if it’s true, but within the last few years, I discovered an inexpensive pen that writes beautifully – and comes in a wide variety of colours. And when I found two multi-packs on half price at our local Walmart, I snatched them up. I hate misplacing even one of them, especially if it’s purple.

And most important of all . . .

My Fellow Writers

For me, every aspect of life is about relationships. So, whether it’s in person or online, my fellow writers – and, of course, my readers – are absolutely indispensable.


19 thoughts on “Tools of the Trade

  1. Stephanie, thanks for sharing the your writing tools 🙂 I’d be interested in Steve Laube’s list. Is it on his website somewhere? I’m looking forward to networking with you and others at Write!Canada in June.

  2. You are so right about using a computer. I think about someone like Jane Austen who had to not only write out her stories in longhand, but using a feather quill and ink pot. Writing wouldn’t even be a notion of mine if that is how I had to manage. Eek!

    Leanne Ross ( )

    1. No kidding . . . I can see writing letters with a quill and ink, but not a complete book – never mind several of them. Kudos to all the previous generations of authors.

      Thanks for stopping by, Leanne. All the best with your writing goals.

  3. Stephanie and Ruth, I look forward to seeing you both at Write! Canada. And I’ll keep my eyes open for these pens. Lately I’ve been in a Bic Round-stick sort of mode, but seasons change.

  4. I’m with you in loving my own library. So many times I’ve yammered about too many books. But I can’t tell you how often I’ve gone to my book shelves to find something I know is in a book I own.

    1. I just love the Write Canada conference. It really is like a family reunion. The more I get to know those who attend, the more I look forward to it each year.

      All the best with your writing, Kathleen, and thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. Don’t know what I would do without a computer (laptop). I learned how to type on a manual typewriter (I’m aging myself). I can just imagine my family if that’s how I still wrote….since I write in the wee hours of the morning! Tap, tap, tap, tap…..! Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. Skills development books and blogs are great writing tools for inspiration and knowledge. Attending writing conferences is something I should check out. Being a writer is a lonely job. Conferences are good for learning and networking with other like-minded people.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. I like that you included fellow writers as well – hadn’t thought of them as a tool, although I tell anyone who will listen I don’t know what I’d do without them. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Sara. I just love the energy, inspiration, and motivation that comes from spending time with other writers – whether online or in person. Have a great day!

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