When Hemingway said this, he probably had no idea just how the tools of the trade would change in the future. While many – if not most – of us would probably not hesitate to shell out some cash to own a vintage typewriter, the fact is that writers have more advanced tools at our disposal today. Of course, there are times when nothing beats good old pen and paper.
The other day, while working at a coffee shop, I couldn’t help but glance (okay, more than glance; maybe stare a little) at the people there. Many seemed to be online workers like me, and many had more than one device within arm’s reach at all times. This got me thinking about what the essential writing gadgets of writers today are.
Here’s my list. It is surprisingly short!
I have several devices which I can use to browse the Internet and hammer out blog posts. With word processing software installed, those devices can also be used for writing longer pieces. Then there is the notepad, which I use to jot down whatever idea comes to me.
At the end of the day, though, the laptop is my go-to device. There is nothing like a huge (compared to a phone/tablet, 13 inches is huge) screen and a full-sized keyboard.
I included my smartphone not because of content creation but the other way around: consumption. Another writing quote that I like sharing is from Stephen King:
If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.
There have been many occasions when I find myself buried in work and not having time to enjoy my favorite pastime: reading. This quote always reminds me that it is essential to devour other people’s writing in order to be a good writer.
And that’s where my smartphone comes in. With unlimited data connection, I can check up on the news, read online articles, and read my ebooks wherever I may be. I may not actually use the phone to write, but it is an essential writing tool.
Portable music player
Here’s another gadget that is not directly related to my writing output but without which, I’d probably be in a totally different place. I rely heavily on music throughout the day, especially when I’m on the road. I also like working at different locations, which lends to creativity, but can also be prone to external noise. I don’t need to tell you how my portable music player helps me get (and stay) in the zone, do I?
Your turn: What are your essential writing gadgets?
Sara Wells is a tech writer and blogger. She writes on behalf of leading brands such as protectyourbubble.com cell phone insurance provider.