Musicians list the equipment they use to make music, especially guitarists. So, I thought I’d list what I use to write. Below is a list of the equipment I take with me each weekend to write:
Computer—Dell Inspiron N411Z with Intel Core i3 processor at 2.3 GHz and with 4 GB RAM.
Operating system—Windows 7 Home. I’ve used Windows PCs for a long time and don’t see stopping now.
Writing software—Word 2010. It gets the job done. I might want to use something different if I go into writing scripts/plays, but I don’t think I would.
Red pens(2)—Uni-ball Micro red pens. I only use these when I have to edit/proof the hard copy of one of my manuscripts. They seem to work well and, most importantly, don’t leak.
Pencils—A couple of Number 2 pencils, the brand doesn’t matter.
Chocolate—Chocolate, to me, is the most amazing stimulant ever created. It gives you energy, mellows you out a bit, yet sharpens your mind. It puts your right where you want to be for serious mental work. I have about 2-3 squares of my favorite chocolate bar with a dark coffee or black tea and I’m ready to get writing. I prefer something with a lot of cocoa, like Scharfen Berger’s 82% cocoa bar. So good.
A random book—I almost always bring a book (or sometimes, my Kindle) to read to get my brain warmed up for writing. After about 30 minutes of reading I’m usually ready to start writing my own stuff. The whole time I’m reading, I’m marking up favorite passages with my #2 pencil. In fact, I can’t read a book without a pencil anymore.
Print outs (when needed)—When I get to a third or fourth draft, I print out the manuscript and bring the sheets (Courier font, single-sided with wide margins for easier editing) to the café and set to work proofing/editing with my red pen.
NONE of these are endorsements and no one has paid me to mention the products above or to use them. They are simply what I prefer.
[Page updated in 2015.]