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Seven Tools Every Writer Needs
Writing for some people is the toughest job you can ever ask them to do yet given the right write tools and circumstances anyone can actually write high quality articles with a little bit of work and practice. There are in fact seven tools every writer actually needs regardless of whether they are writing a novel, a science document, a University assignment, a web article or journal for the local paper. Without these tools you will find it very difficult to succeed. Tool #1 - Book and Pencil The Book and Pencil is one of the most important tools you will ever use. I carry a book and pencil where ever I go so that I do not miss out on the ideas I have, words that I have heard and the visuals in front of me. The key advantage of the book and pencil is that when you see something or have a good idea, you write it down so you do not forget.
For example, while I was in bed last night I was thinking about a new article that I could write. This article in fact because I wanted to help new writers. The first thing I did was to jot down the title in my book and then the seven tools I believe every writer should have. I actually have two books I use for writing, a little A6 size pad that fits in my wallet and another journal size A4 book for writing more detailed information. Whenever you a walking around a shopping centre or out to dinner, use the little A6 wallet book to write down words you hear and phrases you see so that you can use those in your writing.
Often people you come across from other states or countries will use different phrases to say the same thing, and often those phrases can be sexier than your own and may inspire more readers to read your material. Tool #2 - Dictionary No writer can survive without a dictionary. I still have my Macquarie dictionary I got when I was in Grade 2 which is some …(a slight pause here to realise one has gotten old) … 30 plus years ago. However, if you are just starting out there are lots of really cool online dictionaries out there for free now. Alternatively, I also recommend visiting a book fair held by Charity Groups. In Australia, Lifeline holds a book fair every year and you can actually buy bags of books for a dollar and very often they will have a couple of thousand dictionaries there for just $1 which is really cheap. So, why do we need a dictionary? Actually for two reasons, the first is to make sure we spell the words correctly and for all the techno geeks who say, but the computer can do that, let me inform you, not all words in the electronic dictionaries are correct and there are lots of words that do not exist. The second reason, and this is the most important reason, the dictionary will tell you the meaning of the word, which helps ensure the word you are using is the right one for the context of your article. Tool #3 - Thesaurus This is one of the most awesome tools for writers. A thesaurus allows you to look up a word and to find a better word to use than the one you used.
So here is a really good exercise. I have used my thesaurus to locate more appropriate words for that previous sentence so here is the result … The Thesaurus allows you to hunt for those words that are more appropriate and improve the sound of the language in your article. You will notice that I substituted the word "better" for "improve" and rewrote the statement using words that were descriptive to outline what you were trying to achieve like "hunt", "more appropriate" and "sound of the language". When you are writing the thesaurus can be a fantastic and fun tool to help you dramatically improve the language of your documents or articles. Tool #4 - Digital Recorder As a writer the digital recorder has become a mainstay of our industry. The digital recorder allows you to simply speak into the recorder and record parts of your article without having to laboriously (notice the use of the descriptive term … my thesaurus is working overtime today) write it down. One thing you might want to consider is purchasing a PDA that includes a digital recorder and the ability to write down notes and take phone calls so that you are not carrying a million and one devices. The new PDA's I have bought for my team actually have software that is voice activated so that when they have an idea or want to add to a previous message you can do so without having to press any buttons. Probably the most common profession that uses the digital recorder is the legal profession. My lawyer uses one every single time I go into a meeting to tape his notes and letters I am going to receive and get charged a fortune for.
Tool #5 - A Good Library Of Books Look the number ONE tool every good writer needs is their own library of books. A good writer will also be a good reader and the more you read the better your writing will become. I now have in-excess of 10,000 books in my collection and growing. My library of books range from fiction to non-fiction, research journals, magazines and much much more and I am building an even bigger video selection as well. Why? Well the more exposure you have to the various writing techniques and languages by the citizens of the world and the more refined your own technique will become. Further to that you need to gain a solid understanding of what technique is appropriate for the medium and the audience you are writing for. For example, the style of writing I use for articulating articles for the web will be of a more relaxed nature and more personal than for a document I might be producing for a corporate organisation. To be a really great writer you must be able to be flexible in the style you use dependant on the type of document or article you are writing. Great writers are not born, they create themselves through practice. When I was at school, even through to high school I was a terrible writer but as I have practiced more and more (with the help of my mum), my writing has improved 100,000 percent and I know the more I write the better I am getting at structuring the article and making it flow and the faster I can write.
The library of books will be a great source for research as it will allow you to see how different writers structure their sentences, the sort of words they use how they describe experiences and use descriptive words like adjectives in their sentences. When you are building your library, do not get caught into the trap of buying just brand new books and to be honest that is an expensive way to start. Like I said before, visit places like the Book Charity Fairs and second hand book dealers and often you will find bags of books for just $1. I recently went to a Lifeline Book Fair and we bought bags of books for $1. The more extensive the library of books you have, with styles from the past and the present, the more effective, fantastic and outstanding your writing will become. Tool #6 - Quality Music Everybody has heard of writers block and I am not really sure there is such a thing, but some days I do find it harder to write then others. However, one way I overcome this problem is by listening to music that will help entice the creative element of my brain. The music I have found that is really good for this is baroque music which is played at 60 beats a minute. Briefly, research shows that baroque music at 60 beats per minute causes your brain to produce more alpha [calmness] waves.
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