The tools of writing

The tools of writing are as varied as writers themselves. Some writers prefer pen and paper. Some prefer pencils. Some use an old-fashioned typewriter, and many, if not most, use a computer.

People that prefer pens can be picky. I know people who swear by a cheap Pilot G2. I know others who love a nicely-weighted fountain pen. Over the years, I’ve had some pens that I loved. I even had a fantastic pen made from a Jack Daniels barrel. I need my pens to have some bulk to them — both in size and weight. I’m also left-handed, so I’m always looking for pens with ink that doesn’t easily smear.

People that prefer pencils have choices to make as well. Cheap mechanical, expensive mechanical, drafting, and wooden pencils. Even within the category of wood pencils, the options are abundant. There are times I prefer the ease and accessibility of a cheap mechanical pencil, but then there are times when I *need* the feel of a reliable, well-sharpened №2. I will say this: as a lefty. I have not-so-fond memories of a blackened hand as I wrote papers in school (before computers were an everyday thing). So, while I don’t mind writing in pencil, I tend to do it in a limited fashion.

I always have at least one Moleskine notebook with me. My current “writing” notebook is a lined, Lego-branded notebook. I use this to capture my ideas, my fieldstones. I chose the Lego notebook because it’s like I’m building except with words. I also carry a Captain America notebook for a personal journal and have a stack of legal pads in my desk for those times I need to scribble the thoughts out of my head.

When it comes to technology, I am a software developer at heart, so I like to use tools that are familiar. Are they the best for writing? Probably not, but they are comfortable to me, and that’s all that matters. It makes things more comfortable if I can sit down behind something I know the ins-and-outs of, something I can tweak to work precisely the way I want. It’s one less excuse, one less bit of Resistance.

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For those interested, I’m using Visual Studio Code because I do most of my writing in Markdown, and VSCode’s Markdown support is outstanding. I use a Vim extension because any other way is wrong, and I regularly commit to GitHub using the integrated bash terminal.
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The book is being written and published using LeanPub.com, a site that makes it extremely simple to get started. They allow me to make the book available for people to buy while I’m still working on t. I’m able to control pretty much everything about the book, from the layout to pricing to how the book shows up on their site. While it’s not required, I can give my book an ISBN. They don’t restrict how or where I sell the book, making it possible also to list it on Amazon.

The last tool I use is Spotify. As I’m sitting here writing this post, I have my headphones on with some fantastic music playing. It helps get the creative juices flowing, and also puts a big smile on my face. The music I listen to really depends on what I’m trying to do, but most times it’s metal.

Fuck Resistance! The writing continues!