The Best Tools for Writers

All you really need to write is a pen and paper. But these tools and resources will help you write more — and earn more.

Sheryl Garratt
The Creative Companion
9 min readJan 13, 2022

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Writing, the old-fashioned way! Photo by Clark Young on Unsplash

You don’t need anything fancy to start writing.

It’s important to say this from the start. Some of the greatest novels ever written were scratched out with a quill. There’s no need for any of us to go quite that basic any more, but all you really need to begin is a pen and paper.

My favourite pen is a Pilot V5 (I have hundreds of them, all over the house). For paper I use more or less anything, though as a left-hander I prefer a notepad that lies flat, or flips at the top.

For my journal, I like a good-quality paper so I can write on both sides without ink showing through. But I’m not loyal to one brand. I find it hard to walk past a stationery shop, so I have a drawer full of blank journals from all over the world. Especially Japan and Italy.

My advice to new writers?

Start before you’re ready. Don’t wait for the perfect time, the perfect writing space, until you can afford a fancy laptop or any of the tools below. Just pick up something to write with and on (a pen and paper; your phone; a computer) and write where and whenever you can. You’ll be terrible, at first. But the only way to get better is to keep on.

If you are already writing, however, the right tools and resources can really help you become more efficient in optimising your time, juggling multiple projects and finding an audience for your work.

Here some of the best ones I’ve found, in my 40 years as a professional writer.

Scrivener

I still use Microsoft Word for writing short pieces, and if I’m collaborating it’s often on Google docs. But anything complicated or longer than 2000 words goes into Scrivener.

I love the fact you can keep previous drafts, notes, source materials (anything from articles, web pages, photos and maps) within the file and pull them up easily. I love how easy it is to go into full screen composition mode and focus solely on the page you’re working on, with the rest of your desktop hidden…

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Sheryl Garratt
The Creative Companion

Writer; editor; coach, supporting creatives to step up and do their best work — and get paid for it! Find me at www.thecreativelife.net