Below are some of the products and services that have helped me in my quest to always write a little better than I did the day before. This is an ever-changing list, but I often refer people to it when they want to find gifts for writers or tools to make their own writing process a little easier or more pleasurable.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission if you make a purchase. These are all products and services I use, and I recommend them because they make writing easier and more fun for me. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Best Software for Writers
I spent years resisting my writer-friends’ suggestions that I give up using Microsoft Word and make the switch to a software that’s designed for writers. Once I tried Scrivener, I was hooked. I started using it for writing books, but I now use it for almost all of my writing projects, from blog posts to book ideas and personal correspondence. If you have a passion for organizing your content, you’ll love Scrivener. An added bonus, Scrivener has the ability to convert your files to pdf, Word documents, or ebook files. This program does a lot, and I love it.
Calibre (No cost at the time of this writing.)
If you’re not ready for Scrivener (though you should be), check out Calibre. It’s not a wordprocessor, but you can use it to convert your files to .mobi and .epub for ebook publications. Like any software, it has a bit of learning curve, but it’s quite user friendly.
Best Pens for Writers and Authors
This is a tiny obsession for me–finding the right pen for the right person. My husband, a screenwriter, and I love the Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine. He sticks to black and red, but I love the entire line of colors for journaling and editing on the page. The writing is always smooth and fluid. Yes, they’re also great for autographing your books. NOTE: Please do not take these pens on an airplane. I’ve had several explode or develop a slow leak during a flight. Use the pens below instead.
One of my writing partners gave me these pens for Christmas one year, and I fell in love with them. They’re exceptionally smooth for writing in a journal or editing on the page. I haven’t airplane-tested them yet, but I’m hoping they survive my next trip.
Best Journals for Authors and Writers
Moleskine is probably what you expected to see here, and I’m currently obsessed with these pocket-sized versions that let you jot down notes wherever you are. Whatever size you choose, everything about these little journals is well designed. They have the perfect paper feel for writing and open flat so you don’t have to struggle to use the full page.
The Best Books on Writing
Below are some of my all-time favorite books on the writing process. If your library is missing any of them, don’t delay. Get them. Read them. Come back to them when you need inspiration.
On Writing, by Stephen King
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
The Lie That Becomes the Truth, by John Dufresne
The Art of Fiction, by John Gardner
The War of Art, by Stephen Pressfield
Pen on Fire, by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett
Voice Recording and Dictation
If you’re just doing basic dictation, you can use your laptop mic or your smartphone. I also do a podcast, and the list below includes the tools I use to get the best quality recordings I can muster.
Microphone: Audio- Technica 2100 USB
Mic filter: I hated the pop filter I originally bought with the mic. It was constantly sliding off the mic stand. Unless you find a pop filter you like, I suggest using a foam wind screen on the mic instead. It’s working better for me, but I don’t yet have a brand to recommend. Don’t try recording without a filter or wind screen. You won’t like the results.
Voice-to-Text App: Voice Note II (No cost at the time of this writing.) I’ve used this free Google Chrome app to dictate blog posts, emails, and letters. It’s surprisingly accurate, though not perfect, in capturing my words on the page. And the price is right!
I’ll continue to add to this list as I discover great things that make writing the pleasure it should be.
Go write something!