1. Bruce James
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    Bruce James Member

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    What's in your toolbox? C'mon-open up.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Bruce James, Jul 20, 2016.

    I've been writing for a while, and I'm at a point in my life where I want to make my writing a priority. I've got a lot of stuff I can refine and put out there. Unfortunately, I missed the boat when it came to edumicating myself the proper way as it relates to being a writer. (ie: college)
    The trouble is; there's so many things to do, how to build structure and stay organized-what tools out there are best?
    - A blog--I'm thinking Wordpress is gonna be the way to go. What about Wix & Weebly? As I build that platform, I'm gonna be asking questions on that subject. For example-I have thoughts on an ongoing daily short read(already wrote dozens of them that I wanna refine). I own the url for that as well as my author url. That can be just another page on my main WP thingy, right? What platform do you prefer?
    - Tracking my peeps. No, not the marshmallow kind; it's mid-July and the ones from Easter are stale. Well, not really. I've eaten them (on a dare from my six-year-old at the time) after labor day and I was fine("Mommy-when is Daddy coming out of the bathroom?"). Do Peeps have a shelf life? I'm guessing preppers have a lot of them on their shelf. But I digress. What I mean is; as I read an ebook and think ok-I want to watch this guy-how do you track them and stay somewhat consistent? Signing up for the daily email will fill your Yahoo! box, but what is a better way? My bookmarks are way out of hand. Is there some sort of organizer to open that takes you to all of your writer people, and to Writing Forums dot org and to meetup-Central Pa Writers Workshop?
    - The Dell Laptop is doing fine. But they say Macs are soooo much better. Ugh-what nightmare would it be to switch when it's time to retire this one, and what about hanging onto my old version of Photoshop? I still have the disk and the code-I don't wanna switch to the online thingy.
    - Writing software? WTF is that? I got Word, Dude!

    Obviously, I'm pretty green at all of this. I'd love to hear how all of you structure your writing pursuit.

    Ok. You can stop laughing now. C'mon, really? You were this green before, right? No, you're right. I probably don't want you to answer that.
     
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  2. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Buy a writing magazine and enter a couple of the competitions. For myself even I might do the same thing on Saturday afternoon, buy a magazine with fun contests, links to little publishing houses and such, uplifting if the mojo needs a squirt - get a sense of what's going on in the world outside the cabin. Otherwise, and all the major contests, the big ones, they want £20 or 30$ of your money - that p**ses me off. Then, only sometimes, you read the winner's story and it's a load of shit obviously with 'tendrils' and light dancing, and curtains, and you look at the pictures of the judges, and they're always idiots. Then an e-mail invites you to the prize-giving, you don't want to go to that.

    The blog idea is good too, on Wordpress. Mine has four readers, some kid, a grandpa in Bermuda, and those people when I apply for jobs with their organisations, they read it, I don't get those jobs.

    That's my advice.
     
  3. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    I like to keep it simple:

    My laptop (its a HP, i'm more than happy with it, especially as it's also used as a programming laptop)

    The programs on it: Word and Aeon timeline are all i use.

    A few notebooks and pens.

    to be honest that's about it, i used to have a blog, but i barely used it, so i wiped it, i use the progress journal/blog on here more than i did my old blogger one.
     
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  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    For writing, Word. Nasty old Dell laptop. Seriously, wordprocessing is not a super-demanding task for a computer - you don't need anything fancy.

    I didn't bother with a blog, website, or anything else until I sold my first book. Now I have the standard social media stuff plus WordPress-based websites.

    In terms of keeping track of what I read - Goodreads works, for me. There can be a bit of an issue becaues it's public, so if you're going to say anything too uncomplimentary you may want to use a name other than your publishing name.
     
  5. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I too have an ancient version of Photoshop as well as an ancient version of Word (2003, but with that thingie that lets it read/write 2007 files). I looked into getting a more recent version, but damn! They want almost $200 for anything newer and I paid $35 for the 2003 version. And when I thought about what I'd gain with a newer version, it had nothing to do with novel writing (and I'm sure the grammar checker isn't much better than the one I have which keeps screaming at me about sentence fragments) so even though I keep on thinking about upgrades, I'll likely keep on talking myself out of them. George R.R. Martin still uses a DOS version of Word Star for crying out loud, so why would I need a new word processor?

    I use a late-model laptop (MSI something-something 72 something-something hoo-ha) but only because I didn't want to give up my 1920x1200 designer's monitor (that little bit of extra screen real estate does come in handy) which plugs into it via DisplayPort II. But I'm still on the look out for a laptop with a swivel screen so I can write in portrait mode instead of landscape (damn the rise of video-editing-for-all!) because why the hell aren't there any laptops designed for writers? They're writing machines, for God's sake! We were here first, dammit! Well, second. The programmers got here on the first day, but I did my time as a coder as well, so I still feel like there should be privilege in there somewhere.

    I also use an MX Cherry Brown keyboard (plugs into a USB port) because I'll be damned if I'm going to try to write with chiclets. Those things suck!

    With all the extras, it's hardly a portable set-up, but it's not like I wander around while I'm writing anyway. And if I need to leave the apartment in a hurry because of fire or some natural disaster, all my writing is backed up daily to a USB stick which lives in my pocket... always.

    ...

    What was the question again?
     
  6. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    For writing - MS Word on a refurbished laptop. I did treat myself to a detachable laptop/tablet but so far have carried on with my trusty old, heavy laptop.

    For planning - an A3 artist pad, ruler and lots of coloured pens and crayons. Various size/colours of post-it's are handy too.

    I have website/FB page/twitter setup incase I want to go down that route in the future.

    I always carry a notebook and use the record feature on my phone if inspiration strikes when I can't make notes.
     
  7. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    Index cards, ink, and Microsoft Word, and www.writingforums.org
     
  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you use the index cards a lot? I got really excited about them a couple books back and bought a billion, all different colours, and some that were white with coloured strips that matched the solid colours and little boxes to store them in and... I think I wrote on two of the cards before I got bored and wandered off. But I like them in theory...
     
  9. Seraph751
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    Seraph751 If I fell down the rabbit hole...

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    I do! I write little scenes on them (hence the ink) in cursive because it forces me to slow down laser focus on what I am writing. :) I have a box of cards. It also helps writing anecdotes.
     
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  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    My beloved writingforums.org
    The great people to be found in the above forum
    Scrivener (he says with the reverence of a solidly Irish Catholic mum referring to the Pope)
    Several different kinds of Macs, because....

    "My name is Wrey and I'm a Mac-a-holic."

    "Hi Wrey!"
     
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