3 Electronics Every Writer Needs, & An Epiphany #amwriting #indiewriter #ROW80

If you’re here for my ROW80 updates and an epiphany at the bottom of this post.



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3 Electronics Every Writer Needs

Setting up a space for writing is about more than the colors of the walls or the knick-knacks you scatter about for inspiration. Of course, these things are immensely important for the creative soul, but there are a few more practical things you’ll need, like electronics. Unless you’re kicking it old school and refuse to write in anything but your Moleskine while you’re lounging amongst nature, you’re going to want to have some technology in your writer’s tool belt.

A Good Laptop

The life of a writer shouldn’t be sedentary. Get out and go into the world. Whether you’re soaking up inspiration at the local art museum or getting a mix of caffeine and good music at a coffee shop, you’re going to eventually want to write in public.

1) The brand of laptop doesn’t matter, but if you type quickly (as writers want to do), avoid models with Chiclet keys. These can cause carpal tunnel because all of the kinetic energy from the force of your typing reverberates back into your fingers.

2) The total weight of your machine is probably the second-most important feature, as you’re going to be lugging it around town quite a bit.


A Smartphone or Tablet

From looking up research to getting in touch with contacts and tracking notes, mobile devices have a plethora of uses.

1) You can access online tools for writers while you have your manuscript open on your laptop.

2) Another use you might not immediately think about is installing an app to turn your device into a tape recorder so you can take notes from important interviews later. Interviews are important to writers so they can get accurate views of different jobs and lifestyles. It’s impossible to write a story about a police officer if you’ve never talked to one.

Don’t underestimate the power of live interviews or your mobile device.


A Home Theater System

Many people view television as the ultimate evil in the fight between intellectuals and the hoi polloi. But don’t be fooled. You’ll want a home theater system for a couple of reasons.

1) First, when you’re not writing, you’re probably reading. This is great; you should keep doing that. But writing is a form of hot media. It requires your full attention. Eventually, your brain is going to need a break. When that happens, you’re going to want Blu-ray player handy.


2) Secondly, there’s a reason your profs always showed you the video versions of books. Seeing how the written word is translated visually is an important exercise. Maybe the director had a scene play out exactly how you imagined it. Go back and read that section, and analyze how and why it works so well.

Becoming a writer is as easy as picking up a notebook and a pen. But there are a number of things that will make the journey to your first novel a lot easier. J.K. Rowling may have started with a cocktail napkin, but I can guarantee she didn’t finish any of her novels that way.

Tap into technology to give yourself your best chance of success.



Kristine Esser (G+) 

Indianapolis, IN Sr. Search Media Networker at digitalrelevance


Thanks Kristine!

Following on from Kristine’s point about using TV and Movies to add to our writing skills, while searching for a picture I came across an awesome post. Love when that happens! So I just had to share it: 5 Ways Novelists Can Benefit from Watching Movies and TV Shows, I highly recommend it.  Also, I came across this The Top 10 Best Laptops: By Laarni Almendrala Ragaza (November 14, 2013), which might be useful.

Are you a purist writer, preferring pen and paper and shunning all electronics? Or do you use everything and anything to help you along your way. Or perhaps you’re a bit of both? Let us know if you have any more suggestions to add to these and your opinion on the use of moves and TV shows to improve your writing.

Other posts from Kristine Esser

  1. Marketing Yourself: Creating Content for Your Author Website
  2. Things You Need to Know About Being A Social Media Freelance Rockstar
  3. All About Preserving Language
  4. How Do You Make Your Social Marketing More Social?
  5. Several Things You Need To Consider As A Self-Employed Writer/Author



A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life.


This is also serving as a ROW80 update

HEALTH: Not too bad, although the acid reflux issue (supposedly healed by the consultant who treated my stomach a few months back) is not. I hoped to finally remove one pill from my pillbox, but it seems I’ll be taking this one indefinitely. No biggie, as long as I have my pills and a large bottle of Gaviscon available. 🙂

I’m still fighting fatigue and brain fog. I’m no nearer understanding this issue, and it’s frustrating. But I’ve decided that waiting to feel better until I do stuff is no longer an option. That could be forever. Maybe I’m just feeling the signs of decay which storm in post-40? *Groan!


EDITING: I’m waiting on edits (expected Sunday – TODAY!!) and I go away Tuesday for a week (which won’t leave me with much time for going through what he’d have done, but I’ll take my MAC-top with me and see if I can squeeze in a few hours work during the fun).

Come back Tuesday for a post about my pending pre-Christmas UK trip, and for some lovely pics of the family I’ll be sharing that week with — excited muchly  !

Re-Writes for Finding Luna: I have a lot to do, but I am thinking of that in 2014. Not yet.

Epiphany: I work for myself and one glorious bonus of that (as a trade-off for all the hard work being an author / publisher brings) is that I set my own deadlines. I learned this ( along with a million more) valuable lesson when publishing Finding Esta: do not rush or pressure myself unduly.

Why? Because no one cares when I publish anything at this stage of my writing career (this is sad, but I am realistic) and they won’t care ever if I put crappy work out there. I would rather take my time and get it right the first time, than go over and over something after publication, because I rushed, didn’t really know what I was doing, and imposed an unreasonable deadline for no real reason (other than to get my ass moving).

Visit al the other awesome ROWers HERE

So what have you been up to? Had an epiphany lately 🙂

What do you think?

  1. And if you can’t squeeze in a few hours, don’t stress!
    Check, check, and check on those three things. No smartphone, but my iPad goes everywhere. And I have an awesome home theater system with 3D and surround.

  2. Got the laptop and the tablet — as far as a home theater system goes, ehh, not so much, but I do at least have a TV and a DVR system! I agree that being able to see how a story unfolds is very helpful. Another thing I use my tablet for is listening to audiobooks. There’s something about listening to a story that helps me see how things fit together — though I think part of the attraction is that it is nice to be read to.

    I just started AROW80 today, looking forward to it!

  3. Totally agree on the electronics, although the laptop can double for the home theater in a crunch–that’s what my college student daughter does. My epiphany this week was “Wow! I can work on two projects at once!” And if the going gets tough on one, work on the other for a while!

    • Oh I want that epiphany next Jennette. Good for you! 😀 I just don’t seem to be able to at this stage. I think it’s probably for the same reason that I read slowly, I need utter peace to watch a movie, and I struggle with anything which doesn’t maintain my interest … I just have that kind of attention span, and the bipolar meds and recent deluge of brain fog only exacerbates that. Perhaps the more proficient I get at writing long fiction, the less brain energy it’ll use up, and the less concentration it will require? Then I could share out my meager resources 🙂 X

  4. I agree with Kristine’s advice. I’ll be getting a new laptop soon. My 10-year-old one (with all the best old programs in it, like Office 2003) is just too small to contain my ever-growing pile of writerly crap. I love the Indie Soap Box idea! All of us really need to rant on occasion. I’m sorry your health still isn’t where you want it to be, but you seem to be handling it well. And YAY for the epiphany that creating the best product you can outweighs the quickly-forgotten thrill of getting it out fast! You’ll be much happier in the long run. 🙂

    • Yey, yey, and yey! Cheers Lexi. I wish I’d felt this restraint and reason last year before I published, but I’ve learned so much and gathered some yummy reviews, so it’s not all bad. 🙂

  5. Matching a tablet with your main writing instrument has been one of my main ways to write for the past two years. I own an iPod Touch, which was my tablet of choice until recently when I switched to my large android cell phone. I do my on the fly research there, keep an app for the dictionary/thesaurus, and a few other app tools that I like to have on hand as I write. I don’t write on a laptop, I use an alphasmart Neo. The keyboard is wonderful and I like the absence of wifi on the machine. It helps to keep me focused on drafting.

    I have also switched to a mechanical keyboard for my desktop at home. The feel of the keys is wonderful and I love the click clack sound it makes. It says “writing” to me.

    Thanks for the article. I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    • Um, never thought of matching a tablet with my main writing instrument. I only have Kindle Fire (tablet-wise) though. Maybe when my hubs upgrades his ipad I’ll have his old one and give it a try. 🙂

  6. Oops my comment disappeared. Funny, I was just saying how much I love electronics when they work properly and don’t distract me. Life laughed back by deleting my comment. 😉

    Wishing you well on the health front. I’ve had a very unhealthy year, and it’s hard to get anything done when you just don’t feel well.

    Love your epiphany–it’s a great reminder! Thank you. Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

  7. No wonder I haven’t published anything… No smart phone, only an 8-year old laptop, and totally avoidance of most movies and videos. 😉

    Seriously though, I think everyone makes their own list of needs based on who they are and how they best work. I agree with her about the keyboard though! I love my laptop, but I can’t do too much longterm writing on it. I do my writing on my desktop (the one with the old mechanical clicky-keyboard). I edit on my laptop though. And it’s great for research and keeping up online…

    Good for you, Shah… deciding to take the time to publish the next books on YOUR time table as opposed to everyone else’s ideal. You’ll be a lot happier with the results in the long run.