If you’re writing you are a writer.

You need to have written to be a writer, not just have planned to write.

But as soon as you start and words appear to express an idea, then you’re it: a writer.

That’s really cool.

Writing is hard and you need all the help you can get.

What can help are the tools you use to write.

A certain mega-famous author says nobody writes with pen and paper anymore despite what some say, that the notion is quaint, but that nobody actually does it like that. Is she right?

Do you use a phone, tablet or laptop?

I use a Surface Pro 4, Windows 10 (word). The smaller laptop means I can now leave my monster PC at home and write wherever I go with ease. Something I’m not really taking full advantage of yet. I write mainly at home, is that the norm?

Do you write straight to page or dictate stuff and then go back, listen to it and pick out the good bits? Do you dictate and then transfer direct to page via software?

There is some great voice to page software out there, which allows those with less nimble fingers to write more easily.

I’d guess we all use a mixture of whatever we have where we are.

The tools for writing have changed a lot over the past few decades. Starting with the old word-processors and then moving on through the myriad developments in computer tech.

Using a keyboard comes naturally to most of us, using a pen is pretty alien for things other than signatures and forms. My handwriting has got so bad I can only read back about 50% of it!

Once in electronic format our writing becomes easier to mess with, both for correction in things like grammar / shpeeling, as well as for rewrites for structure and flow.

We are getting used to writing with rewriting being easier than when it is pen on paper. Is this a good thing? I think it is. Writing in stages is the way I’m used to working: first draft for ideas and loose structure, with some bad writing expected, then on to rewrites.

We see people writing in many different locations and some people pretending to write in some of those locations!

Our available tools have allowed us to move about more freely and still access our work. Not that you can’t do that with pen and paper, just seems easier, especially for rereading and rewriting.

In most writing formats some form of grammar / spell-check is included in the software, so that helps us too. Another really useful tool.

Once we have written, we also have the work in a format very close to that wanted by people we are going to submit it too. Bonus!

We have some awesome tools that help us write more efficiently.

Are there any tools I’ve missed out? Anything you can recommend?

Are you reading this and thinking, ‘I use pen and paper and they’re amazing: I wouldn’t move to keyboard and electronic entry if you paid me!’

Let’s share some stories and tips for writing tools.