Five For Friday: Writing Essentials

Hey, SE Readers. Joan with you today with another Five for Friday. Today’s topic is about…  What else? Writing!

Do you have certain things that are necessary for your writing sessions? Those items or setting that you must have to be productive? I’m going to share five things I find essential.

  • A desk or writing space. It goes without saying writers need a designated workspace. I have my own desk, computer, and office chair. This is my little nook, and my husband doesn’t use it. He also has a desk and computer. (Yes, we have two computers in one room.) However, I also have a laptop, and I do much of my writing sitting on the reclining sofa. It’s nice to prop my feet up after a long day at work.
  • Writing software. I prefer Scrivener for writing, but I like to edit in Word. I also use Word for short pieces, such as this blog post. Some writers use Apple Pages, Google Docs, or even an old-fashioned typewriter or pen and paper.
  • Internet connection. Yes, I want an internet connection available during my writing sessions. There are times when I need to conduct a quick search or verify something I’ve already researched.  I often use an online thesaurus or dictionary. In case I’m tempted to engage in social media, I have an internet blocking software to block those sites or other places where I’m easily distracted.
  • Writing reference books. I like to have these available for quick references, especially The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. I prefer electronic versions of my reference books. I load them into the Kindle app on my PC so that I can quickly switch screens between Kindle and Scrivener.
  • A quiet place. I don’t like noise when I write. While music often inspires and motivates me, I turn it off when it comes time for the actual writing. And the last thing I want is a noisy television! I have taken my laptop to coffee shops to write. I can tune out if necessary, but often those times are usually reserved for brainstorming or people watching. (Nice place to come up with character ideas.)

What are some things you require for writing? Please share in the comments.

40 thoughts on “Five For Friday: Writing Essentials

  1. All good things to have when writing, especially the quiet. The internet has made it really easy to research and I do not miss using a typewriter at all. I would have to add water and a snack, plantain chips have been a favorite lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely need to have sustenance. 🙂 I’m like you, I don’t miss using a typewriter. In fact, when I think of having to make numerous corrections using one, I probably wouldn’t be writing. Then again, my spelling would probably be better because I wouldn’t be dependent on spell check!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with you with all of them . . . except the quiet space! Somehow I have to “fight” for it lol. I’ve found myself using Word a lot more recently, but that’s probably because I have yet to update my scrivener to the new version, is it worth it in your opinion? I’ve been resistant more out of stubbornness than anything else lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t need a designated space to write, just my laptop. I need to have the Internet, as I use Google, and like you my Kindle ap because I have reference books on it. I find it easier to find things electronically than to search a hard copy. I do have a desk with triple monitors, but it is not a necessity for me. I need background noise of any type. When it’s quiet, I think something is up. I have music or TV on, or I sit in some type of coffee shop.

    For those who do not use Scrivener, there is free software called Hiveword that you can use. It has name and place generators built in.

    I use both Scrivener and Word to do my writing, depends on what I am working on.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for sharing your items, Joan. I used to write with music but now I find I can do it no matter what the background is doing. I don’t need a desk or quiet. Just my MAC. I even take it with me to my many doctor appointments and when the doc finally comes in and apologizes for keeping me sitting in my birthday suit and a bounty towel coverlet for forty-five minutes I say. “I’m at an important part here. Could you come back in fifteen?” Love the looks I get.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I’m sitting in a coffee shop as I type this, LOL!
    We’re pretty much the same with our needs, Joan with some minor exceptions. I have a designated office for writing, though I will often write outside in warm weather, and I often take my MacBook to the library. I often listen to music while I write but it has to be instrumental. Anything with lyrics is too distracting. I still use Word, but one of these days, I may tackle Scrivener.
    Great post!

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I see a lot of similarities with my writing space. I have a desk and a desktop pc. While I have a laptop, I tend to only use it when I travel as I prefer the desk space for major working. I too like quiet while I work. If I have music going, I tend to go with the music instead of what I should be doing. That goes for any kind of music except maybe what could be considered as spa music. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and your personal space. It’s always interesting to see how someone else approaches this beautiful craft of writing! Have a great weekend, Joan!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. We have a lot of similarities. I don’t have a dedicated space, but familiarity with my easy chair and ottoman kind of feels the same. I write with an iPad Pro, and I’m the Apple Pages guy. I also use Word, but don’t like it as well. Coffee and silence are a must. I’d throw bulldogs into the mix, but I don’t think they’re required. They’re just always around. The internet is important, because I frequently use Google Maps, Google translate, and sometimes need basic spelling help.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Great Five for Friday, Joan. I too use Scrivener and wouldn’t be without it. A Word doc is okay for shorter works, but it messes up the formatting so much on larger books and ends up running so slowly. Word processing programs just aren’t built for coping with the volume of text and formatting required for a book. Plus, I love all the tools that Scrivener has to offer, so I’ve found (and am finding) the learning curve well worth it.
    I also have a desk designated for writing. I have a desk jotter which is full of jottings and notes, lol. I turn my phone down to low once I start writing, and I need an evnironment that is voice-free. I do listen to music, but it has to be non-vocal and instrumental only, or it gets into my brain. I’m there with the coffee and lack of interruption. Thanks for a fun Friday post, Joan 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I don’t have any of these things, Joan, except for two laptops which I use anywhere and anytime when I can snatch a bit of time. Often I work in the kitchen while I am baking something nice to eat. I do like to have an internet connection but it is not essential if I have already downloaded the research. I like the idea of such a neat and tidy way of working, but my life is such that I make do for the time being.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I am the same just add coffee to the mix! The only differences are that I use Word and One Note instead of Scrivener. I’ve tried Scrivener but I liked the Microsoft products better – just a personal preference. And for some reason, I like doing rough drafts on my iPad and then edit on my laptop.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I forgot to add iced tea to my mix! Scrivener does have a learning curve but once I got the hang of it, I like it. I’ve not used One Note but I do prefer to edit with Word. Bottom line is whatever works for us to get those words out there!

      Liked by 3 people

  11. There was one thing in your requirements that resonated loud and clear for me this morning.
    You see, I have no quiet space at the moment. In fact, there is no peace and quiet anywhere, even inside my brain.
    A multitude of family problems are circling, with no sign of being resolved any time soon.
    So I have been escaping to the garden and done an awful lot of weeding!

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Joan, I too use Scrivener for writing and Word for revising and editing. And I have my quiet space as soon as I can traverse the backyard to get to my studio. For now, it’s my lap and laptop in my recliner. I’d love to know what software you use to block the internet while writing. Otherwise, you and I seem to be tracking similarly on this journey, like always.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes, we are a lot alike when it comes to our writing habits. I’m sure thankful for my laptop, even though I often use it in the same room where I have my desk. The software I use is called Freedom. There used to be a free version but I think now it’s just a free trial. The website is freedom(dot)to. And I love the idea of a writing studio! You are blessed that your husband built one for you and I hope you’re able to utilize it soon.

      Liked by 2 people

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