Once Upon a Bumble: What’s in Your Writer’s Tool Kit?

Last week, we discussed our writing habits. Thank you to all who shared their tips and experiences. Indeed, it’s different for everyone. Many of us still depend on our trusty notebooks. And, it looks like I’m not the only one with bad handwriting. Many of you discussed the process of thinking and writing with pen and paper (or pencil) to the transition of typing these words into your computer. Some of us believe that the process of actually writing with pen and paper was more suitable for how our brains are wired. Writing longhand is a method, perhaps a dying one, that may encourage a slowed down pace for more thoughtful writing.

Of course, ultimately our final draft is in digital form. We all have a computer or we wouldn’t be in wonderful Blogland. Computers, however, may be the culprit of bad handwriting. It’s all the computer’s fault. I know I get lazy, knowing my final draft will be on the computer. So, some of us use smart phones for notes, and this comes in handy as well since our phones have become attached to us.

Another trusted companion is the good old dictionary/thesaurus which for some need to be in arm’s reach to coax the mind into writing mode. Let’s not underestimate the importance of brain mapping with sticky notes and color coding ideas. Others mentioned the importance of starting off with the right beginning and that once this is accomplished they can create freely.

Others imbibe tasty beverages before or during their writing, smoke, take walks, see the chickens, or write with dim light to help focus the mind. A few of you, I won’t mention any names, considered writing au naturale. No one admitted to writing with a snake.


Today’s Topic: What’s in Your Tool Kit? What about Scrivener

We’ve discussed tools that help us write. Today I’d like to introduce Scrivener.

For those who are looking for a better way to organize your writing, Scrivener may be just the tool you’re looking for. I learned about Scrivener through the living notebook (a great blog here!). He swears by it. I thought I might pass this information along in case you’ve never heard of it.

Scrivener is for all writers—novelists, journalists, academics, screenwriters, playwrights—and is ideal tool for writing and organizing that first draft. It offers, in digital form, a ring-binder, a scrapbook, a corkboard, an outliner, and text editor all in one package.

You can try Scrivener for a 30-day trial.


What about you? Have you used Scrivener? Do you know of any other programs? Do you think this would be a helpful for your writing process?

Well, give it a try. I’ve downloaded it, but have not yet had a chance to work it. Hopefully, by next week, I can provide you with my thoughts on it.

Don’t forget the blue moon tonight, my blogging friends. The blue moon is a rare occurrence.  Another one is not expected until 2015, three years from now. I suggest you have your notebooks/smart phones ready to capture any strange happenings, or perhaps you’d just like to write by the light of the moon.

Related article:

Why creative writing is better with a pen

photo credit: Luz Adriana Villa A. via photo pin cc

24 thoughts on “Once Upon a Bumble: What’s in Your Writer’s Tool Kit?

    1. I’m kind of with Christopher on this. Notebooks, corkboards, binders. This all sounds like work.


      I wish I were someone who had enough ideas to fill up a notebook or pin on a cork board. As it is, I’m usually writing by the seat of my pants. Writing should be terrifying, not methodically plotted out, sorta like stepping off the edge of a cliff.


      1. I’m with you there Karen. I like that “jumping off a cliff”. That’s me to a T. Take care Karen and Ms Bumble. Ralph 🙂


      2. I get your point and usually write that way, too. But for a longer project, a book, a screenplay….plotting out might be useful. Although, I hear a lot of books are written without any planning. What’s nice about this program, I think, is that you can organize whatever you’re working on in chapters and can flip back and forth between them pretty easily. I’ll have to check it out.


  1. Hi Ms Bumble. I’m back (oh no she says). As you know I have suspected Parkinsons’ and my handwriting was the first to go, followed closely by using a kitchen knife like one of the Three Musketeers. Throw an onion in the air it would be diced, chopped and sliced before landing. So my only Toolkit is my laptop. I suppose I could employ a 20 year old bumb blonde, but would she fit in my Toolkit and would I get any writing done ?? 😉


  2. I just use Word. Bit boring I suppose but it works (usuall without fail). I get in a bit of tangle with some of the new-fangled technical stuff – even though I pretend to the world that I am fairly conversant in all things computer-ish. I do have Celtex or something. I think you open an account and it has the templates for radio and screen plays etc. But to be honest, writing a radio play is so new that I went back to Word and carried on using that, figuring that if the play ever got finished then I could format at the end. I’m still working on it…


    1. I think if Word works, then great. I’ve never heard of Celtex. I don’t know much about this program, so I’ll have to see for myself.That involves taking the time to learn it and then using it to really know what it can do. If if it helps, rather than hinder and complicate, then it could be a really good tool. I think for a longer project it could be useful. For things that have formatting requirements, like a screenplay, I would probably use a program. I don’t know much radio plays. Good luck with that!


      1. I’m doing the radio play as a bit of a challenge really. Bought an excellent book but before I read it, I wrote an ‘example’ play. Then I read the book and fell into every single radio play pot hole! Like why does the listener need to know my characted was wearign a blue dress? Why blue? Why the colour?!
        Ahh I could go on…


      2. That’s great you’ve taken that on. I bet you’ll really know it and understand it better having made those mistakes. Sounds very interesting and a really good way to learn more about writing, in general.


      3. Also drives me to distraction. Focus at the moment only last 10 minutes then I’m back to writing nonsense. My characters start off with Yorkshire accents then they end up being Cornish…


  3. I’ve heard of Scrivener and seriously considered getting it last year. Thanks for the free trial link: I may have to try it out. I agree with the quote in your related article that says every person must find the tool that matches their pace. For me, a pen is too slow and I get impatient. Then I try to write faster and nobody can read it. Thank God for computers, I say 🙂


    1. Yeah, try out Scrivener and let me know what you think. I may not post about it for a couple of weeks so I can get to know it. We’ll see….Using a pen requires me to slow way down, too. Sometimes, I agree, I’d rather jump on the computer. Then, there’s always that damn delete button….:)


  4. Scrivener, you say?! I learn about all the new e-gadgets here, B.F! If I was a writer I’m fairly certain I would be all about that sort of thing… anything that helps with organization would definitely be a friend of mine (er, well… it sure couldn’t hurt, anyway)!


    1. Hi SIG! Yes, I two strong votes now for Scrivener, people who totally love it. Anyway, I will investigate and see for myself. Like you said, it can’t hurt. I think of it as just another tool 🙂 I’m sure you have many to choose from with your photo work.


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