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10 Authors Share the Writing Tools They Can’t Live Without

Writing, like other crafts, requires skill and discipline – this is universal. But all writers have different methods to their madness, and varying tools that are essential to their writing, ranging from a pen and paper to a good cup of coffee.

Ever wondered what published authors can’t live without? Watch the video below to hear from ten seasoned authors, including Seanan McGuire, Pierce Brown, Daniel H. Wilson, Gini Koch, and more, as they discuss the writing tools that are a fundamental part of their career.

Transcription of authors on the writing tools they can’t live without.

Gini Koch: Whatever your vice of choice is, just have a lot of it around.

Cavan Scott: There’s something about putting it pen to paper, especially when brainstorming ideas, it just makes them flow. And I have notebooks filled with scrolls of webs of ideas and flowcharts – ideas that are rubbish that no one should ever see and I should never mention to someone. But they go in the notebook.

Cole Horton: My favorite writing tools are always a notebook and I like a good fountain pen, as well. It just gets me in the mood to write. I want to put words on paper, and that’s usually the most important thing, is to just get ideas out as fast as possible.

Seanan McGuire: Writing everything down longhand, even though I write my books on a computer, really fixes things like deadlines and how many words I need to make per day to hit them comfortably in my head. So I could not live without my planner. I kind of get a little squirrely when I can’t find it.

Pierce Brown: I cannot live without an hourglass to keep track of time in 30 minute increments.

Daniel H. Wilson: Walking, having time to just clear your head and let your thoughts meander around.

Gini Koch: I edit as I go along. So if I was just handwriting, I would just– scrawls that I wouldn’t know what I was doing, so personal computer.

Kiki Prottsman: Well, of course, the computer –  it would be really hard to write without a computer. Control Z as a big friend of mine, so is copy and paste.

Renée Ahdieh: I can’t live without my computer, obviously, my music, my noise-canceling headphones.

Scott Sigler: The biggest tool I can’t live without is Scrivener. Scrivener is an app specifically written for fiction writing. Some people use it for screenplays, but primarily, it’s to manage a really large novel.

Daniel H. Wilson: Horrible, horrible dubstep, techno music – also, just crucial for my thinking process, somehow.

Sherri L. Smith: I do think tea is fuel for writers, so I tend to drink a lot of hot tea while I’m writing.

Renée Ahdieh: A mug of hot tea.

Kiki Prottsman: I also need a lot of coffee, so my coffee maker, which is probably not a traditional writing tool, but it helps me quite a bit.

Pierce Brown: Probably my very big mug of coffee.

Sherri L. Smith: If somebody is wonderful and has made a lot of chocolate chip cookies, that’s useful, but dangerous. I find that if I’m writing in the wee hours of the morning, I like buttered toast with jam. I don’t know why that helps, but it makes me feel comforted.