Tools of the Trade

What is a writer, if not their tools? A creative? A visionary? Don’t be SILLY. We are nothing without what we write with! Nothing!!!

This is what I tell myself as I buy another notebook, at least. It works for me.

What to write with: it’s a question that every author has a different answer to. By hand, by typewriter, on a phone…technology has given us so many options. Maybe you use every one. Maybe you scribble on scraps of paper. However you write, you’re a writer, plain and simple. Since it’s fun to share, here are the things I use the most to get all my writing done.

Home Base: Laptop

I love my laptop. It crashes on me, hates streaming video, and barely tolerates how I run too many Adobe programs at the same time. But beyond that, it’s a solid unit. It’s a steady presence. It has my favourite keyboard of all time, one I miss every time I switch to a PC. It’s my main station for writing, either by the TV or on my desk, and I would get both more and less writing done without it.

laptop with stickers
You will notice, quickly, I love stickers. I change them out for others if they get too damaged.


Software wise, I write exclusively on Scrivener. I’m a planner, an overplanner at that, and the ability to organize, use pictures, have all my worldbuilding in one place, and have my plot outline open as I write in the same window? Flawless program. Highly recommend.

Out and About, Electronic Edition: Tablet

My iPad Air is new (like, October 2019 new), and my first tablet. I love it. I can’t write on my phone, since I prefer physical keyboards for novels and a bigger screen. A tablet was the perfect solution. Portable, Dropbox sync with Scrivener, so no need to worry about versioned files or duplicates.

Obviously I got a purple case. My laptop is media stickers, my tablet is for aesthetic.


The external keyboard was picked because it’s close enough to the regular Apple one that I have no issues typing, and, uh, actually affordable (buy compatible things from elsewhere where you can!)

Out and About, Traditional Edition: Notebook and Pens

You knew this was coming.

I promise I do write in the notebooks. I bring them with me on transit when the tablet’s too heavy or bulky. I use them to plan ideas and jot notes and make new characters. I usually dedicate a notebook to a story idea and try and focus as I work. But, like, they’re so pretty. Of course I need more than I can fill. Duh.

7 notebooks splayed
These are just the ones in my writing desk in use. There’s more. We won’t talk about the filled ones.

Pen wise, I have ones I love best, but they’re nothing fancy. I have a hoard of 10+ year old Bic pens, my favourite simple tool. I have Staedtler Fineliners, which I love for their ink flow and colours. I have a gifted white-feather style pen which is one of my greatest joys, and I consider it my Swan Song pen. That’s…pretty much it. I’m not picky. I save that for my art supplies.

In the future I’d love one of those private sheds that famous writers all seem to have. But barring my sudden inheritance of a vast sum of wealth or finding a shed that can survive a Canadian winter, I think I’ll settle for a few more notebooks.

Sending magic your way,
Ashe Mocaw

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