• Margaret Amatt

My Writing Toolkit!


Do you want to write a novel? (I imagined myself singing that like Anna in Frozen with her snowman!)


If you step onto that path the destinations are exciting and infinite; who knows where you might end up?


With camp NaNoWriMo starting in just a few days, you might be thinking about dipping your pen in ink (like my posh pic above! How do you like my quill?!).


At the end of the blog, you'll find a handy word count sheet to download if you want to use it for tracking your goals. There's also a link to my new writers' resource page.


But before you start, you'll need the right tools for the job!


Here's my list of must-haves for writing


1: My laptop!

It's just the bees-knees for writing on!


2: MS Word.

I do the majority of my writing on Word and find it by far the easiest word processing program to use.


3: A notebook… or several!

I find it almost impossible to write a scene in a notebook or on paper, but for planning and ideas, I much prefer written copies where I can flick back and forward.

4: Pens…

As many as possible because I always wander off and lay them down somewhere. (I'm a notorious pen thief! Though I don't do it on purpose!)


5: My Kindle.

If I need to look up reference books, I have them all on hand on my Kindle.


6: My phone.

I find it easier to research on my phone rather than switching between apps on my laptop - it has been known to protest! Also if I'm out and about or not at my desk, I use my phone to write on. That being the case I also like to have…


7: My portable keyboard.

This is a little gem of a Bluetooth keyboard that works with my phone and my kindle. It's almost full size and so good for using when out and about on trains, in the car, etc.


8: Headphones.

I like to listen to 'the robot voice' reading back my writing to check it for mistakes. If anyone is about, I need my headphones!!


Some optional extras!


1: A drink…

Depending on the time of day, my ultimate favourites are hot chocolate or gin! I am usually quite good and will settle for water though (boring, I know, but it keeps the brain oiled!)


2: Snacks!

Yes, chocolate is my favourite! I can manage without snacks but it's always good to have some fuel!


3: Ambient sounds.

Normally, I would choose utter silence to work in. Getting this at home with my family is almost impossible but I like to dream! If I'm writing a scene with a specific feel to it, I enjoy background sounds such as waterfalls, birdsong, thunder, rain, the sea, or a crackling fire. Occasionally I will listen to music, but generally, only a specific song if it's mentioned in my story, otherwise I find it off-putting and start typing the song words!


4: Scented candles.

There's just something so calming about them. I love a gentle blossom or citrusy scent!




A bit about NaNo/ Camp NaNo


The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Click on the link below if you would like to download the word count chart:

Click here for the chart


Camp NaNoWriMo is more flexible and allows you to set your own goals. If you would like more writing resources, please visit the resource page on my website.


Click here for resources for writers


All photographs © Margaret Amatt 2021


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