Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Tools for the Job

So what would you say are the most important pieces of kit a freelance writer actually needs in order to do a decent job? I suppose it depends on what you write, how often you do it and what you're trying to achieve with your writing. The days when all you needed was some paper and a couple of quills have long gone. And the speed with which technology has, and continues to advance is mind boggling (and ever so slightly scary).

When you are first starting out, do you need a computer or laptop? I would argue that in one sense yes you do, but, in another - if you find the expense is beyond your means, you could try your local library or Internet cafe, or borrow a friends - but this would probably only work in the short term. It's an option if you're keen to get started and while you save up for a computer of your own. You can also print your work out at the library, though it could be expensive. You can also use the Internet - a must in this day and age.

Obviously, copious amounts of pens and note books are a must (as is regular browsing at your local stationery store - believe me, it's good for your writing soul.) Books offering advice on how to write? Magazines you want to write for? Punch pockets, a desk, folders and printer? There's quite a bit of kit when you think about it and it can be an expensive business. But don't forget if you intend to make money from your writing you will have to register yourself employed status within your business with HM Revenue and Customs (easy enough to do on line). But the good news here is that virtually everything you buy for your business is an allowable business expense!

Writing can be as high or low tech as you want it to be. No you don't need the latest, top of the range, super dooper computer, but you do need a decent one that works and performs the basic tasks that you need it to do for the purpose of your writing. At the moment I'm typing on a tiny netbook - it's not ideal, but it's fit for purpose until I've saved up enough for a laptop - I can still write my short stories and articles on it and e-mail or print. It's not stopped me from getting my work published.

I'm also saving up for a DSLR camera. My little point and shoot does the job up to a point but I need a better one. Again, my lack of a bigger camera hasn't stopped me from getting published, but I'd like to take better quality photos.

What is the piece of kit that you as a writer couldn't do without - and what piece of kit are you salivating for?

Happy writing!
Julie xx


  1. Hi Julie - yes a good DSLR is very handy for articles that need photos - don't forget you can sometimes find some 2nd hand bargains from either online or maybe local sources. Also try checking the local camera club. Good luck with your writing.

  2. Hi, Rob,
    Thanks for your comment - I'm going on a short digital camera course at the end of September so I'm hoipng to pick up some tips on which camera might be the best for my needs then.I'll have a look on line too as you suggest.

    Julie xx