what’s in my toolbox?

Every writer has a toolbox–a set of pencils, erasers, reference books, software programs, and internet resources–that provides concrete gadgets and information to help with the writing process. I recently shared some internet resources I find useful and which I turn to on a weekly basis for inspiration and information. I also rely heavily on my Strunk & White as well as my spell checker and dictionary.com.

My toolbox also contains non-tangibles: ideas, inspiration, relaxation methods, motivation tricks. I’m back to work after a relaxing two-week Christmas vacation and author J.K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame) reminded me of another non-tangible tool I need to keep handy in my toolbox: self-confidence and faith. Lying sick on the couch on New Year’s Eve, I caught a few moments of her interview with Oprah and what she said was inspiring to me–particularly for the editing task I am about to embark on. Ms. Rowling told Oprah that throughout the entire writing process of the Harry Potter books she never lost faith in herself. She always believed that her book could be published, that it would be successful, and that she was a good writer. (I bet she never imagined just how successful it would be!)

As I sit staring at my marked-up manuscript, not quite knowing where to start, I need to keep this in mind. No, I’m not dreaming of Harry Potter success, but merely that what I am writing can be good. I have the talent, energy, and wherewithal to stick to it and print out a final product that other people will want to read. Because, at the end of the day, if I don’t believe in myself, then who will?

What is in your writing toolbox? What tangibles and non-tangibles do you rely on for assistance and inspiration?

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