Monthly Archives: September 2015

My Writing Toolbox

When I was a kid, I spent before and after school at my dad’s mechanic shop. He was the hardest worker I knew, but I didn’t realize until much later how important his work ethic would be on me. My dad was a tool guy. He always had tons of tools at the shop, most of which I had no idea what they did. However, he always knew exactly what they were and how to use them. They each had a specific function in his business and when used properly, made a repair much easier.

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The same is applicable for online and writing tools. I have been asked about some of the tools that I utilize for my own platform and book. So I thought a great way for me to help answer that question and inform future bloggers and writers out there by giving a look into my personal toolbox.

Hardware: Let’s start off with the hardware I utilize for my writing.

  1. Macbook Air: So this is the most basic and obvious of all of my tools. Everything comes down to my Macbook. I am currently using a 13 inch Macbook Air, but I am a recent Apple convert. Before that I had top-of-the-line HP laptops that were decked out with the maxed RAM and Hard Drive sizes. I tend to get whatever is the best at the time, within reason of course, because the way technology is these days, your system will be out of date before long.
  2. HP 6000 Series Printer: Even though I am an Apple fanboy these days, I still run my HP Printer. It is a great device that can scan, copy, and print wirelessly from anywhere in my house. I am not big on printing much, but when I do this is the device I use.

Software: As well as hardware, I am a huge fan of these software platforms in my day-to-day writing.

  1. Evernote: This is my FAVORITE tool by far. Even more so than my word processor or blogging SEO. I do so much with Evernote, I could probably make a separate blog post about all the ways I use Evernote. Simply put it is a terrific tool with a ton of applications. However, essentially I use this as a notebook for all of my Books. I have each book separated into its own unique “notebook” and then all of the individual ideas inside the notebook. Everything is taggable, searchable, and easily synced. Currently, I use the free version and that is completely sufficient for me, but if you need more space they offer a premium version.
  2. Pages: This is my default word processor as a Mac user. I enjoy it as it is simpler than Word, but it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of MS Office tools. However, I do use Word from time to time as it is the default word processor for the majority of the world. Also, most publishing houses require things in Microsoft Word. But I tend to prefer the simplified Pages.
  3. WordPress: From what I have heard, blogging begins and ends with WordPress. Everyone I talk to has said that everything else they have tried is nowhere near as good as WordPress, and many of them have switched from other website setups to WordPress. In the most understandable speech, it is the easiest to use website and blogging content management system around.
  4. Google Analytics: I have just recently (and I really mean recently) gotten into using Google Analytics in order to track my website traffic. At first I didn’t know what this was, or how important it was. But after some trial and error, I realized I can’t improve my website unless I can see what is working. So this tool lets me measure my traffic and see what is working and what isn’t.

So, these are my tools. I hope this was useful to all of you. I haven’t given you every single tool I use, but these are the most common and useful. If you have your own tools that I haven’t mentioned, please share them. (If you are unable to comment, it is because my comment bar has been disabled due to technical issues.)

Kickstarter Success

Well somehow the Kickstarter was a success. I honestly wasn’t sure it was going to make it, but thanks to my family and friends we did it. You all are so amazing, I can’t even fully express my complete gratitude. I would like to give a special shout out to my sister who commented, shared, quoted, and retweeted my posts and updates. Likewise, my best friend never stopped believing in me, and he was my very first donator. I am so blessed to have friends and family like I have. 

Looking back on the project, I think I would have been better off launching the website earlier. Using the website, and the Facebook page, I could have garnered some support and more awareness for my Kickstarter. But this is all such a learning experience for me, I was unaware of the importance of having a platform.

Now that I have thanked everyone, I thought I would give you my full plans so far. As I said in my last blog update, I am still pursuing traditional publishing by contacting literary agents. However, my hopes of self-publishing are still alive. So, next up I will be putting my final manuscript in for professional editing. This will allow my manuscript to be read by the eyes of someone trained to do so. This will get content editing to make sure the storyline is as inclusive as possible. Line-by-line editing to check for grammar and typos. 

However, editing is probably going to cost around $500. So the other $500 or so dollars will go to help create a professional cover for the book. I have a graphic artist in mind, but I will shop the market for a great artist to create my cover. I have posted my cover art concept on the Kickstarter, but I want to get it done professionally by someone who really can take the idea and express it in a way that is captivating, aesthetic, and still streamlined. 

Thank you everyone.