There are so many resources that can help you on your writing journey! Here are some that have helped me. I’ve read or used everything you see on this page unless otherwise noted. I’m also in the process of reviewing these products so you’ll have some idea of what to expect from them. If there’s a review you’re looking forward to that I haven’t written yet, feel free to send me a message and let me know! That way I’ll know to move it up my list.
Side note: This page does contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something using the product links on this page, I may get a small commission. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps keep this site running. Thank you!
Craft books are an awesome and fairly inexpensive way to improve your writing. Here are some that I found particularly helpful:
This book is a classic for a reason! Anne Lamott has some fantastic tips for building a writing life and offers solidarity in writing struggles. Read my full review here.
Julia’s philosophy is so much like my own! Chapters are short, easy to digest, and each ends with an initiation tool. This is one of my favorites.
If you are struggling with getting a draft down I highly recommend this book! The tools, approach, and attitude preached here totally opened up my drafting process. This book is also great if you want to learn to draft quickly–whether you’re writing a book in 30 days or not.
This book is straight forward and full of good tips to get your inner writer going. This is also set up very similar to The Right to Write and Bird by Bird.
This book really breaks down the elements of craft and includes plenty of lessons and exercises. The image and link above are to a college level textbook version of the book, which I love. But if a textbook price isn’t for you, there’s a first edition handbook (which I’ve also used) that should be perfect. It’s set up very similarly to the textbook. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the handbook, but I believe the biggest differences between the two is that the textbook has more updated exercises and 100+ pages of short stories to go with those exercises. You can find the handbook here.
I would consider this an intermediate/advanced craft book. Stein really digs into each element of craft and goes beyond the basics. If you’re looking to level up, this is a great option. You also might want to start with his first book, Stein on Writing, which I own but haven’t read yet. (I’ll update this page when I do.)
The back of this book says it’s “part memoir, part master class” and that’s pretty much a perfect way of describing it. This is another one that’s a classic for a reason.
Full disclosure: I haven’t read this book since I was in college and I don’t remember the details too well, but I remember that I really liked it. And since I don’t have any other genre writing books up, I wanted to include it despite my sketchy memory. It’s broken down into three major sections: Knowing Your Genre, The Craft of Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Getting Published. It also has a few worksheets built in. I’ll update this page when I reread!
There are tons of tools out there for writers. I definitely haven’t tried everything, but these are the product I’ve used and found the most helpful.
Scrivener is my favorite writing software! There are many reasons why I love it and a full overview/review is coming soon. For now, I’ll say my favorite features are the word tracker (as seen on this Instagram post) and the fact that you can set it to auto-save when it detects as little as two seconds of inactivity (so you never have to worry about losing your files if your computer crashes). You can also easily save files to be compatible with any major word processor.
As much as I love Scrivener, Word is still the most common word processor on the market, so if you ever plan to share your writing digitally, it’s a good idea to invest in it. It’s also pretty standard for the publishing industry.
Expensive software should never keep you from writing. Here are some free, open source word processors you can use. Google Docs is also Word compatible. I haven’t used LibreOffice personally, but PCMag gives it a “good” rating.
I think every writer has an inherent fear of losing all of their writing to a computer crash. These sync folders back up your work online and enable you access from anywhere, so no file is ever really lost. Last I checked, both have free options that should give you plenty of storage space. Sync is my personal favorite.
I have always been a whiteboard brainstormer. About 8 years ago, I decided to paint one of my walls with whiteboard paint so I could brainstorm on the entire wall. This is another product I’m going to give a full review of, but if you don’t want to wait for me, here’s what you need to know–you have to get the application right or the markers won’t erase. Some tips: 1) Before you start, make sure the paint hasn’t expired. 2) Don’t mix all the paint at once. Get a paint tray and do one coat at a time. 3) Use three coats. 4) Use foam rollers like they recommend. If you read reviews, you’ll see some people have issues with this product, but I’ve used it twice now and haven’t had a problem.
I’m not a doctor, but when I had really bad tendonitis my hand specialist told me thicker pens, like Dr. Grip, are easier on the tendons and joints. I made the switch and I’ve definitely noticed a difference. The pens themselves also write really smoothly and changing ink is easy.
I outline in color and I’m not much of a pencil person. Finding relatively inexpensive colored pens turned out to be more of a challenge than I thought it would be. I found these pens a few years ago and they quickly became my favorite. They have a nice color variety and good longevity.
Your brain powers your writing, so it’s important to take care of it! Here some products that help me clear my head, recharge, and reset.
Here’s another one that needs a post because this space is not big enough to express the depths of my love for Bad Yogi. If you’ve ever thought about giving yoga a shot (or even if you’ve been practicing for years) this is worth your time. Erin Motz’s yoga classes are fun, accessible, and all about inclusion. Her Perfect Body Yoga Program kind of changed my life and ignited my creativity in a way I wasn’t expecting. From what I’ve heard, I’m not the only on who experienced this. If you’re curious you can try the free 30-Day Yoga Challenge and get a taste of the Perfect Body Yoga Program with the free 10-Day I AM Challenge. There are also hundreds of free classes on the Bad Yogi YouTube Channel.
Essential oil diffusers have gotten really popular lately, so there are plenty of options out there. I got this little guy as a gift and it’s been perfect for me! It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and doesn’t require water. (Though, it does have a USB cord so you need a USB outlet or plug.) If you really like it, you’re going to want some replacement pads too!
Here are some essential oils to go with your diffuser. They last long and smell great. Mine also came with a little booklet of essential oil formulas to help create some fantastic scent combinations.
I have the smaller lamp listed on this link and have been very happy with it. (And there are tons on Amazon if you’re up for some browsing.) Salt Lamps are said to have many new-agey benefits, but even if you’re not into that kind of thing, they still create a cozy, soothing glow that I find particularly relaxing. The light bulb that came with mine didn’t last long, so I recommend grabbing a pack of these while you’re at it.
I have always been a fan of low lighting, but this is especially true when my brain has been overstimulated with a story. I swapped out one of my lamps for a string of these remote controlled fairy lights. Between these lights and the salt lamp, my spaces are very mellow.
Sometimes, you just have to write it out. I don’t journal often, but when I do, I like to have a nice journal. This is my favorite pattern, but there are plenty to choose from. And if you’re looking for a smaller, on-the-go, journal, this one gets my vote.
I’m working to cultivate a good list here, but in the meantime, here are a few that I’ve referenced in posts so far:
Do you know a great site that’s not included? Send me a message and I’ll check it out!