Essential, Possibly Silly, Items for a Writer’s Toolkit

Just like any skilled worker *guffaws at calling myself skilled*, writers need a toolkit.

Never try to do the writing thing without having your trusty tools alongside you.  Here is a possibly useless list of what every writer should have in their toolkit.

Disclaimer: I never said I was a legit writing guru. There may be some nonsense in here.


Writer's Toolkit - writer powered by chocolateIt’s not just a spoonful of sugar but also cocoa beans, milk, and other sweet loveliness that makes the writing medicine go down.

Dairy Milk makes me write my bestest – see?


Buy in bulk. As soon as you become a writer you’ll cry buckets.

You’ll cry when the words don’t come.

You’ll cry when you read your first draft after you’ve left it for a while.

You’ll cry tears of relief each time you finish a draft.

You’ll cry because of criticism, rejection or people generally being gits about your writing.

You’ll cry happy tears when someone loves your writing or buys your book.

You will cry. End of.


Something needs to counteract all that sweet chocolate. Cheese is life.


Writer's Toolkit - coffeeCliched as it is, writers live on coffee. Tea drinking is allowed if you must. Just make sure it’s buzzing with caffeine and available by IV drip.

Coffee beans are magic.


It’s writer law.

If you can’t afford one or are allergic, buy a toy cat and glue it on your lap top when you’re trying to write. Sorted.

Lots of Coloured Pens

Printed drafts are like rainbows once you’ve finished highlighting them and scrawling notes to yourself on them.

Arm yourself with all the pens.

Stick them between your fingers and pretend you have unicorn claws. Except unicorns have hooves and unicorns aren’t real. Or are they?

Post-It Notes

Writer's Toolkit - post-it notesNothing is more useful than a sticky note you can put anywhere, with a note from yourself telling you to sort that writing business out.

Everyone loves seeing a note on the toilet reminding oneself to get rid of a chapter.

A sticky piece of paper on the fridge stating you really need to learn how to spell is a cheerful thing.

Follow the paper trail around your house and bin them as you go.

You did some writing. You wrote the notes, remember?

A Scalpel

For those moments when it feels like a lobotomy would improve your writing.

An Electric Shock Gadget

Place under your backside.

Set it to activate every time you go on social media when you’re supposed to be writing.

Spend your writing day experiencing more ups and downs than in a brothel.


Writer's Toolkit - bubblewrapSurround yourself and your working area in it.

Not only will you feel a warm glow inside, you can scream when others are in the house and sound-proof it. There will be screaming at some point.

It also serves as a great distraction, popping away those lovely bubbles.

A Really Rubbish Book

Feel like you cannot write?

Ready to give up?

Take a look at the most awful of novels and reassure yourself that if that got published, you can do it too.

Swear Box

Some of you won’t need it. You’re able to express yourselves without expletives. Lucky you *no hint of sarcasm at all, no really, honest*.

For the rest of us, get a swear box and save towards something big.

You will be dropping curse words like a navvy throughout the writing process anyway. You might as well gain from it.

Extra cash required for the ‘C’ bomb.

‘Learn English’ Course

Because after writing all day you’ll forget how to speak your native language.

You’ve worded too much and now cannot even remember what those things you eat your dinner with are called.


Writer's Toolkit - pyjamasRocking up to your writing desk in your PJs makes you a better writer. You’re cosy and lovely in your fleecy number.

Movement is unrestricted by the bagginess of your attire. You will write with aplomb and feel like a maverick against those wearing business suits in the office.

Add fluffy slippers and you’ve got a potential blockbuster on your hands.

Running Shoes

When your work in progress is so horrifying you need to escape.

Make sure they’re laced up and ready to go. You will do a freaking marathon when you read back yesterday’s unedited work.

Baking Equipment

Baking is a brilliant distraction from writing.

There’s nothing like making a cake and eating that bad boy to make life feel sweeter.

Your Best Friend

Put them in a box and tell them to remain silent until needed.

In times of emergency, break open the box and demand the kind of encouragement only a best friend can give.

Bookshop Gift Card

Writer's Toolkit - no shelf controlThis is your dangling carrot.

Write a book, buy books.

Treat yourself with all the books.

Hope one day someone will buy your book.



Because there’s not enough time to do everything.

We need a cleaner to keep our houses shiny.

A butler could answer the door to all those annoying people selling crap.

A P.A. can do all our marketing and promotion.

Someone to do the ironing because it’s so incredibly boring.

A ghost-writer. Okay, maybe not. Not a celebrity and far too proud for that…


Choose your weapon: paracetamol, hammer, box set, vat of wine … anything that kills the painful moments of writing.

What Would You Add to a Writer’s Toolkit?

Share your essential, silly or downright batty items in the comments. We could all use the help!

About Lisa Sell

Lisa Sell is a fiction writer. When she's not wrestling with words she can be found showing the love for chocolate, cheese, coffee, books, the cats, and the husband. Perhaps not in that order.

12 comments on “Essential, Possibly Silly, Items for a Writer’s Toolkit

  1. Chocolate, insulin for the chocolate, tissues for crying after eating the chocolate, tea to go with the chocolate.

    That being said, based on comparison of tools writing RPG related stuff can’t be too different from novel stuff right?

  2. Ahhh. Glad to see there is a cat in the toolkit. Can’t write without one. (Or with one at times)

  3. Music, something relaxing when you’re trying to concentrate, then all out rock when you’ve achieved something you’re proud of. If my writing stinks that day, no music just a pitiful groan and self medicating chocolate!

    1. Music is always part of my life. I can’t write fiction with music on. It has to be silent. I can write blog posts with background sound though. Odd.

      Love a bit of a boogie to celebrate too!

      Keep on keeping on, Debbie.

  4. Yes to all of these! And also one of those lamps that simulate sunlight, so you can at least feel like you’ve been outdoors in the past month…

  5. Hahaha, awesome!
    I have most of these. However, sharp objects, including scalpels have been removed for my own safety 😉
    An electric shock gadget is now going on my Zon wishlist 😉
    And I really do need a servant. How can I write whilst sitting in squalor and being disturbed by those flippin’ doorbell ringers??

    btw, I put Post-Its on my laptop! :-O
    ‘Cos y’know, it doesn’t have any handy note taking software inside the machine!?

    Oh – sweeties.
    I line up a little row of sweeties on my laptop too. So that each time I complete a chapter of editing I can have a sugary treat.

    Always a good idea to have some sort of plush toy handy, for throwing across the room in a creative hissy fit. 🙂

    1. You’ve got this writing tool kit thing nailed.

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one who’s still old school with Post-It notes!

      I’m off to buy a plush toy.

      Thanks for commenting.

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