Business of Writing

» Writer's Office


Every writer’s workspace is different. Everyone has their own preferences on where they feel most creative and productive. Some writers need a quiet space without distraction while others enjoy writing in a room with more activity. Whatever type of space is your ideal for writing, there is some basic equipment that will be required.

  • A notepad and pen: Although manuscripts must be printed and computers are wonderful tools for writers, sometimes ideas need to be jotted down quickly or it is simply easier to outline a project by hand.
  • A filing cabinet: Writing is a business and a filing cabinet can be a great organizational tool. This will allow you to organize old manuscripts, contracts, invoices and any other business matter you may encounter.
  • A desk/writing surface: Whether you are writing in your kitchen, on the couch or outside you will need some sort of writing surface or desk. Depending on where you are planning to write a clean table, portable lap desk, or even a workbench may be all you need. Know how you like to write and what feels most comfortable for you. Remember as a writer you will be spending a lot of time at that desk/work space.
  • Dictionary and thesaurus: Have a good dictionary and/or thesaurus at hand all the time. Dictionaries range in quality and accessibility, depending on what kind of writing you are looking to do, you may want to invest in a high quality one such as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) either in print version or online subscription.
  • A computer: In today’s book industry a computer is a must for any writer looking to earn a living from their work. It is the industry standard for manuscripts to be typed (this no longer includes typewriters) and printed.
  • Writing Software: Most computers come already loaded with some form of basic word processor; however, they rarely have any more advance capabilities such as font and formatting options. There are many different types of software available for writers that allow them to write more efficiently.
  • Back-up hard-drive or storage device: Computers do crash and files can be lost. Invest in a USB storage device or external hard-drive in order to protect your work, both past and present.
  • A printer: A good home printer will be a writer’s best friend. Most publishers still require manuscripts to be submitted in hardcopy rather than electronically. This means that the writer is expected to have their work printed. Home printers can be an excellent tool for any writer; however, if this is not in your budget, make sure you have access to a printer. The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild allows its members to print documents at a small per page cost - if you are hoping to print a large document please contact our office first.
  • Digital Camera: Cameras can serve a multitude of purposes for writers. From providing inspiration for a story to self-promotion, digital cameras can be an extremely useful tool to writers at all stages in their careers.
  • Digital recording device: Digital recording devices can be very useful devices for writers working as freelancers, in collaboration, as reporters or even just attempting to piece together their novel. Digital recorders are small portable devices that enable a writer to record extended sound/voice recordings and then transfer them to their computer, making access a breeze.


More information on computers and writing software is available on the Technology section of our website.



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