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It’s hard to believe that 2017 is almost over and that just 8 months ago I launched this website. Since then I’ve gotten a fulltime freelance job, been published in print and online, rekindled a love of poetry, and gotten some wonderful comments and engagement on this blog.
None of which would have been possible without some of the best writing tools that helped give me the push I needed to get started, and help me everyday as a full-time freelance writer.
I’ve written a post about my Top Freelance Writing Books to have in your toolkit, but I thought that a top faves list of my best freelance writing tools, tips, books, and general favorite things might be perfect for this time of year.
If you’re looking for a gift for the writer in your life something on this list could be just the thing.
And just in case you’re wondering what gives, yes, this post is filled with links, (some affiliate) both to websites and to honest to goodness stuff I love and use every day that you can buy too. I don’t promote the things I don’t like, I promise.
So here they are, my best writing tools!
1. My favorite Freelance Writing Book
It’s going to be hard to find a freelance writing book that tops this gem. My copy of Writer for Hire is marked up, highlighted, dog-eared, and tabbed like there’s no tomorrow, a testament to how much I use it. I can honestly say this book got me my first print pitch accepted and jumpstarted my whole career. It’s a must for any beginner freelancer.
2. My favorite Freelance Job Board
I’m a job board fiend. I’m always on the lookout for gigs and that means I need to be on top of job boards and freelance gig websites. For 2017, my top pick, the website I use the most, the one where I have gotten the most response, is Problogger.
I love Probloger because it’s slick, it’s easy to apply right from their platform, and I’ve actually gotten many responses on applications through Problogger rather than queries and resumes sent into the void never to be heard from again.
3. My favorite Writing Blog
Women on Writing is a fantastic writing website. To be fair, I’m not a huge fan of the setup or format, but the content is stupendous. You can find an article on anything and everything from beating writers block, finding your writing voice, to writing about specific topics, to the logistics of making money writing. Also, this is one of the those blogs that responded to my pitches.
4. Coloring books for destressing, calm, and meditation
Sometimes you just need a break, you need to step away from that keyboard and give your brain a little R and R. For that, I recommend coloring. Nothing quite turns off the old brain box or switches gears quite like coloring.
Personally, I have some pretty wicked carpal tunnel, so as much I would love to color Mandalas and coloring books that thrive on intricate details and incredible designs, those can be taxing. I also color with crayons to put let stress on my wrist.
I love this Tattoo Coloring Book: A Fantastic Selection of Exciting Imagery that is inspired by the aesthetic of tattoos. I can choose one or two designs or work on a more intricate pattern while still feeling the accomplishment of finishing something.
And for a coloring book that’s part self-help book, part motivational, and part hilarious look into author and acclaimed blogger Jenny Lawson, check out You Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds.
5. My Favorite Meditation Videos
If you’re not a coloring person, it’s still important to find some way to take a break from your workday and just give yourself some breathing room. Some room between you and your busy brain, between you and your computer, and between you and your day to day work routine.
I am new to meditation and mindfulness but working on forming a regular mindful meditation habit has been a game changer. I won’t go on and on because I’m hoping to write an article specifically about the benefits of mindfulness, but it’s been so helpful with my focus and energy.
There’s a billion apps, podcasts, and YouTube videos but for me, my go-to is the Mindful Movement on YouTube. They also have yoga too!
6. Stickers and cards for gifts, decoration, and basically to brighten any day
As important as it to have a writing space, a desk, and a good supportive chair, it’s also important to have something fun to brighten up that space. Ever since college, I have kept my college bulletin board with me, now I don’t mean the actual board, I mean the collage of random magazine clippings, posters, cards and pictures that I collected throughout my college life. And now I’ve started a new bulletin board that’s specifically for inspiring my writing space with fun pictures, cards, and stickers.
If you want something to brighten your space, to make you smile, to stick on a water bottle or slap on your fridge as a magnet you need to check out Jcal Design on Etsy. I was lucky enough to get to know the artist during my time in Alaska and I just adore her work.
7. My favorite Poetry Book
Oof, how do you pick one.? Well if I have to it would be Milk and Honey. It’s a stunning collection that soaks into your soul and sticks there, lingering until you have to pick it up and read it again.
8. My favorite critical Binge Watch
I just finished Ozark and whoa was it jam-packed and intense. But what makes this show a cut above, a critical binge, something that gets the old gears ticking, rather than a mindless watch is the character development, the dialogue and the way everyone’s lives intertwine. I don’t usually go for gritty, drug shows ala Breaking Bad style, but this show is definitely focused on people, on character, and not on the grit or gruesome.
9. My Favorite Coffee Mug
Coffee, it’s a mundane, morning necessity. But it doesn’t have to be. I spent so much of my life as a barista that my passion for coffee goes beyond simple coffee connoisseur. I start every day with a French press and coarse ground locally made coffee. But a gorgeously brewed cup of joe deserves an equally gorgeous cup. I like mugs with lids because chances are, the coffee is going to get cold.
This is the mug I keep with me always. It’s on my desk, it’s in my car, it’s sitting in the sink waiting to be washed for another day. The best thing is that you can COLOR it! The Cypress Home Floral Medley Ceramic Mugs come in an array of designs, are color friendly and come with instructions for prepping, coloring, and setting your mug. It’s a coffee mug, it’s a coloring project, and it’s a work of art all in one!
10. Favorite Journal/Notebook
My computer is my life and anyone who works from home knows the importance of a reliable internet connection and a trusty laptop. But even though 85 percent of my work is done via Google docs and Microsoft, there’s something undeniably appealing about sitting down and writing in a notebook or journal. I always carry a notebook with me in case inspiration strikes and Denik Notebooks are my go-to journal of choice. I currently have three or four in rotation around my house. Not only are the designs gorgeous and fun and you can find something that fits every personality, they support a pretty cool cause too.
I hope you find these 10 best writing tools helpful or at the very least a little entertaining. Whether you’re looking for some last (very last) minute gifts for the writer in your life or just wondering what tools and books I use every day for freelance writing, this post has it all.