Tools Do Matter

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2 Responses

  1. Yep. Tools matter. But they probably matter less to a writer than to any other sort of artist. The amount of time wasted looking for just the right pen, the perfect notebook or the best way to sync my documents over my various different devices could and should have been spent writing (or even thinking about something else).

    • Dustin Wax says:

      I think in writing and everything else, there’s a question of self-awareness. The unskilled or inexperienced will say “I can’t write because I don’t have [fill in the blank]” because they don’t know how to start; the procrastinator will say the same thing because she or he isn’t ready to start. Those are excuses that have nothing to do with the right tool or the wrong tool or anything else about the tools. But the skilled creator may well write just to use the pen or pencil in hand, just for the aesthetic pleasure of feeling it move across the paper. I know I have. Likewise, knowing you have the tools that feel right and work right for you eliminates that much friction between the writer and the actual writing of things. There’s a reason Steinbeck, Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Stephen King, George RR Martin, and dozens (if not hundreds) of other writers are picky about which pencil, pen, typewriter, or software they use, and it’s not because they enjoy wasting time. If anything, they SAVE time by not having to think about their tools when they write. (Or “wrote”, as the case my be…)