The Write Tools

My writer friends and I often talk about the tools we’ve discovered to actually help us put words on a page. Those tools range everything from hardware to software, pens to moleskine journals, settings to environments, snacks to libations. I’ve decided to sing the praises of a few of my writing tools here in a series of posts.

I credit intentional leadership guru Michael Hyatt for leading me to this first and most important instrument in my writing life–my Macbook Air. It was in January 2011 that he wrote a post about his experience with this wonderful machine. Timing had a lot to do with it for me. I had just endured another season of PC woes, drive issues, virus protection issues, malware, adware, and so on. I was tired of waiting for pages to load and documents to be found. I was tired of control/alt/delete. (This isn’t a Mac/PC commercial, I promise.) Mr. Hyatt’s experience, though, seemed so inviting. I wanted a laptop that would enhance my endeavors, not provide obstacles. I went Mac. Thank you Michael Hyatt.

I’ll try to be brief, but understand I could write a novella-length ode to the wonders of my Macbook Air with ease. Big for me is size and weight, portability, and availability. I can use this thing anywhere, anytime, and it’s always ready. The OS is so intuitive. Apple products are all designed that way–there are times this machine thinks for me, I’m not kidding. I’ll spare you a long list of examples, suffice to say that this thing makes me more efficient as I create. That’s a difference I didn’t anticipate, but a couple years down the road now, I appreciate tremendously.

Can you write with another machine? A PC even? Certainly. And many do. Well. Why, folks still write with quill pens and moleskines too.

When I became a preacher twenty-plus years ago I asked mentors to suggest books I should add to my library. One quoted a German theologian named Helmut Thielicke teasing, “Sell everything you have and buy Spurgeon!” (That is great preacher advice, by the way.) To my writer friends I’d borrow that bravado: Sell everything you have and go Mac! And unfortunately you might have to. Macs are expensive. That’s the drawback. But I can say confidently, no single purchase I’ve ever made has done more for my writing life than the Macbook Air I am typing on today. For tech-heads: my machine is the Macbook Air, 13″ with a 256GB flash drive, 1.86 GHz processor and 4 GBs of RAM. With another post I’ll get into some of the software that greases the writing wheels.

Now a couple of years have passed. That means my machine is practically a relic. Newer, sleeker, and faster devices surely have impressed others of you. What laptops, tablets or devices are helping your writing endeavors?

UPDATE: In early 2017 I upgraded to a newer MacBook Air. My original Air treated me so very well for six years. No complaints. ZERO. But it was time for a new machine with new toys—all of which I stand behind as imperative to your writing life. Sell all you have. Buy Mac.

2 thoughts on “The Write Tools”

  1. Still using my mid-2009 MacBook Pro. I upgraded it to 8GB of RAM and a 256GB flash drive, but it is still my number one writing tool. I switch back and forth between typing and using the dictation feature.

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