We’ve talked about pens, we’ve talked about notebooks, but those are the obvious tools of a writer, like a brush to a painter. What about the not so obvious tools a writer uses inspire their work?
What items do you carry with you to support your pursuit of the craft?
For me, it is a digital camera. I have an iPhone, so I always have a camera and a video camera with me, but usually, I also carry my point ‘n shoot digital camera and my Flip Video camera. Overkill? Maybe a little, but you know what they say about the right tool for the job . . . And yes, I know I am spoiled, I blame my husband.
I am no Ansel Adams or Annie Lebowitz, but still, I snap away. Most of the pictures never go any farther than my iPhoto library, but that doesn’t mean they are not useful. I keep almost everything I shoot. Even the blurry shots. I just never know when something will be useful or inspiring. I snap shots of signs that make me laugh or trigger a memory or idea. I’ll click a photo of a passerby or a crowd that strikes me in some way. If I’m researching a story or a blog entry, video has come in handy for impromptu interviews (with the interviewees permission of course).
Photos serve an educational purpose for me personally. I don’t have great distance vision. It can be hard for me to discern details at a distance. The camera’s zoom lens can often capture things that I might otherwise miss. Details that really make the story pop.
The added advantage of always having a camera at hand is that sometimes when the stars align, I take a good picture. A picture I can use in a blog post or even in submit with the story for publication. Enhancing my photography skills is in my short list of things to do. I will never be a world class photographer, but I view it as a complimentary skill to writing. To me, a camera is like a dictionary or thesaurus, something that is not used everyday, but when you need it, it can really save you.
What tools do you use to support your writing efforts?