Sunday, January 3, 2016

10 Best Inventions for Writers

Some are simple. Some are complex. But these modern inventions get my vote as the top ten inventions of importance to writers. Leave a comment, and let me know your nominations!

THE ELECTRIC CROCKPOT - You throw stuff in the pot in the morning. At night, voila! You have dinner. In between, you write your brains out. How cool is that!

THE SMART PHONE -- That most portable of computers--for email, chat, gps, research--even the occasional phone call--on the go. 


LUGGAGE ON WHEELS - Traveling for research or writing conferences is a lot easier -- thanks to the genius who discovered the real purpose of wheels. For moving luggage, of course. Whether that luggage is clothes and make-up or your computer and peripherals or books for the book table. How did writers survive before these?

CALLER ID - No more annoying interruptions from solicitors, in-laws, and other people you don't want to talk to--not now, not later. What a huge time savings. 


THE INTERNET - Look at all this idea has done for writers. Research at the click of a mouse. Online shopping. Online sales and promotion for writers. Social media. Cloud storage. The greatest thing since sliced bread. In fact, if you need sliced bread, you can get it on the internet. 

So why isn't the internet listed as Number 1 or 2? I'm punishing it for its ambivalence. For all that it does for writers, it's also our number one distraction, keeping us from getting our work done. That evil internet. For example, you're reading this blog instead of writing. Aren't you? A mixed blessing!


STAPLES (and other office supply stores) -- All those beautiful folders, binders, pens, sticky notes, magnetic sheets, and paper clips in one enchanted writer's fairyland. Ink. Envelops. Hundreds of kinds of paper. Comfy office chairs. Nirvana.


COFFEE SHOPS -- A place to escape from the distractions of home, get jacked up on caffeine, and write your magnum opus. Or a place to meet with other writers for collaborations, shop talk, or an informal crit group. And a great place to get a mocha frappuccino with whipped cream. Drooling now!


TYPEWRITER -- Even though mostly replaced by computers these days, typewriters gave us a way to mimic printing with the help of a machine. Typewriters taught us to use a keyboard. Who could have predicted that the two years of typing I took in high school would be practically the most important part of my education, the classes that best prepared me for the future!


DESKTOP PUBLISHING / POD - Hey, Hatchette Book Group, bite me! 

With indie and self-pub available to just about everybody, I'm no longer sitting by my mailbox waiting to be rejected by you. I can publish my books my way myself. Power to the people, Baby.

The photo above illustrates all the books I could indie publish if I would quit spending all my time on this blog.


WORD PROCESSING - I'm going to go all retro and single out word processing as the most important aspect of the new technology for writers. The ability to edit extensively and then push the print button? Priceless. To spill coffee on the manuscript and then reprint? Priceless. 

Sure, we've come a long way from the vintage model pictured above, but for anyone who used to make copies with streaky carbon paper and corrections with crumbly erasers and smelly white-out, surely you will agree that the word processing function of our computers deserves the top honor. If you grew up with fancy-pants computers, you may not understand. Don't worry. Your children won't understand you either.

All of these choices are completely subjective and a bit whimsical. What would you like to include in the list of the top ten modern devices/inventions that help writers?

Photo Credits:
     10 - Crockpot - (C)opyright CanStockPhoto / sumners
       9 - Smart Phone - public domain
       8 - Luggage - (C)opyright CanStockPhoto / happyalex
       7 - Caller ID - (C)opyright CanStockPhoto / kenhurst
       6 - Internet - (C)opyright CanStockPhoto / marcelmooij
       5 - Staples - public domain
       4 - Coffee shops - photo posted to Flickr by ElvertBarnes
       3 - Typewriter - public domain
       2 - Desktop Publishing - Bookcase - photo by Piotrus
       1 - Word Processing - photo by Anthony J. Bentley


  1. I'm going to add the laptop (and by extension the tablet). This allowed you to take your. Work to that coffee shop.

  2. 10/8/6/1....fascinated with your ideas! Maybe I'm just not yet a serious writer but a "would be" one??? Was I ever a serious writer? Maybe in retirement as I ease down that road?

    Blessings on your new year! WhooHoo!