After countless hours of writing letters, drafting my novel, and working on other projects, there are several tools I have found to be essential to the writing process. Other than my computer, here are my three favorite writing aids:
1 - Pen and Paper
It's probably pretty obvious that I am a big fan of pen and paper. And while some writers prefer to directly type all of their work into the computer, I have found that there's something organic that happens when I write my initial words out by hand. Thoughts and ideas that I didn't even know were inside start to come out. Sometimes my mind starts moving so quickly that I can't write fast enough to keep up; that's when I begin to consider typing.
2 - Digital Dictation
Sometimes when the words just don't come by hand, I talk out my ideas and hear what I want to say first. This the beauty of a dictation device. I find this especially helpful when I am running around town and just need to get my concepts logged.
With current technology, you can use digital dictation to record your thoughts then simply email the transcribed work to yourself. Most cell phones already have a digital dictaphone app already installed on their notes section. There are, however, a range of apps you can download for free or for minimal cost. (I currently have Dragon Dictation on my cell).
3 - Walks
The third writing aid I use is simply the act of taking walks. I get some of of my best writing done before I write anything down at all. I have also had major insight when I've been cycling or on the treadmill at the gym. In her book If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit, Brenda Ueland has a fantastic chapter with several pages detailing the close connection between physical exertion and good writing. My point: go take a walk.
I hope these are helpful ideas for your writing. Please comment below and share your favorite writing tools.