My Writer’s Toolbox


Daytime notebook

I’ve decide to have a bit of fun and show you what’s in my writer’s toolbox beyond my trusty 21.5″ iMac and my somewhat overactive imagination. If you’re a writer, you’ll totally get this. If you’re not, well . . . don’t say I didn’t warn you!

My daytime ideas notebook. Note that it has a pretty cover (this is very important). It’s here I jot down story ideas, character names as they come to me, and other assorted ramblings. Yes, I’m sitting at my computer when I’m writing in my notebook. There’s something about pen and paper that makes the idea seem a bit more “real.”

My nighttime notebook has permanent residence on my bedside table. Did you know the best ideas come to you in the middle of the night? Of course, it’s difficult to write in the dark —and it can be downright annoying to turn on the lamp at 2 a.m. My husband found a solution and gave me some ballpoint pens with an LED light inside of them. Inspired genius! I also have a mini notepad and pen (not shown), which I carry in my purse (are you sensing a theme here?).

But enough about me. What’s inside your writer’s toolbox?

Nighttime notebook.

Nighttime notebook.


LED light pens: priceless!

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N.B. A version of this post was first published in July 2015. 


13 responses to “My Writer’s Toolbox

  1. Kristina Stanley

    I’m thinking about how I can send me a message…

  2. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Not a chance 🙂

  3. Kristina Stanley

    You tell him I said so!

  4. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Kristina, he likes to think so!

  5. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Ellen, he bought them on Amazon — but I have even seen them at the dollar store with the Canada-logoed stuff. So you might find in the U.S. logoed stuff.

  6. Kristina Stanley

    Your husband is very smart!

  7. OMG, I want one of those pens, too!!! Where can I get them?

  8. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Vicki, those LED pens are great! I need to find your non-leak pens.

  9. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Hi John, I doubt there is a standard way that any writer works. But I think in a way your binders are my notebooks!

  10. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Beth, I haven’t, but I’ll check it out!

  11. Have you read about Bullet Journals for Writers? They are a fun creative way to make lists of character ideas, quotes, research ideas, etc. Check out on youtube! Have fun with your journals.

  12. John Sayers

    Hi Judy –

    Interesting. As a non-fiction person, I work differently. All my notes are of peripheral to-do’s so I don’t have to remember them. They get done in stages.
    The thoughts rattling around in my skull are about the story that I’m working on – and I don’t make notes. My ‘notes’ are an awareness of the many binders – that keep growing – of all types of ephemera. The issues are all about ‘What does this mean?’ and ‘How does it fit in to any contemporary reference points?’ The rest comes when I sit down at the keyboard. Can’t describe it – but maybe that adage about a ‘mystical trance’ has some merit!


    I need your pens! I too am old-school and never without paper. But I could make the switch to the using the “Notes” function on my iPhone. I have a world and US/Canada atlas beside me when I write and use them daily, along with Google Maps, of course. Garner’s Modern American Usage. My favorite pens in an assortment of colors (Uni-Ball Vision Elite), which do not leak on airplanes!

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