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Guide To The Basics Of Writing

Last Updated July 12, 2002

A computer and Internet access with email are a must today. Helpful, but not absolutely necessary, are a fax machine and a scanner. Long gone are days when you could just use a typewriter. And don't even think about using a pen and paper, except for notes or when anotating a rough draft.

You need office space of some sort, even if it's just a corner of a room. I use my former bedroom. You also need filing cabinets and a home library. I have six, four-drawer, legal-sized filing cabinets and use my rec room for my home library.

Basic references for your library include: two or more dictionaries, an encyclopedia, thesaurus, Elements Of Style, Sources, atlas, all of which you can get both in hard copy and on CD ROM or the Internet (I'd recommend both hard and computer copies). You also should have books, magazines and other references basic to the field(s) you write on, including trade journals and newspapers.

Subscription/access to publications you want to write for, including those publications I recommend in Writer's References. Also to online sources.

Memberships/contacts in fields you write on. Also network with people, including friends and family, who may have contacts, suggestions or knowledge. Also network online using mailing lists and other sources.

Keep a clipping file from newspapers and magazines. Download e-mail of interest to you, bookmark web sites, buy/make notes of books or parts of books of use or possible use to you.

Make note of good libraries nearby and also good newsstands and book stores.

Be a voracious reader.

Copyright 2002 Peter D.A. Warwick

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