Bill Webb’s Writing Tools

329472 Bill Webb; self-described "old guy, Buddhist agnostic, recovering drunk, birder, writer, cat lover, husband, dad, son, brother, photographer describes his tools of the trade:

It’s interesting (to me) how tools seem to make a difference when I write. I’m not a person who desires a lot of stuff, generally speaking. I’m usually satisfied with minimal appurtenances, but the tools I do use, I like to be good ones. I was that way with guns, police equipment in general, and I’m still that way with personal items like knives, flashlights, wallets and the like. They don’t have to be expensive, but they have to be "right."

I will search doggedly for just the right one, almost obsessively acquiring one after another of very similar items. Inevitably, at some point I seem always to settle on The One, and then my obsession with that kind of item will subside as I make it a part of my day-to-day life. Except for flashlights; I have this thing about flashlights — but that’s for another essay.

Natalie Goldberg, in her excellent book "Writing Down the Bones," suggests getting a cheap notebook and just writing whatever comes to mind — scribbling willy-nilly with no paragraphing or other style — until you get to The End. Then you go back and clean it up. I’ve done that, and it works pretty well, but I can’t do it with Natalie’s prescribed degree of abandon and my heart isn’t really in the technique.

I need tools that suit: a well-bound book, preferably slightly smaller than a full-size notepad, preferably with cream sheets, subtly lined. In short, a book like the Moleskine notebook that I’m using to rough this out. Later, it will go to the word processor for digitizing and editing, but for now it is a very personal operation.

American Chronicles
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[Thanks Chris!]

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One thought on “Bill Webb’s Writing Tools

  1. ‘They don’t have to be expensive, but they have to be “right.” ‘
    I think he’s just nailed me – a Cusper between Baby Boomers & Gen X, one of those who doesn’t fit in either…

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