My boss and mentor often says, “Pay for good tools. Just cry once.”
He was a mechanic for years, putting himself through grad school by fixing Volkswagon bugs.
So his philosophy started early and then carried through for many decades throughout his professional life.
He never hesitated to invest in buying computer hardware equipment, a robust phone system, sophisticated software and then the training to learn to use all those things properly.
In starting this career as a writer, I believe the model he showed me was really sound and I have been steadily doing my best to do the same (budget permitting!).
To that end, when Linda asked me to write a guest post on her business blog, I wrote about the costs involved with starting up a writing business (hardware, software, and training) and publishing as an independent.
The article describes the investment costs, (Scrivener $45) and is intended to help a writer think about themselves as a business. Steve Pressfield wrote in the War of Art that he liked the notion of incorporating and then having his entity pay him. Whatever it takes to keep you focused on the job of writing.
As I am learning, there is a constant balance between working on the actual writing and the learning curve associated with marketing the business, ie, selling the books.
As a result, part of my work is now actually to read a large number of these story craft and book marketing books.
It is quite a tome, and it is free in bits and pieces on Shawn Coyne’s website, but I do highly recommend you order the print version of The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know. It’s an amazing book, and it is oversized, which makes it easy to work out visual things like the Foolscap Method.
It’s actually dropped in price since I first purchased it last year. It’s a reference book, essential for learning story spine and other plotting mechanics. A writer’s tool to be sure.