You don’t need fancy tools or resources to write. No piece of technology will get you to sit down if you don’t take writing seriously. Before I invested in these three tools, I depended on what I had and could afford.
I learned to write through library books, blogs, and $10 online courses on Udemy. I write in my living room or bedroom even though there’s always someone near, talking loudly.
If you really want to write, nothing will stop you. But once you’ve learned to write no matter what, it doesn’t hurt to invest in resources that could potentially make your life a little easier. These three have helped in ways I’d never expected.
(Note: The following links are not affiliate links.)
1. The Freewrite ($549.00)
The Freewrite is a smart typewriter created by Astrohaus. As opposed to an actual typewriter, what you write on this device automatically backs up to Dropbox or Google Drive (or Postbox, a website created for the Freewrite). Despite the WiFi connection, you don’t actually have access to the Internet, which is the best part about the Freewrite — it’s distraction-free.
You can’t go on social media, watch YouTube, or do research. As long as you keep your phone away, you have no access to distractions. There’s a keyboard and an e-ink screen, so writing is easy on the eyes. This is the best investment I could’ve ever made. I write faster — thanks to the mechanical keys — but my eyes don’t burn if I spend a few hours writing, and it’s fun. It makes me want to write.
It’s expensive, there’s no doubt about that, but if you can save up, it’s well worth it. The only caveat is this: You can’t edit. There’s no cursor. Some people don’t like this feature, but Astrohaus’s goal was that you wouldn’t be tempted to fix mistakes you could worry about later. That’s what the editing process is for after all. I’ve never had a problem with it.
If you want to learn more about the Freewrite, you can visit the page here.
2. Airpods Pro ($249.00)
As I said, while I can write in a room packed with people (a learned perk since I live with eight people and don’t have my own room), there’s no doubt that writing without background noise is a more enjoyable experience. As Joyce Carol Oates said: “The only thing that’s bad for writing is being interrupted.”
I was doubtful about the AirPods Pros for a long time. I wondered if the gummy-like ear tips would be uncomfortable and fall out easily. However, they do neither — thanks to the various ear tip sizes they provide inside each box. Once I’d purchased them and turned on the noise-cancelation, any bit of regret left dissipated.
You can’t hear any white noise. When my family’s in the kitchen while I write on the dining table, I pop them in, play music, and can’t hear a thing. They allow you to get in the zone — even if the neighbor’s screaming children (I have two of those) are playing in the backyard.
If you struggle to concentrate because you live with too many people or street noise gets to you, trust me when I say that these AirPods have genuinely been a game-changer. Just a quick note: these earphones tend to be $10 or $15 less expensive at Target, Best Buy, or Costco.
3. MasterClass ($180/year)
Let’s be real: you don’t need a MasterClass subscription to learn to write. There are plenty of free articles and books by published authors that are just as great. However, I’m not suggesting you purchase the subscription for the writing classes — although those are just as fantastic.
I recommend this subscription because of the variety of subjects available taught only by professionals. Currently, I’m watching a Martin Scorcese filmmaking class not because I’m interested in filmmaking but because I knew he’d have great tips on creativity and storytelling. I’m also watching Grammy winner St. Vincent’s songwriting and producing class, which inspired an entire article about creating.
You can learn about interior design, singing, acting, cooking, basketball, and more. I’m a firm believer in learning everything you can about, well, everything. There’s value in taking in a bunch of information because you can connect all those lessons and get new ideas for writing. No matter who the instructor or what the lesson, you’ll always learn something new you can use later.
I’d only planned on subscribing for a year for the writing courses, but now I know I’ll pay for a second year and stick around for a while. They continuously upload new classes, and it’s exciting to know how many learning possibilities there are on just one platform.
These are all pretty expensive tools, and I didn’t make any purchase without really thinking about it first. I asked myself repeatedly if the Freewrite would benefit me.
Don’t be tempted by shiny new things. You might not need Airpods if you live alone, or maybe you’re not interested in learning through online courses. Think about it for a week.
The Freewrite helps with my dry-eyes and lack of focus when writing, the AirPods Pros help with outside distractions, and Masterclass has become my favorite learning tool. If you decide you can and want to purchase one or all of these tools, I promise you won’t regret it.