$ Okay. How many writers out there are spending way over their budgets on writing craft books, pretty ink pens, highlighters, folders, notebooks, copy paper and the next gadget being hyped as a just-must-have? Sure, many of these items (and more) can be needed for a writer’s life. But, a beginning writer has more money going out than coming in. How can we spend a bit less, yet gather what we need to produce good work? Some of the following ideas are simple common sense, even mundane suggestions, but worth mentioning.
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One: Buy your writing supplies in August when the box stores are luring parents in for back-to-school purchases. Prices are much lower than other months of the year for paper, notebooks, folders, highlighters, pens and general office supplies.
Two: Read instructional writing websites, download no-cost articles and study them to strive to improve your writing. Peruse these websites for mention of other websites to investigate and for mention of books that specialize in teaching writing skills. Many of these sites offer free e-books on writing. Barnes and Noble (bn.com) also lists a variety of free e-books.
Three: Go to the library and look for the books that you found of interest mentioned on the websites. If they are not there, ask your librarian to supply them. Then follow through when they arrive and check them out for study.
Four: When the library cannot supply the book, which is often the case, call Barnes and Noble. If they don’t have it on their shelves, they will order it and notify you when it arrives. Then go to the store and examine it over a Starbuck’s drink (or not if the budget is tight). Going to a book supplier beats paying for shipping! Bring your ever-present spiral notebook (or electronic device) and notate good advice from the requested book. In spite of your best efforts to cut expenses, you may find the book is a perfect match for your needs and you may decide to buy it. If you put your foot down and do not purchase it, add it to your Book Wish List. You can acquire the book at a later date at a lower price. I’ll tell you how in a future post. If the book is not what you are looking for at the time, put it back on the shelf. No purchase is necessary.
There are more ways to save a dollar and I will bring them to you. What are your ideas? Please share them with our readers.