Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A Tool Box for Creatives

By Suzy Leopold

Today is Groundhog Day! Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow?

Since today’s GROG Blog post is about toolboxes—not the legendary groundhog, let's move on . . . 

Many creatives keep toolboxes. 

A toolbox contains various tools. A toolkit also keeps tools—resources and skills to increase knowledge and support—creativity all kept inside a box or container.

Many writers and illustrators create toolboxes. Items are organized in one place and can easily be transported. The toolbox supports creating at home, at the library, a cafe, at a writing conference or workshop.

A writer's toolbox can be used to expand and master the craft of writing.

A toolbox may be a physical container with shiny tools and resources or it can be a metaphorical toolbox to develop deeper knowledge. Both are designed to improve creativity.

It is not the tools that matter but what one does with the tools and the ability to use the tools effectively.

Peer Inside a Toolbox

Suzy’s Writing Toolbox

  • Writing tools--pens, pencils, markers
from Leah Cheak; from Julie Cohen (links will redirect you)
  • Dictionary and thesaurus
  • Mentor texts to mine for the author's craft
  • Craft of writing books

More Tool Ideas for a Writer's Toolbox
from Ralph Fletcher & Dolly Garland
from Kathyrn Evans
from Joanne Sher
  • Writing tips:        
 1. Make every word count with excellent word choices 
from Debbie Ridpath Ohi & Josh Funk 

 2. Rules of three 

from Pamela Hodges
from Rob Sanders
from Debbie Ridpath Ohi
  • Continue to grow and learn 
from Josh Funk
from Joe Bunting; Suzy
from Marcie Flinchum Atkins
Index cards with tips

What's in your toolbox? In the comments share the tools you keep in your writer's toolbox.


  1. Love how you have culled these items and linked to the resources. One of my fave tools is having my computer read my ms to me to catch mistakes. TY, Suzy for all these tools.

    1. Such an excellent tool, Kathy. Thank you for sharing how your computer reads a manuscript to you.

  2. WOW! Thank you, Suzy, for this plethora of goodies to put in my tool box!

    1. You are welcome, Cute Charlotte. Hope your toolbox has room for these tool tips.

  3. Every writer needs a toolbox! Mine is filled with pencils and a sharpener, index cards, post-it notes... and some colored pencils just for fun.

    1. Your toolbox sounds like it can be portable, Sue. My colored pencils have erasers, too.

  4. Very cute way to organize! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Perhaps you and your students can create a kids writing toolbox.

      Thank you, Tina.

  5. Great tools!My Toolbox includes, SCBWI and its Blueboard--answers to all your questions, QueryTracker, and critique partners and groups along with Microsoft Office which has digital post it notes and the like.