I'm mad at Erynn because she listed all the best writing "help" books in her list and now I have nothing to post! (wink)
First of all, let me say, hear hear. My fellow Chicks have given you great information this week, and I second all of their tools.
I suppose my best writing tool is a selfish one, because I refuse to share it. Share her, that is - my bestie, Lori Chally. I can be working on a WIP, give myself a headache by beating my forehead against the computer keys, wail and gnash my teeth, convinced this story "pothole" (plothole!) is the end of my career as I know it, call Lori to mourn the loss of my talent, and....in five minutes, she's got all my problems sewn up, and has usually given me a new sideplot to chase that makes the story even better.
I hang up exhausted, humbled, and thoroughly grateful for a fellow writing bud who understands, doesn't think I'm crazy for saying things like "my hero and heroine refuse to kiss! I've been trying for three chapters!) and who is so great at brainstorming.
All that to back up what Erynn said about never underestimating the power of family and friends with your writing. Be careful not to take TOO much advice, because if you listen to every single thing every single person in your life suggested, you would lose your story. But writing doesn't have to be a solitary adventure. Sometimes its good to come out of our caffienated caves and get HELP. =)
Speaking of caffeine, that's my other favorite too - chocolate and Diet Coke. Usually the three of us can put something together, but when we can't, its off to call Lori. Here's a pic of us from the 2009 ACFW Conference, during the awards banquet night.
Who has been there for you in your writing career? Who is your "Lori"? Who do you call when you are so stuck in your story that you want to throw your computer out the window and take up scrapbooking instead? Who is the person in your life that encourages you, prays for you and with you, and is always there?
Give a shout out in the comments section!