I can’t imagine a writer without some tools of the trade, even if those are only a good dictionary and a thesaurus, preferably a good manual of style as well. I share a few of my favorite resources.
There are lots of ways to get inside writers’ heads.
When my interest is piqued, of course I turn to research.
Deborah Tannen has published numerous books that might be of interest to writers.
Somewhere in my public life, I mentioned that I collect dictionaries. I have whole shelves of them, everything from slang to carnival jargon to common usage during the Civil War to books of insults and dirty words. I ordered all six volumes of the Dictionary of American Regional English—and then thanked my husband for his birthday present to me.
I was much taken with Ammon Shea’s book, Reading the OED, a memoir of the year he spent reading the entire Oxford English Dictionary.
Writers are readers, by and large, and also word collectors. We tend to fall in love with words. Some writers make a career of writing about words as well as with them.