So this is the hard part. The world falls into two camps: those who write on machine and those who write by hand. Ultimately, even those who write by hand will have to present their manuscript in some digital format.
There are any number of word processors, with Microsoft Word dominating the marketplace. If you cannot afford the commercial word processors – and indeed, you may not even need them, then look at some of the freeware offerings. OpenOffice and more recently, LibreOffice, are incredibly mature products. Most do the same job, and some of them will do more than you will ever need. The only rule is to make sure your software can save in a recognized standard format.
Do I have to add that you should use white paper and a readable font – something like Times New Roman or Ariel. Script fonts are out. Double line spacing, one inch margins all around and type on one side of the page only. And make copies. Multiple copies. Online (use Dropbox, Skydrive or Google Docs) and on a disc. Email copies to yourself. Set up an online email account just to store your manuscripts. At some stage in your writing life you will lose material. Ask any writer!
Then you write. You do it every day. Give yourself a target. Two thousand words seems to be an average, but whatever you do, make it an achievable target. There’s no point in setting the target too high and failing to meet the target.
And there is one final, absolutely critical piece of equipment that you are going to need – a comfortable chair. Trust me: you’re going to spend a lot of time sitting in it.