What are your writing essentials? You know, the things that help you feel inspired, or that put you in the perfect writing mood?
I don’t necessarily consider myself a Writer with a capital W, rather I’m more of a hobbyist who has to fit in some writing time here and there around my full-time job as a librarian.
When I do manage to carve out a bit of time to write, though, there are a few essential tools of the trade that help get me into the right frame of mind.
Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer to do most of my writing by hand, in a notebook. I like to scribble things out, squish things in between lines, highlight and cross out and circle. There’s just something about having a pen in my hand that helps me feel in control, and I find a blank page more inviting, and less intimidating, that a bright white empty screen. I always carry a small notebook with me, just in case I have a flash of inspiration while I’m out and about, or trapped on a bus on my way to work.
Blue pens with a fine point.
Blue ink just feels more cheerful and less sombre than black ink, and for some reason it feels easier to read. It’s also my favourite colour, so there’s that.
I can’t work in silence. I have trouble focusing, and silence just seems to encourage my already frenetic mind to bounce all over the place with increased enthusiasm. Background music helps keep me centred. I’m very partial to a good anime soundtrack (Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood has one of the best anime soundtracks, in my humble opinion, but there are heaps of others that are also fantastic). I find it helpful to have music with lyrics I can’t easily understand, so I’m not tempted to focus more on the words in the song than the words on my page.
I know that some people can’t imagine trying to get any work done with music playing, though, so be sure to create a writing environment that works for you!
A Change of Scenery
A funny thing happens when I try to write at home. I inevitably develop an irresistible urge to fold laundry, unload the dishwasher, sort the recycle or scrub the kitchen floors – tasks that I typically would rather pretend don’t exist. Writing can be hard, and after a few minutes of staring blankly at an equally blank page, just about any other task can start to look very appealing.
When I really want to accomplish something, I pack up my notebook and pens and head to my local coffee shop, where I can nurse a mug of tea and work on my creations far from the temptations of housework (or Netflix).
Speaking of tea, what can’t this magical drink do? A simple cup of tea has the ability to soothe and calm, or invigorate and energise! It can be enjoyed hot or cold, sweetened or plain, with a slice of lemon, a splash of milk, or simply as it is. Tea can be black or green, red or herbal. It truly is a wonder beverage, and it is the fuel that powers my creative engines. I’ve written about my love of tea on the blog before, and even my blog tagline incorporates my passion for the world’s most popular brewed beverage.
Of course, if you’re a coffee aficionado, by all means pour yourself a cup, but I’ll be over here with my mug of steaming black tea, if it’s all the same to you.
Did I miss anything? What essentials help get you in the writing (or creating) mood?