Monthly Archives: October 2011

My Five Essentials

Writers like routines.  We like to surround ourselves with sources of comfort and inspiration. And of course, we must have our tools of the trade.  For the past ten days I’m traveling far from home and feel discombobulated.  I’ve stayed in four different cities which adds to the discombobulation.

Do I need to tell anyone how cranky I get when I don’t write?  Or workout?  Of course I brought my laptop along.  Simple to write anywhere, eh?  I also brought running shoes and clothes.  I will run this afternoon on an elliptical for the first time in over a week.  And I’m just now able to dig out a crevice of time to get some writing in.  (In other words, I ditched a friend.  But friends understand our basic needs, right?)

Oh, the trip’s been fabulous.  I’d do it again without hesitation.  The adventures have provided me lots of fodder to work with in the future.  But I’ve got to do a better job of writing when on the road.  This got me thinking.  What else would help me do this besides the laptop.  What is on my desk at home that I consider essential to my writing.

I call this My Five Essentials List.

1.  My MacBook Pro –   amazing how this thin slice of heaven cuts down on other  accoutrements needed for writing because it provides me a dictionary, other reference accessibility, plus a treasure trove of music.  I also use its MacJournal, which is great for note taking.

2.  Writer’s Market 2012 – the type of writing I do requires this jewel at my side.  Sometimes I even sleep with it.

3.  Colored pens and highlighters –  I’ve had a lifelong love affair with colored pens and markers from my days as student, teacher, and now writer.  Could not live without these beauties, especially as I like to color code targeted markets and edit as I write.

4.  Pina Colada Fragrance Candle –  I love sensual scents and this gift candle doesn’t even have to be lit to smell nice.  But sometimes I like it lit.

5.  Favorite Mug –   I love my over-sized mug.  I start out with strong coffee, but the liquid changes throughout the day.  Sometimes water.  Sometimes tea.  And occasionally even wine, if I’m still writing in the evening.  If I were home I’d post a picture of my favorite mug.  It was given to me by a first grade student  over 20 years ago.  His mom had my signature imposed on it in some artsy way. 

What about you?  Do you have objects or rituals you need to write to your highest potential?  A friend keeps a tiny photo of her deceased mother – who wanted to write but never followed her dream –  on her desk for inspiration.  I’ve heard other writers speak of keeping favorite rocks or seashells at hand.  Do you like an inspirational book nearby?  Or a certain kind of music? 

Right now, I’m going to catch up on some blogs I’ve been missing.  I’d love to hear from you!  Maybe you could give pointers on writing when you’re away from  home.

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