Here’s a quick list of essentials, hope it inspires you to get pen to paper, fingertips to keys and create something amazing! (I’ve slotted some handy links in to save you some time if you are truly inspired)
I will first of all stand up and confess, “I’m a writer and I love pens!”
There, that’s done with, now what sort of pen? Just a plain old second hand plastic ballpoint will do, at first. I have a drawer full of freebies. However, I honestly believe you can’t write well if you don’t like your pen.
Ink colour: I’m someone who likes traditional black ink, blue at a push. For editing red is useful although it takes me back to the bad old days at school maths classes so I steer away from red if I can. If you’re an editor no doubt you have a full collection of multicolours.
Thick v Thin: A fairly chunky one, the thinner ones make my fingers cramp after a while.
Grip: Yes, I can write faster if I’m not grappling with a slippy pen falling from my fingers.
Twist up or click up: Click, I don’t know if it’s just me but the twist up ones twist down whilst I’m writing. Hashtag annoying!
Ballpoint v Fountain: Hmmmm, I’ve just invested in a gorgeous vintage fountain pen, so watch this space, however for now, ballpoint. Thick not thin, don’t like scratchy thin lines, a bit like finger nails down a black board, shiver! Click the link for a fountain pen similar to mine.
A Gorgeous Tactile Journal
Secondly, I will stand up again and confess, “I’m a writer and I love journals!” The more luxurious the better. I prefer lined, although I like the squared paper you tend to find in Europe. I enjoyed that at school on a trip to France and have never understood why it hasn’t caught on over here.
Small: ‘Tuck in your bag’ ones are great to use. I am security conscious and although I’m trying to use my phone and Evernote more often now, I feel safer keeping my phone in my pocket and just getting my pad out and scribbling away. The ones with pens attached are fab for this.
Medium: My much preferred option is A5 size. As beautiful as I can find. They fit in my bag easily, the page is big enough to draw out timelines or profiles, or to dig deep into text and drafts.
Large: I have a large A4 folder with a utilitarian lined pad but tend to only use this in meetings etc. I always get hole punched pads so I can move pages into various work folders as required.
IMPORTANT! Do not be precious with your journal. USE it, scribble, write, doodle, create. Use both sides, draw, do it all, and don’t bin it at the end. Keep it safely and dip into it every now and again for inspiration and ideas.
A Decent (As new as you can afford) Computer
Well I guess this is a post of its own. I am extremely lucky to have a tablet, a laptop and phone with notes facility that all sync. I’m an Apple fan. However at the start all you need is a computer with an ability to type and store documents and you’re away. Storage of some description to back up your work (portable hard drive or smaller keyring friendly usb sticks) and if possible the internet so you can email your work to yourself. This can act as a protection towards copyright as well as giving you a back up online. A decent size screen is good so you can work in comfort and see your work clearly as it grows.
A Lovely Big Mug
Big, beautiful and full of your chosen beverage. I like a chunky mug, so I don’t knock it over and as I tend to break them frequently something fairly sturdy. I can’t stand a chipped mug, ever since I read about the germs moving in via the chip to live inside the exposed pottery beneath the glaze. Ugh! See the link here if you need to reinvest in a great happy mug!
I’m British so Earl Grey tea is my preference, although good strong coffee gets in there on probably a much too frequent basis. Think I’ll go to the de-caff option soon.
So, there it is the 5 essentials of being a writer. Now stop trawling the web, switch off wi-fi and start writing. Once you have written at least a few pages you’re away…off you go…run Forrest run (Forrest Gump, what can I say, brilliant writing, great film)