"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." -Vladimir Nobokov

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Stuff Every Writer Needs

Who knew writers were material girls (and guys)! In this post, I thought I'd compile a list of the little things that make writers tick. Enjoy!

  1. A Writing Space. Be it a table by a window, an attic bedroom, a regular spot at a coffee shop, a park bench, or a meticulously designed study just for us, a space dedicated to writing is every writer's dream. And the more time we can spend making it perfect, the less time we have to actually work!
  2. Books. And lots of them. Beside's food and water, this is the fuel that keeps our minds churning.
  3. A Computer. And typing skills. Enough said.
  4. A Lamp. Good lighting is essential to every writer's space. It is especially helpful when staying up late during NanoWriMo!
  5. A Good Pen. Every writer knows what they like in a pen. From fountain, to ballpoint, to gel tip, or even quill, something about this age old writing instrument draws us back time after time.
  6. A Good Notebook. To go with the pen. Make sure it's portable, and high quality. This is one of the writer's most important tools because we use it to trap those precious drops of inspiration that can fall at any moment. 
  7. A Typewriter. This is my personal favorite. What better way to get started in the morning that the smell of inky ribbon and the clack of the keys against the paper. There's something so permanent about it, like you're hammering your words into stone. Talk about a wake up call.
  8. A Dog. Or a cat. Though I'm not much of a cat person, any pet can make a difference in a writer's life. Who else will love you unconditionally, no matter how much bad poetry you recite for them?
  9. A Dictionary/Thesaurus (the old fashioned kind). While you can get this online and as a feature in many word processors, sometimes it's nice to have a real book to refer to. (See also: #2)
  10. A beach, forest, or other natural rest spot. When the going gets tough, or you just need a break from writing, choose a place where you can relax and recharge. 
Well there you have it, all the essentials. But remember, while it's fun to get caught up in the nit picky details when choosing items for our writer's toolbox, sometimes we have to let go of them for a little while a do what's really important. Write.

Photo Cred


  1. The end is so true. You got to get past all the ribbons and lace and get to the good stuff: writing. Keep up the good work Laura :D

  2. I, too, am a fan of the typewriter. I just got a new one today at an antique store, a portable underwood-olivetti. It's so light and small I can take it to the coffee shop.

    Thanks Laura.

  3. @M.C.: Thank you! Also, I enjoyed the comic that you posted about writing a novel. That continues to make my day. Sorry for the late reply!

    @Joe: Typewriters are the best! I have a 1930's Remette that my parents gave me as a 5th grade graduation present. Not the typical present for a 12 year old, but I still love it to death! Unfortunately though, mine isn't quiet enough for a coffee shop... :)