Here are my top ten essentials for writing:
- a netbook – for when you’re out and about, or when you want to get the words down quickly or are editing. I’ve got a Samsung NC10.
- a funky notebook – I am a bit obsessive about my notebooks, they have to be ring-bound and must be from Paperchase.
- a fountain pen – I do all of my planning and note-taking with a fountain pen, but then write the draft on the computer. For some reason I can only write poetry longhand. I have a lovely Pelikan pen with ‘heather-coloured’ ink.
- background music – I often work in silence, but it can help my concentration to have a bit of background music on. I like Einaudi, which is quite minimalist classical music, or jazz. I can’t listen to anything with singing, unless it’s in a language I don’t understand, so Sigur Ros is another favourite.
- tea – no writer should be without it. I love Redbush or Earl Grey.
- other writers – I usually work alone at home, for reasons of convenience. But when I write with other writers around, I find I am much more productive. I’ve been to Urban Writers Retreats and Arvon, both highly recommended.
- chocolate – it’s gotta be Green & Black’s.
- turn off your Inner Critic – easier said than done, but if your Inner Critic is shouting in your ear about how rubbish your writing is, you’re going to get nothing done.
- lots of projects on the go at once – I’m not very good at mono-tasking, I have to have lots of different things bubbling away at different stages, so I can go to whichever one I fancy that day (hence why it it takes me such a long time to finish anything!)
- a tidy space – I have to work on the dining-table, which is not ideal. I’d prefer an office but there is’t one. I do waste quite a lot of time tidying away my stuff only to get it out a couple of hours later.