Writing Essentials

Here are my top ten essentials for writing:

  1. 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.
  2. a funky notebook – I am a bit obsessive about my notebooks, they have to be ring-bound and must be from Paperchase.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. tea – no writer should be without it. I love Redbush or Earl Grey.
  6. 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.
  7. chocolate – it’s gotta be Green & Black’s.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!)
  10. 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.
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3 Responses to Writing Essentials

  1. There is no office, no possible a space somewhere ? if you are following a ‘thread ‘ of inspiration it is a shame you have to stop ! any very short story of yours somewhere in your blog ? nice blog, i am not a writer ,far from it, struggling with grammar, spelling of the, for me, foreign language. slightly better in mine language !

    • There aren’t any short stories on the blog, as yet. I do have a short story on the Fairy Tales Project website. It’s a bit hard to find it! Scroll down to the very bottom of the page, and click on the photo on the bottom right ‘The Irish Painter’. On the ‘read the story’ bit, that’s me!

      And no, space is tight! I have a 2 bedroom flat which I share with my 5yr old daughter. She takes up any available space with her stuff!

  2. Very interesting – we all get our writing habits, don’t we? I have to sit at my desk, I only write on my PC and I couldn’t possibly have background music! The tea has to be absolutely constant and I flit from project to project …

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