I’d like to say that the tools of my craft closely resemble the picture above. I’d like to say that my desk is a perfectly organized work of art. And I’d really like to say that everything works in wonderful harmony to produce an abundance of literary masterpieces.
But alas . . . that ain’t the way it goes, honey. At least not for me.
The reality of it is this: I have not one, but two desks that are overflowing with books, paper, computers, pens, pencils, notebooks, journals, sticky notes, file folders, and every colour and type of marker the Staedtler company makes. I love Staedtler markers. They never dry up.
Then there is my portable office. The large leather briefcase/laptop bag I used for years in my former corporate life has been recycled and refitted for the writer’s life. I take it with me everywhere – the coffee shop, the library, Denny’s. Anywhere with free wi-fi access.
But there are certain things that are a “must have”, as far as I’m concerned:
– A Moleskine notebook. If you can find them on sale, buy lots. The more the better.
– A Waterman pen. I have several. No-name brand hotel pens work too.
– Post-It notes. Every size, colour and shape. I like the ones with lines.
– A good laptop computer. And a desktop model as well. If you’re an electronics junkie like me, you can throw a tablet and netbook into the mix for some variety.
– A Dropbox account. Save your files in Dropbox, and you can access them anywhere, anytime, on any computer that has internet. If you have the free Dropbox software installed on your computers, the program will automatically update your files on all of them. I LOVE this. I can even access my stuff with my Blackberry.
– Reference books. My favourites are the Bible by God, Flip Dictionary by Barbara Ann Kipfer, The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass, The Writer’s Digest Guide to Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card, and Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko. I have dozens of others, but these five are always open on my desk.
There are also lots of great writing websites, blogs and author pages. I glean so much from those who have already paved the way, and I especially appreciate it when, on the rare occasion that I am brave enough to contact a particularly amazing writer, they actually respond. (Thanks Karen Hancock and James Rubart!)
So there. Tools and tips.
What are you waiting for?