My Writer’s Toolbox
I’ve been writing ever since I was big enough to hold a crayon. Here are some things that help me. They may help you.
1. Write where you’re most comfortable. I tried the whole sitting at a desk in a windowless room thing. My brain said “You have got to give me more than this.” I need sunlight, a nice view, the wind in my hair, and the kid across the back fence pounding on his drums (well maybe not but my point is I need life around me). So, weather permitting, I write at the table in my garden. Fortunately, I live in Florida (yay Sunshine State!)
2. Work small when you have to. I have a full time day job (for which I’m very grateful) and often do theatre at night. On my planner every Monday-Friday I write 3 things in the Writing section of my to-do list. I spend 5 minutes reading Writer’s Digest magazine. I spend 5 minutes reading a book on technique. Then I spend 15 minutes writing something (guess what I’m writing today? If you guessed blog post, you win!)
4. Have your toolbox ready at all times. My essentials are: colored paper clips in a cute little box, index cards, various sizes of sticky notes, small scissors, glue, colored pens, highlighter, mechanical pencil, click eraser, my tip journal and work journal. Since I like to write outside (preferably at the beach) all I have to do is grab and go.
I also keep what I call “the fish bowl” (see Japanese bowl in picture). This is where those great first lines or “wouldn’t it be cool if…” moments go when I’m working on something else. That way they don’t get away and I get to work on what I’m working on. On days when I’ve got nothing, I pull something out of the fishbowl and work on that. Sometimes my mind goes “Nope. I’d rather work on -” and I work on whatever it wants to work on.
5. Make your projects easy to find. I keep different projects in different binders. I love color coding. I also love the dollar store, which has these binders in abundance. For a dollar.
6. Make note of things that inspire you.
7. Keep track of your work.
8. Progress is progress. Whatever you get done, celebrate it.