Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tools of the Trade

Well, Spring break is almost over and what do I have to show for it? Nada.
0 words written.

My best laid plans clashed with my husband's. As I write this, stretched out on my bed, laptop open, headphones in, I can still hear the tree trimmers lopping off years worth of Eucalyptus tree overgrowth right outside my bedroom window. The sound of a half dozen or so chainsaws mingles with the soundtrack from "Wicked", which one of my darling children is blaring as they shower. In retrospect, perhaps I should have taken my husband up on his offer to buy noise-cancelling headphones. Right now, $300 seems like a pretty good deal to me. Lord knows I can't do much writing in such a noisy environment and my self-imposed deadline won't be met if I don't spend at least a little bit of time caressing my laptop's keys. GRRR.

Every profession has their tools of the trade. Tools, which are so vital to the job, you can't do without them. But what tools do writers need other than a pencil and paper?

Here are a few of the tools I need:

  • laptop (obviously! My hubby bought me a Macbook Pro for Christmas.)
  • Scrivener (the writing program I use)
  • headphones (preferably the noise-cancelling kind)
  • Lots of music to listen to (check out the Sherlock Season 3 soundtrack)
  • index cards & post-it notes (for plotting)
  • an endless supply of writing utensils (highlighters & mechanical pencils)
  • journal to record ideas in
  • hot tea and/or coffee (would it be too much to ask to have my caffeine mainlined?)
  • favorite aromatic scent in my Sentsy warmer (spiced apple wreath)
  • junk food - preferably Cheese-It's, and every kind of candy known to man
  • comfy chair, couch, or bed to sit on
  • Yoga pants to lounge in
  • Critique partners on speed dial or accessible at a moment's notice by email
  • a thick skin to handle the endless cycle of rejection that invariably comes with the job
  • in hand or online dictionary & thesaurus
  • Google and YouTube for conducting research
  • maps detailing the setting of the story
  • timeline of events
  • an overactive imagination (which I have in spades)
  • photos of the setting or characters to inspire me
  • a chef to keep me fed
  • a maid to keep the house up while I neglect all my duties (or just a really understanding spouse)
  • my muse chained to a chair where she can't escape! 

  • Hey, I never said I had all these tools. But I sure do need them! 

    I also need to watch where I'm going. Mid-post, in my effort to provide you with an accurate list of tools, I went to a cabinet where I was sure I would find my Sentsy wax. While trying to find it, I walked headfirst into the corner of the open cabinet door. Thankfully I have a thick skull. I'd post the photo of my battle wound, but it's too embarrassing. Maybe I'll post the scar once it's all healed up. 

    Ok, Writers - What other tools do you need? Did I forget anything? 

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