Is 2018 the year you finally get serious about writing? Set yourself up for success by stocking up on the things you’ll need:
- A quiet area you can set up as your writing space. For most people, a writer’s study is a luxury. Four of my five children had to grow up and move out before I had a room of my own. But if you don’t have a whole room to yourself, claim a corner somewhere.
- A desk and chair, preferably a comfortable one. Desks are expensive, but you may be able to find a reasonably priced one at a garage sale or thrift store. Or maybe you can repurpose a discarded table. If you don’t even have a corner to call your own, the table in the kitchen or dining room may have to do.
- A lamp or good overhead lighting.
- A bookshelf.
- A computer equipped with Microsoft Word, and a printer.
- Lots of printer paper and printer cartridges.
- Optional: writing software. I’m learning how to use Scrivener for my novels. If you’re writing plays or scripts, it is good to have software that will automatically format for you.
- Notebook(s). Jot down all your brilliant ideas.
- Pens and pencils. I prefer pens that flow really well (like uni-balls, rather than the economical stick pens), and mechanical pencils (so you don’t have to sharpen them). I like lots of different color inks (Ink Joys!), so I can color-code, or at least use a color that suits me at the moment.
- Dictionary and thesaurus. (Yeah, you can find these online, but sometimes it’s good to have the paper kind.)
- A good book on writing. Here are some of my favorites and one more.
- Sticky notes and notepads or scrap paper.
- Paper clips. Scissors and tape (sometimes I physically like to cut and paste my manuscripts).
- Envelopes (all sizes) and stamps. There are still a few publications that don’t accept electronic submissions.
- Telephone (cell or landline). Not that you want the distraction, but so you don’t have to get up to answer it.
- A coffee mug for your favorite beverage, whatever that might be.
- A stash of cough drops, so you don’t have to get up to get one.
- A subscription to Writer’s Digest or Poets and Writers (or bookmark their websites).
- An inspirational poster or embroidery. Here’s one you can print out.
- A CD player so you can play your favorite background music. (Or you can play music from your iTunes library or your streaming service, but I prefer to rotate through about 15 of my favorite CDs.)
Once you’ve assembled all these tools, you’re ready to begin. Sit down, think “What if…?”, and begin.
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