Tuesday, March 16, 2021

My Writing Must-Haves

    There are so many aspects to creating a long-standing writing regiment. You need space and time, and of course the right materials. But what are those things? Let's take a mini tour around my writing space to talk about some of my writing must-haves, and hopefully, you'll get an idea or two for your own space.

    A Writing Spot

    The number one thing that I need is a place in my living space that inspires my desire to work, and for me, that is an old desk that I found and repurposed. I painted it white and founds some lovely contact paper for the top of the desk to give it a little flavor aesthetically. 

    Why is this important? Because I'm not going to be productive if I go and try to work on my writing in my bed. My bed is the place my brain associates with playing on my phone and sleeping. It's not a workspace. If you take the time to set aside a productive space, it will be much easier to work when it's time to work.

    The Right Equipment

    The right tools can take on a lot of different looks depending on what kind of writer you may be, as well as which draft you're working on. For example, if you're working on a rewrite, you may want to print off your entire manuscript and color-code your revision ideas, whereas if you're working on your first draft, you may only need some index cards for storyboarding and a laptop. Here are my all-time favorites for those first and second drafts:

Draft One:

  • A laptop-for all that writing, of course!
  • Scrivner-this just so happens to be my favorite writing software because it keeps everything so lovely and organized.
  • Poster boards-for jotting down all my minor characters as I go because this is the only way that I can keep track of them over the course of a whole novel.
  • Post-its-All the post-its! I use these to jot down next chapter ideas, name ideas, place ideas, basically all the ideas as I go so that I don't forget any.
  • A Notebook-for jotting descriptions down and sketching out my characters/creatures.
Draft Two:

  • Index Cards-so that I can see how my chapters build up over the entire novel (I jot down the chapter number and a sentence-length description of the main thing that happens in that chapter). Then I pop them up on the wall with some tape and move them around if needed while I rewrite.
  • A Laptop- because I'm not a handwritten novel kind of gal. Plus, it's easier to keep track of the draft I'm on and save all my hard work.
  • More Post-its-to jot down my revision ideas and general writing notes as I retackle a story.
If my equipment looks pretty simple, that's because it is. I'm not picky when it comes to my writing tools (unless we're talking about pens, in that case, I'm suuuuuuuuuper picky!) because I only really need a good spot to get my creative juices flowing. 

    If you're working on writing a story that you love, you'll keep coming back to it day after day because it's fun to write it. If you're working on a story that overwhelms you or wears you out, pretty soon Netflix will become your nightly companion. So make sure that whatever story you're writing is the one you actually want to write. 

    What are some of your must-haves for writing? Drop yours in a comment below!

    Happy writing! 



Nancy Gideon said...

Post Its!! All the Post Its in all the colors - a different color for each character/type of scene to organize at a glance. I wish I could learn Scriver but as someone who learned on a manual typewriter, it's just to daunting.

Diane Burton said...

Love all the details you include, April. A lot of people LOVE Scrivner. I tried it. I guess the learning curve was too much for this old dog. LOL Too used to Word. I do print out the manuscript when it's time to revise. I like the idea of using different colored highlighters. Never tried that. I will next time. I'll print out the final version to proof, then I use Post-It notes, the long skinny ones, to indicate changes.

Maureen said...

I'm still trying to learn to love Scrivner- getting there. Still use Word for the most part. I must have my laptop! I have a desk where I write, but move around with my laptop. My other must haves- time and quiet helps, but I can write through a lot, lol.

Mary Morgan said...

I must have a leather journal for my stories, and I LOVE post-its! Great post and tips, April.