We’re so very excited to have Sandy Williams, author of The Shattered Dark here on our blog. Sandy’s guest post is all about The Things She Can’t Write Without. Welcome, Sandy! Happy Hallowe’en
Five Things I Can’t Write Without
My friends often ask me about my writing routine, how I write, where I get my ideas, what is my process for writing, etc. The answer to those questions is pretty boring: I sit down at my laptop, stare at my computer screen, and hopefully, type in some words. Some days, writing those words is more difficult than others, especially if I’m missing a few essentials that allow me to write. Below, are the five things I can’t live without.
1. An “office” away from home: I use to write at home at my desk – or in bed or a recliner when we were temporarily living in London. I was never one to go out and write. That changed dramatically when my twins were born in 2011. I tried writing at home, but even though we had someone watching the boys, I couldn’t help but be distracted every time they laughed or cried. I started packing up my laptop and leaving the house. My writing place of choice now is my local Target Starbucks. There’s just the right amount of background noise for it not too be too quiet or too loud. Plus, there’s no internet access there to distract me! Sadly, though, they’re supposed to get it soon. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to go to that Starbucks, but I am sure I’ll still need to get out of the house. If I don’t, the boys and the laundry and the vacuuming and a million other things will beg for attention.
2. Diet Coke: I’m an addict. I really am. I’ve tried to quit, but I keep making up excuses, saying I’ll quit after I get this draft of my book finished, or after this deadline or that deadline. There’s always something that gives me a reason to reach for a Diet Coke. It’s definitely my drink of choice, and it’s my coffee in the morning to get me going.
3. Scrivener: This is a new addition to my must-have list! I downloaded the program a few months ago, took Gwen Hernandez’s Scrivener for Dummies class, and am completely in love with the program. I will never go back to word for drafting my books! It makes it easy to jump around from scene to scene, and when I go back to edit, it has functions that will save me so much time. I absolutely love it!
4. Laptop: This is a necessity now that I don’t work at home. I’ve never been a write-by-hand person, so I need my laptop to be productive. Plus, it makes it easy to get some work down when I travel. We don’t even own a desktop anymore. We used to, and it was such a pain to make sure I was working on my most recently updated draft. I do worry about carpal tunnel, though, since the keyboard is definitely not ergonomic so I have a docking station set up at home to plug into.
5. Headphones: Sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I don’t. It depends on my mood and what’s going on around me. Since I write at the Target Starbucks, sometimes conversations distract me. I’ll put my headphones on and tune them out with some music, usually Taylor Swift or a mix of rock and alternative music.
There’s nothing too fascinating or groundbreaking about this list – I wish I had a lucky charm or some other piece of magic to make me more creative and productive – but my day definitely doesn’t go well if I’m missing any of these. They’re my “work” essentials.
Do you have anything you can’t live without at work?
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