Most of my writing starts in notebooks: freewrites, story notes, and first drafts. The best ones are pretty utilitarian--spiral-bound, college ruled--so I don’t have to worry about “ruining” them with less than perfect writing. I also keep journals, which are usually a bit fancier. At the moment, I’m trying to manage two; a normal one and a ten-year journal. I don’t write an entry every day, but I do try to update a couple of times a week.
2. Pens, Pencils, & Markers
For some reason, I prefer pens with blue ink over pens with black ink. I use markers and colored pens to mark up drafts when I’m editing.
3. Index Cards & Post-It Notes
I used to jot down my ideas on index cards, and now I keep a shoe box full of them on my shelf. It’s full of random bits of inspiration that don’t have a particular story yet--observations, quotes, titles. I don’t use post-its much, except when I’m editing. I like to mark up my drafts, and sticky notes help keep things a little cleaner.
4. Iwako erasers
They're completely useless, since I can't imagine using them to erase anything. They do make my desk a place I want to be, though. I own the dessert and sushi sets.
For storing drafts, print-outs of my favorite articles, worksheets, and just about anything else.
6. Spotify Web Player
I do create playlists for my projects, but while I’m writing I prefer instrumental, ambient music rather than songs with lyrics, which make up the bulk of my playlists. If I do listen to a specific song, I’ll replay it until I can’t stand it anymore. Either way, Spotify is my favorite site for streaming music. I also have accounts with 8tracks and Grooveshark, but neither has suited me quite as well.
I've been trying to cut back on my time there, since it’s so addictive, and, yet again, much easier than actual writing. It’s not exactly an essential, either, but it is lots of fun and a great place to collect inspiring images, which are.
For inspiration, research, and enjoyment (I tend to forget that it’s enough to just enjoy a book). A couple of my favorite writing-related books are The Craft of Writing the Novel by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and Wired for Story by Lisa Cron.
What are your writing essentials? Let me know in the comments!