Favorite Writing Aides

Screenshot of Shirley Temple from the film The...

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Every writer has its own writing style, schedule, method or modus operandi.  These things influence your output and productivity, and ultimately how serious you take your craft.  There are also those “essentials” that you as a writer, “cannot live without,” and are always present at your desk.  These, of course, are different for every writer.  Among the things that I surround myself with, are these favorites.  They make my writing time more enjoyable, and somehow, more productive – maybe because they are a source of delight and practicality.  Here is my list.

  1. PC and printer.
  2. Plenty of scrap paper to jot down ideas, themes, and anything that may pop in my mind.
  3. Plenty of pens and pencils – Mostly, I type on a PC (my number 1 essential), but sometimes notations have to be done fast or when the computer is not on.
  4. An electronic American Heritage Dictionary, thesaurus, speller.
  5. An electronic Franklin translator (the PC works fine for this, but for some reason, I end up using this one more).
  6. A favorite CD playing – Inspires me.
  7. My camera – for those Blog shots.
  8. A duster – Yes, I hate to type on a dusty keyboard or to have a dusty screen in front of me.
  9. A copy of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann posted on my desk – It provides inspiration and grounding.  Next to it a copy of my own Creed – as a reminder.
  10. A posted copy of Be Yourself by Bruce B. Wilmer – Also for reminding me to keep on going.  Writing can be discouraging at times.
  11. A stapler – I keep hard copy of my articles on file.
  12. Essential books:  A copy of The Writer’s Market, Keys to Great Writing by Stephen Wilbers, How I Write by Janet Evanovich, and Grit for the Oyster.  These books are a wealth of knowledge for any writer, and also inspiration and a pick me up, when needed.
  13. A notebook with my passwords – cannot rely on good ol’ gray all the time.
  14. Owls and Crows – they inspire me.
  15. Finally, my lucky charm – A vintage Shirley Temple doll sitting on top of my desk – she is always ready to listen.  That is not to say that my six felines who come to visit me at the keyboard are the last on the list, they are pure joy and inspiration to me, and numberless.

Have you given any thought to what you surround yourself with to inspire your writing?  Can you improve your surroundings, and will it make a difference in your writing?  For me, these things fuel me up and give me pleasure.  What sparks your Muse?

Daily Inspiration

(Computer generated) Dawn at the North Pole

Image by pakitt via Flickr

Today’s post is dedicated to the Desiderata.  This is one of my favorite pieces to read over and over.  The Desiderata was written around the 1920’s by Max Ehrman, a lawyer and poet from Indiana.  Here is a link to the entire poem – http://www.sfheart.com/desiderata.html

The history of this piece is quite interesting, so I will share this link if you want to know more about it – http://www.fleurdelis.com/desidera.htm

This is certainly one my favorite pieces for inspiration and one that I turn to when I need a bit of solitude and peace – it grounds me.  I urge you to read it, you will see why.  To me, it is very important to find daily inspiration and whether it is from poetry, a picture, a painting, a song, my pets, or a beautiful scenery, it is one thing that keeps me going and puts a smile on my face.

We live in a material world, and sometimes, besides spirituality, we also need something tangible to give our senses – the scent of a flower or perfume, of a favorite food, the sound of nature or a favorite melody, the colors and shapes in a painting or the ones found at a particular spot that brings you peace and delight … All those things help ground yourself and they can become a source for tuning your soul and finding a spiritual connection in a material driven world.

The point to all this is that you don’t have to sit for hours in a yoga position (unless you enjoy this) to find a bit of grounding on your daily living, and a bit of inspiration to fuel your day.  When you pay attention to these things – you are present in the moment, and that is all .  The millisecond that went by is gone, and the future has not arrive yet.