Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What I Need When I Write (Need or Want?)

So the question has been asked--"Sheila, what do you need when you write?"

To answer truthfully, this: 
I think the questioner probably wants a bit more detail. A writing implement is a necessity, but I do have a preferred brand. This is the pen that fits my hand and my needs best:
It's a Pilot G-2, 1.0, with a rubber grip. I do not write with a 0.7, or horrors!, a 0.5. Ew--the scratchiness instead of the nice glide, almost frictionless, of the pen against the paper, laying down a nice, thick word, so we don't have to squint to decipher it. 

But no, I do not write my books in the old-fashioned way. Instead I use this: 

This is my beloved Toshiba who has had a nasty infection. Hopefully, it (she? he?) is now cured. I'm still working on bringing my laptop back up to par but we'll get there eventually.

And although I use my laptop to type out my books, I still do the plotting and idea gathering the old-fashioned way with pen and notebook. I bought a bunch of small journals from the dollar store. Here are a few of them: 
Cute notebooks for only a few dollars! I jot down characters, scenes, inspirational quotes, prayers, timelines, along with anything else pertaining to the book. I've learned to have a notebook for the next book in the series while I work on my current work-in-progress. I'll often have ideas for the next book and can go ahead and jot them down before I forget.

Notice the labels in the middle notebook. The other day my husband took me on a dream shopping trip--into Office Depot! I had to reign in my impulse buying but still found some things I had to have. Here's a close-up of the labels:
 This is the notebook for Rootless Branch. You can see I already have a list of characters and scenes for Part One. It's a handy way of flipping to the right page of the notebook when I'm searching for something in particular. Here's a picture of the labels and you can see they're attached to paperclips! How cool is that? 
Also, while in Office Depot, I splurged on this multi-colored pen collection. Do I need it? Nah. Do I like it? You bet. 
These pens are good for underlining or highlighting something I think is of importance in my notebooks--not for writing! (I write with the Pilot G-2, 1.0, in case your forgot. :))

There are a few other things I find useful. I have two blackboards in my office, one large and one small. 
The large one is to work out complicated scenes or to keep my timeline straight. On the smaller one I jot down notes to myself. One note is there today--Format. I'm reminding myself that I must finish formatting Frail Branch for CreateSpace. 

So, what else do I need to write? I can think of one more thing. This is kind of an OCD or a ritual I do before I open my laptop to begin my day's work (and then several times a day thereafter). 
Oh, wait! One more thing--a place to sit. As I type these words, I'm in a rocker on my front porch, enjoying the breeze. Most of the time, I work inside and have a comfortable recliner--even if it is old and cat scratched. Here it is (don't be too envious!):

And I'm sure that's more than the questioner wanted to know. There is one more thing, but it almost goes without saying: 

Have a nice day!

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