Two posts in one week? What kind of madness is this?
It’s madness I hope to keep up; one of my “plans” for this year is to write regularly for this site, even if I’m just checking in. Aside from the guest posts I sometimes write for other websites, this is my one way to get my words into the world fairly quickly. Even when the posts I write don’t get much interaction, even when they’re only read by two people, it still means something to produce… something.
And it means something to have some things around to help me produce something. I have many things, as I’ve talked about in other posts, that help me write. Coffee, chocolate, candles… I gotta say, since making my writing nest with all of that around me, I haven’t wanted to write anywhere else (not even coffee shops!). This Christmas, I was gifted more things that don’t only help me write but help me create, and live, a writer’s life for myself. I know. It’s not the stuff that makes a writer, it’s the writer, but I can’t deny the stuff is nice.
For Christmas, I got six “writing tools” that I really want to talk about because they really do just make me so excited to create, and isn’t that what we need in this life we’ve chosen?
So, for Christmas, I got:
- Ink + Volt planner. Let me start off with the thing that is currently helping me get my life in order. A gift from my brother, this planner transcends your standard book of calendars and to-do lists. At the beginning of the book, you write out your goals for the year, as you do, but you also talk about why you want to accomplish them. For example, two of my goals this year are to grow my online community and finish a book for publishers. Why? Well, obviously because I want to build a writer’s life for me, but this planner doesn’t let me off that easy. It asks how I’ll feel once I accomplish the goal, and what my future would look like if I did. Loaded stuff. The planner also helps you break down your goals into monthly accomplishments, and at the start of each week there is a question to answer about your future. At the end of each week, the planner also tells you to look back at that yearly goal, and remember where it is you’re going. I’m only on the second week, and I already can’t speak highly enough about it.
- Bitch Media pencils. I have wanted these since I first saw them in a B-Hive email from Bitch Media, an independent media outlet for feminists. I really recommend subscribing to their B-Hive, or even just signing up for their emails because the articles they write and recommend are truly eye opening. But more about the pencils, which were a gift from my mother. Sporting the phrases “Outsmart the patriarchy!” “Feminism is a fact!” and “You can’t erase feminism!” they are a call to action. As a woman writer, there are times during my story brainstorming sessions when I wonder if I’m making good choices. Are my characters saying the right things? Are they real? There’s so much pressure to get the story right, and I’ve said before that I’m a perfectionist, but with these pencils I’m reminded that there isn’t just one way to write, and that’s really embodied in the second phrase written on them: “Read. Write. Bitch.”
- Storiarts scarf and gloves. This one isn’t technically a writing tool, but like the pencils, the words inspire me. If you don’t know, Storiarts is a company that prints excerpts from books and poems on clothing. The articles I received are printed with Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise,” and if you haven’t read it, you should pause your reading of my post right now and look it up. It is honestly the most uplifting thing I’ve ever read, and every time I finish I just want to go out and save the world in some form or fashion. There’s something really special about wearing these powerful words around my neck or on my hands as I type away on my keyboard. As an avid reader, I’ve always believed the words of others are fuel for my own, so in the middle of a difficult scene, I can look down and read writing from an author greater than I’ll ever be, and get the kick I need to get to work. Storiarts has a ton of scarves and other clothing options to choose from, and if you are also looking for that kick (or just think they’re super cute), give them a look.
- Vera Bradley notebook (and matching pen!). I’ve spent most of my life hating anything pink or flowery or especially girly, on principle alone. I got over that; this notebook from my boyfriend’s mother captures something in my soul that, rather than conflicts with the
other parts of it (the parts that include Star Wars theorizing and screaming Imagine Dragons songs in the car) really complements them. The flowers make me happy and excited to fill the pages with writing as pretty as the cover. The size is also perfect; usually, I buy notebooks small enough to carry in my purse for easy scribbling, but it leads to cramped writing and frustration. This is a notebook I can really write in, with less pressure to make my words as small as possible. The pen, also, is comfortable to hold, which will come in handy during those long writing marathons (ha, get it, handy?). I can’t wait to start writing in this notebook, especially since I can gather so much inspiration from the next gift on my list…
5. Prompt book! “300 Writing Prompts” was yet another gift from my mother and it’s exactly what the title suggests: 300 writing prompts. We all have those days when we are simply lost for words, whether we’re in the middle of a project or between stories. Usually during those times I google writing prompts (I definitely don’t just play on Twitter…), but now I have somewhere to turn for a quick fix. I’ve flipped through the book, checking out some of the starts. Some are short enough to complete in a few minutes, others require more time and consideration. I’ll have to watch myself though; if I stumble across a prompt that takes up too much of my imagination, it could sidetrack me from finishing my work in progress, which will then take me back to being a writer without a plan. Still, I can see these prompts offering a nice break, a nice warm-up, and being enjoyable to complete.
6. Merch! And last – but definitely not least – my boyfriend made me my very first piece of website merchandise! This sweatshirt, which has “A Writer’s Life For Me” and my new logo on the front, is, without a doubt, the best present I got this holiday. I put it on and feel like this isn’t just some hobby I’m doing, this isn’t just a passing fancy. This is real. This blog, my writing life, all of it. It means so much to know the people I love believe in me and what I’m doing, and I wish from the bottom of my heart that anyone reading this has someone who believes in them like that. And if you don’t, just know I believe in you, and all that you can become. This writer’s life is for everyone to live, and what a life it is.