The Writers Life- The writing bag

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There is just no way to get around it. If you’re a writer, you need a writing bag. I mean, in a perfect world, we could always write at home, with all of our wonderful tools around us. But this is not a perfect world, and there are lots of places that we work that are not our desks at home. Maybe you’re craving a mocha and don’t have an espresso machine at home. Maybe you’re house is full of noisy kids that cannot understand that when mom says, “I will be unavailable for twenty five minutes unless you’re bleeding puking or found something on fire.” (Yo) Or maybe you’ve just noticed that you’re so sun deprived you’re starting to wilt like a fern in an office. Whatever the reason, you’re going to sometimes work outside of the home, and you’ll need a well stocked writing bag when you do it. It means the difference between a productive writing session, and a frustrating one.

Now, over time, you’re going to learn what you need to have a good writing time. I know that every writer has something different that they consider to be essential to the process. But there are some basics that you should always have with you. So, it’s time for one of my favorite things, a shopping list. Now, I’m not going to go into a ton of detail on these, because I’ve done it before, and I hate to repeat myself. I do that enough with my children.

Shopping list for your writing bag-

1. Your Writers Notebook
2. A sketchbook for more visual inspiration
3. A thesaurus, or a smart phone that’s got a link to one.
4. White out
5. Your current project, and any mobile materials you need to work on it if you get stuck in some waiting room.
6. Index cards. Also useful for leaving helpful notes to people who don’t know not to park in the road.

Here are some other things I keep in my bag, but you might not need.

1. Advil
2. Antacids
3. Extra $5.00 in case my session runs over and I need another coffee.
4. Some eyeliner, because I’m a vain, vain woman.
5. Lip balm and lotion, because my hands and lips are often too dry and if I’m uncomfortable it’s all I can think about.

The difference between list one and list two is that list one is all about things I need to do my work. List to is to avoid distractions while I’m out. I know it sounds weird, but I live in a really small town, and I know everyone. So I like to look at least a little put together when I’m out. I also suffer from back pain and acid issues. If I’m in pain, writing doesn’t get done.

Once you’ve assembled all f the things you need, you have to have a bag to put it all in. This cannot be a purse, they are not built for this. You need something with pockets and dividers. And you might not want a book bag, if you’re sensitive about being mistaken for a local community college student. Personally, if I’m looking for a new writing bag, here’s my criteria.

It has to have sections. So that I can keep things separate. Though I’ve also found many small bags inside of one big bag can work just as well.
It has to be washable, because I spill things and pens leak.
It has to be big, because writing takes a lot of material.

I found some really awesome writing bags at the Pen Boutique. Actually, I found a lot of cool stuff on the website. Check it out when you get the chance, there are some seriously drool worthy pens and bags on that site.

Have some fun with your writing bag. It’s basically your mobile desk, so take some time to make it just what you need.

What do you put in your writing bag? Post it in the notes.

Don’t forget to join the Thursday discussion on Facebook.

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