Monday, September 24, 2007

One Writer's Tool Kit

Every once in a while, someone gives me a tool kit for writers. It's always very crafty and cute, and it contains things like a handful of lifesavers, an eraser, a tiny chocolate bar, and other clever things that make me smile. But what if I were creating a real tool kit for writers? What would I put in it? 1. A copy of Dwight Swain's book, Techniques of the Selling Writer. The examples are a little outdated, but this book is gold in my opinion, and it's much more powerful than any of its counterparts. 2. Paper. A case, at least. 3. A laptop computer. One of the really lovely things (again in my opinion) about being a writer for a living is that you can work anywhere. Being chained to a desk kind of wipes out that perk. 4. Toner. 5. A printer. 6. A copy of The Writers Journey, Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler. I resisted this book for a long, long time just because I'm stubborn. I tend not to get excited about the latest fad, and this book was it for a while. When I finally did take the time to read it, much of what Vogler said made a great deal of sense. 7. Membership in a professional writer's organization. No organization is going to help you get published or stay published, but the association with other writers in this solitary business and the exchange of industry information is invaluable. 8. An extra measure of persistence. Talent is wonderful, but time after time I've seen persistent writers who appear to have a small amount of natural raw talent achieve publishing success while writers who seem to have a great deal of natural talent let their writing ability lie dormant. I'm grateful for every ounce of talent I've been blessed with, but over the years I've come to realize that an even greater gift is my desire and ability to keep going when the road gets rough. 9. A support system. I don't mean a cheering section filled with people who tell us how wonderfully we write, but a real live support system made up of people who understand why we don't answer the door and the phone, who don't try to talk us out of going to critique group or that writing group meeting, who don't interrupt when we're writing, who understand that a whisper is as loud as speaking in your regular voice when you are interrupting and that a five minute phone call can end your work day. These people get the fact that most of us can't write as quickly as we can type, and understand how much work we're doing when we're staring out the window, at the ceiling or into space. They don't have to read a word I write to be invaluable to me and to my career. School Supplies10. A never-ending gift certificate to an office supply store. I haven't met a writer yet who wasn't also addicted to office supplies :)

7 comments:

Jamie said...

Sometimes the hardest thing about writing is just writing something. The sheer act of putting words on paper can keep you going, but I think it is one of the bravest things someone who wants to do it professionally can do.

lisa said...

that is an impressive writer's kit! coffee might be a nice addition. :-)

Villager said...

Great MM post! Hmmm, you remind me that I need to go buy a color tonor cartridge today...

I had troubles with this week's word. Eventually, I came up with my Manic Monday: Kit post that is now up & running.

peace, Villager

Mo said...

#10 cracked me up --- Because it is SO TRUE!!!!

thanks for participating in Manic Mondays!
cheers,
manic mo

Lisa said...

How about a cushion for your bum, or at least a comfy chair? It think it's important. ;)

Happy MM!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Well, this was a clever use for the word kit. Great job. Have a great MM. :)

Mert said...

Wow, that was very well written and thought out... I wonder why? :D Great tips! I love writing, but I don't make the time that I should... well, I have a toddler.

Happy MM!