Keep Your Writing Tools Ready

By Terreece M. Clarke

Writers tend to be creatures of habit and comfort. In order to do what we do on a regular basis we usually have a writing routine and our favorite writer comforts – a cherished pen, a specific beverage, a cozy spot in a coffee shop, etc. When you have all the things you are accustomed to you rock out the work in a rhythm that would rival any band’s jam session, but when you are missing something things are still great, but not as magical.

Keep your writing tools ready.

It’s a simple premise, but it is an area writers may not give much attention. Writers often declare, “As long as I have the Internet and a printer full of ink I’m great.” Sounds nice, but it’s not exactly the truth. Granted, in bare bones, stripped down from all the trappings of the writer life, work will always get done, but what about your stress level?

I have a group of pens that are A+ in my book. The group is really a bunch of random pens I’ve picked up along the way and find they have a nice weight, comfortable feel and smooth movement. Then there are the pens I always seem to find because my favorite ones have made their way to the car, purses, etc. These stupid pens are part of two boxes my husband brought home and they don’t write. At least not for me. Hubby insists there is nothing wrong with them when he uses them, but I spend far too much time scribbling on the side of the page to get them to work. Oh and did I mention they are like Gremlins? You can’t get rid of the buggers. I decided to pitch any pen who didn’t work yet somehow there are still dozens of them floating around my office like they have found a way to reproduce.

Keeping your writing tools ready goes beyond having ink in your printer and a working pen. Keep your “other” tools ready as well. What makes your workday tick? Take a moment and think about it. All those little things that make you happy and productive are worth stocking up. Make sure you have enough coffee to make it through the month, not just the week. Get to the coffee shop early to claim “your spot,” maybe you should look into getting a mini-fridge to keep your beverages cold and you in your office instead of roaming the house.

Right now I’m off to hunt down those random favorite pens and make sure they stay at my desk while simultaneously putting a hit out on those useless, write nothing, sticks of ink my husband bought.

Do you have an usual writing tool? What do you need to keep the day rocking along in harmony?






4 responses
  1. marell moore Avatar

    I too have a favorite writing “tool” I can’t seem to do without. I have just enough arthritis that writing for long lengths by hand is painful.

    “Voila!” Enter my handy dandy writing tool, the Alphasmart Dana. Sure I could have gotten the more expensive model, but hey, got this one in prime condition for forty bucks. I have six sd cards I use with the Dana plus the internal hard drive. To move stuff to my pc, I simply connect with the usb port on the Dana, open a text file on my desktop, or any where else for that matter, place the cursor and push “send”.

    This cute little bugger goes anywhere. Weighs in at about two pounds (I carry it in my purse). Has a full size keyboard, touch screen, word processor (including spell check for those of us with rambling fingers), and runs for almost forever on a charge, or six aa batteries.

    Oh by the way, it’s instant on, no waiting and has auto save, no matter what you’re working on. shut it down, power up and you will still be on the same page, if you choose. It also has a two button on for people like me who live out of their purses.

    Please don’t put a hit out on those worthless stick pens, please annihilate them, I really don’t want them showing up at my place.

    Love your articles by the way,


    1. Terreece Clarke Avatar


      That sounds cool! I love tec toys, I wonder if the Alphasmart is the same thing another writer friend was telling me about. I’m about done carrying my laptop all over the world. I’ve got a Macbook Pro and while it’s a fantastic notebook, it’s still inconvenient when I decide to do a little shopping or something and don’t want to leave it in the car so I end up schlepping it and my kids and diaper bags all over the city.

      You know since I issued my “wanted dead or alive” notice for those pens they’ve since disappeared. I have yet to run across one. They might be on the way to your home. Beware of pens showing up at your door with a napsack… 🙂

  2. Meghna Avatar

    Coffee…. for each article I write. It does mean that in summers I end up with a lot of pimples 🙁

    And a choco chip muffin with the latest romance novels for breaks (yeah.. i do know I end up wasting a lot of time)

  3. David Dittell Avatar


    Very truthful. It’s also true, though, for that most important of tools, your brain. I always keep a writing pad and my favorite pen in my pocket so that if an idea strikes, I can start building on it rather than waiting for the perfect moment.

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