Screenshot of Shirley Temple from the film The...

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Every writer has its own writing style, schedule, method or modus operandi.  These things influence your output and productivity, and ultimately how serious you take your craft.  There are also those “essentials” that you as a writer, “cannot live without,” and are always present at your desk.  These, of course, are different for every writer.  Among the things that I surround myself with, are these favorites.  They make my writing time more enjoyable, and somehow, more productive – maybe because they are a source of delight and practicality.  Here is my list.

  1. PC and printer.
  2. Plenty of scrap paper to jot down ideas, themes, and anything that may pop in my mind.
  3. Plenty of pens and pencils – Mostly, I type on a PC (my number 1 essential), but sometimes notations have to be done fast or when the computer is not on.
  4. An electronic American Heritage Dictionary, thesaurus, speller.
  5. An electronic Franklin translator (the PC works fine for this, but for some reason, I end up using this one more).
  6. A favorite CD playing – Inspires me.
  7. My camera – for those Blog shots.
  8. A duster – Yes, I hate to type on a dusty keyboard or to have a dusty screen in front of me.
  9. A copy of Desiderata by Max Ehrmann posted on my desk – It provides inspiration and grounding.  Next to it a copy of my own Creed – as a reminder.
  10. A posted copy of Be Yourself by Bruce B. Wilmer – Also for reminding me to keep on going.  Writing can be discouraging at times.
  11. A stapler – I keep hard copy of my articles on file.
  12. Essential books:  A copy of The Writer’s Market, Keys to Great Writing by Stephen Wilbers, How I Write by Janet Evanovich, and Grit for the Oyster.  These books are a wealth of knowledge for any writer, and also inspiration and a pick me up, when needed.
  13. A notebook with my passwords – cannot rely on good ol’ gray all the time.
  14. Owls and Crows – they inspire me.
  15. Finally, my lucky charm – A vintage Shirley Temple doll sitting on top of my desk – she is always ready to listen.  That is not to say that my six felines who come to visit me at the keyboard are the last on the list, they are pure joy and inspiration to me, and numberless.

Have you given any thought to what you surround yourself with to inspire your writing?  Can you improve your surroundings, and will it make a difference in your writing?  For me, these things fuel me up and give me pleasure.  What sparks your Muse?

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