I am a big fan of Mary Hoffman’s. She tells it like it is on her blog and on Facebook. She’s creative, amusing and highly quotable, which is why I’m linking to her blogpost here and her main website here (advice for writers).
I’m linking to her blog because of the title of this blog: Ten things that help me write – it’s made me think about things that I find invaluable when writing:
1. Moleskines and a clutch of Staedtler triplus fineliners (black) – I cannot live without moleskines. I love the skinny ones. They fill up quickly and they are cheap enough to buy a lot of. There can be worse addictions!
2. Noise – there’s gotta be noise when I write. Either music or the buzz of a cafe around me. If it’s too quiet, I become hyper aware of what’s going on around me and every noise distracts me.
3. My subscriptions to National Geographic & Mslexia – random you may think, but both magazines are packed full of interesting ideas and inspiration.
4. Cultivate a group of friends with the same writerly interest – I have a handful of mates that I hang out with and they are invaluable to me. They keep me sane, they listen and they give advice. They also fan-girl about mostly the same books and authors as I do and importantly, they do introduce me to new concepts and ideas.
5. SCBWI – I’ve never belonged to a professional society before so being part of SCBWI and a volunteer is incredibly rewarding and career enhancing.
6. Reading. Read as much as you possibly can. And here I agree with Mary Hoffman – don’t use the excuse of “I don’t want to be influenced” – if you don’t read, you can’t write.
7. Popcorn – I know. Some people have tea, some people have coffee, I have popcorn to keep me going. Ultra light snack, sprinkled with some lovely flavourings, it keeps you going.
8. Mark – he’s a treasure. Hubby extraordinaire and fellow writer, he’s a sounding board and very useful to have around. He can see over the molehills for me and point out plot points and new ideas. I love him for it. He also makes me breakfast.
9. Coffee shops – it’s a well known fact that writers and coffee shops go hand in hand. Don’t take them for granted, buy coffee and snacks when you can, don’t hoard electric plugs and be nice to the barristas!
10. My iMac. It was an impulse buy but one I do not regret – it’s the most beautiful piece of kit and it makes me want to write and be creative. Together my Mac and I will conquer the world! Oh, and then also, add to iMac, handy little bit of software called Scrivener which is an amazing piece of software for writers etc.