My Top Writing Must Haves

Being a full-time working mum, I don’t like to think of must-haves when I’m writing. There’s a very short amount of time that I have, so all I really need is my laptop and somewhere to rest it, whether it’s at my desk, at my lounge desk or on my knees while I sit in some kind of uncomfortable position that I’m sure is ruining my posture.

But, when I have the time to set up my writing space – when I know that I’m going to be able to clock an hour or so all to myself – I have a preference or two.

Quiet

I understand that some authors have a playlist that they like, but I prefer silence. Quiet. Just the tapping of my keys to fill the air and the occasional slurp of my tea. Writing early in the morning is the best way to get this, if you don’t count the screeching of native birds.

Tea

On that note, I love a cup of tea while I’m writing. Or doing anything, really, so a morning cup of tea with just me and my laptop is a luxury. If I could, I would drink tea all day. I like my tea medium-strength with an extra splash of milk compared to your average tea-drinker.

Snacks

I know. Snacks can be very distracting when you’re trying to write. You keep taking your fingers off the keys to get another bite – and if they’re messy, it’s even worse. I’m talking about a couple of pieces of chocolate to add to that delicious feeling of getting time to myself with my characters. Chocolate for breakfast? Even more decadent.

Comfort

The main difference between a hurried sprint and a longer scheduled session is that I’m able to sink into my couch with my lounge desk, in my stretchy pyjamas with a cosy blanket. Comfort is everything. When I’m doing my short writing sprints, say in baby nap time, it’s all about the speed and getting as much out my brain as possible in the short amount of time that I have. When I have the time, I like to sink my butt in and make the most of it.

Water

A bottle of water is necessary so I can save time in having to get up and get a drink.

Outline or notes

I’ve figured out that I’m not a quite a pantser, but I’m also not a total plotter – which leaves me smack-bang in the middle as a plantser. I’m working my way to becoming a full on plotter, but it’s hard when you have a kick of inspiration that didn’t fit your original outline. But, I now know from experience that I need some sort of outline to keep me on track and motivated.

Moodboard

Each of my projects has a mood board or Pinterest board where I’ve saved my favourite images that are an inspiration for writing. It’s helpful to have these up split screen when I’m writing so that I can glance over at them as I need.

Word Count Tracker

I don’t set a word count for each day of the week – I’m happy to just to get a little bit written each day. But, I do like to set a deadline and overall word count goal. I’ve been using Pacemaker to track my writing progress, so I generally always have that open and ready to update as I go. It helps me to see where I have my best writing stints in terms of word count and I can adjust it along the way if I feel that it’s not appropriate anymore.

What type of environment do you like to write or do work in? Let me know in the comments.

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