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Writers Toolbox

I take a backpack with me wherever I go. Its black and the straps have stretched to the point where it’s constantly slipping off my shoulder. I originally purchased it because I was always carrying various papers and manuals related to the sports teams I coached, as well as stuff related to organizing the leagues where we live. I’m not involved in all that anymore, but I still lug around the bag.

Last week my wife was cleaning and attempted to move the bag out of the way. I heard her cry from the other room, “What do you have in this thing? Bricks?” I hadn’t noticed how heavy it had become and it made me wonder just what was making it so heavy. After taking an inventory of its contents I discovered most of it was writing related. I had collected all sorts of materials I reference, or used, when writing. You never know when inspiration will strike you, or a chunk of time will suddenly present itself to work on a project, so I prefer to stay mobile.

After seeing all that I had collected, I decided to take a complete inventory of everything (in the bag or not) I’ve acquired to help me learn the craft of writing. Here’s what I discovered:

1 - Digital voice-recorder
1 - IPod
1 - Bottle of Excedrin migraine
1 - Bottle of Visene
1 - Mini-book lite
1 - Writers Market (2010)
1 - ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King
1 - ‘Don’t Murder Your Mystery’ by Chris Roerden
1 - ‘Word Painting’ by Rebecca McClanahan
1 - ‘The Elements of Style’ by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
1 - ‘Echo Park’ by Michael Connelly (pleasure reading)
2 - Lead pencils
4 - Legal notepads
6 - Membership in writing forums
10 - Printed research articles for latest book in-progress
13 - Copies of Writers Digest magazine
47 - Blogs following via Google reader.
108 - Firefox internet links to writing articles

So, what’s in your toolbox? What do you have on your Christmas list that’s writing related?


  1. I also have the MP3 thing going on as well as 'The Elements of Style’ by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.

    Beyond that, I'd prefer a grey sky above me (I love the non-sunny weather) And maybe a household free of children, for focus' sake.

  2. I'd be crippled without my music!

    Luckily, two of my kids are away at college and the third is old enough to keep himself entertained. When I'm motivated, concentration is not a problem.




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