I know Thanksgiving was yesterday–at least in the US–but I’m still enjoying the glow of family, festivities, and leftovers. So here is my list of things for which I’m grateful in my writing life.
Starbucks. I guess a writer addicted to coffee is sort of a cliché. But there it is.
Smarties candy. These nibbly little candies have gotten me to the end of more than one chapter. My dentist is grateful to them, too.
My writing cave. I’m really lucky to have an actual office, with an actual door, and an actual couch. I know there are writers who’ve finished whole books in coffee shops (and I’ve done my share of coffee shop writing; see above entry). But I love having my own space–even if it’s just a corner of a bigger room. (My family is glad for my office door, too, sometimes; I’m a little territorial.)
The Internet. Do I really need to explain? If I need to know the floor plan of the Sistine Chapel or the components of dynamite, I can find out without leaving my writing cave.
Scrivener. This outliner/organizer/writing program all in one is a brain saver For someone who changes things around, writes so many versions of one scene, and reorders scenes as much as I do, it is a life saver, helping me remember what version I’m on at any given moment. (Because any given moment, it may be different.)
A lifetime of reading and exploring. Someone asked me recently “Where do you get your inspiration?” This was almost impossible to answer, because I draw inspiration from everywhere. Not only are ideas sparked by thing I might see on the news, or the Discovery or Travel or History Channel, or National Geographic, but because my parents always encouraged me to read, travel (even if it was via a book), take classes in random things, go to museums and galleries, there is a well of stuff in my brain, accumulated over a lifetime.
My writing friends. I have–more by luck than design–managed to surround myself with a group of fellow writers who started as colleagues and have become wonderful friends. These are friends who support and encourage me, who I can call when things get rough, who let me cry at disappointment, but stop me from wallowing TOO long. And I’ll do the same for them.
I admit, not all of these are necessities. Every writer has a different list of things that make their writing life easier… or possible at all. When I assess these things, it helps me realize the things that are luxuries, and which are truly essential.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone. I’m grateful for my online community, too!