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"Writing is my contact sport." One writer's gym bag

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contributor ::: Pelar Jones

Writing is my contact sport.

When I sit down, wherever it is I’m stationed for the day, I know that I will be fully immersed; head, heart, and body in my process for any given amount of time. Writing gives me all the feels of a high octane workout although I’m just sitting. My adrenaline rises when I know I’ve written a good sentence or paragraph. My brain hurts if I can’t find the right words. I tend to get muscle cramps in my legs because I sit Native American style in my seat. If I write too much I get carpal tunnel in my wrists. If I’m on a roll I tend to sweat and refuse to drink water or eat anything in fear I’ll have to go to the bathroom and lose my train of thought. I have experienced victory, defeat and sometimes despair. Like athletes I train by writing daily.

Sometimes writing for short spurts and sometimes writing for hours. Hours of nothing just to finally break through to get to where I want because true athletes persevere through and finish because that’s the stuff champions are made of. But as writers we know all too well the first step before you even sit down is gathering the right equipment. Those oh so important things that you need to succeed. Good tools are half the battle.

*insert GI Joe theme song*

Every writer needs different things, of course. There is no right or wrong tool of the trade. What works for me may not even tickle your imagination. I never realized there was a method to my writing madness before being asked about the things that make me go hmmm. I actually laughed when I discovered how fine tuned my process was and how it is comprised of very specific items used in very specific ways which differs depending on mood, location or subject matter.


Writer's Gym Bag

  • ultra-fine point sharpies in an array of colors because I like to differentiate characters, meanings, or subjects.
  • pink legal size notebook for doodling spirals which somehow help me find words when I’m at a loss.
  • plain white paper (because sometimes I don’t want lines)
  • colorful notebooks which contain my white paper notes
  • my “write” notebook because I jot random sayings, observations or things to remember that may or may not make sense when I go back and read them.
  • Mac Book air named “Lola” for manuscripts, short stories, etc.
  • 1963 Smith Corona Galaxy typewriter named “Carl” for letters and poems.

Are you a writer? What’s your process? What are the tools you need to succeed? Email us with your list!

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