It's almost back-to-school time and although I am blissfully child free I still look forward to this time of year. Remember when you used to start a new term in school and you were handed new books, pens and pencils? Or the shopping trips with your mother to buy a new school bag, crayons, a pencil case and so on? This is one of my favorite memories of my school days. There is something exciting about buying new writing tools and equipment. Who knows what these new materials will help you to express and create? Most writers like to wander around stationary shops, browsing through note books, files, index cards, pens etc, wandering amid the tools of their trade.
pretty ribbons of blue; pretty pencils to write “I love you” Roy Orberson
used to sing and he was absolutely right.
Pretty paper and so on do make the writing process easier, more
enjoyable and enticing . Good old fashioned pen and paper is the flip side of the technology coin.
Lots of authors, including myself, write the first draft of their
books in long hand, before transferring the work to the computer, editing and polishing
as they go. Typing is faster but
sometimes your fingers will just be itching to pick up a pen or a pencil and
actually write. For me there is
nothing more enticing than a brand new
A4 pad of crisp white pages waiting to be filled with, as yet unknown,
prose. And there is nothing more
satisfying than the sight of those same pages covered in my hand writing and
piled up on my desk in a sheaf of first draft text for a new project. I save all of my manuscripts in storage boxes
– after weeks of working on a project so closely it is too much of a wrench to
throw them away so I archive everything. I suggest you do the same and keep hold of as much
of your work as your space will allow, even if you are unpublished. It is always fun to look back on your work.
I plan to take a trip out to the stationers next week, taking advantage of the back-to-school offers in order to stock up my 'stationary cupboard' which is actually the storage space inside the leather footstool I keep in my study. I will also be looking at organisational study items as I need to find a more efficient way of storing and dealing with receipts. In the spirit of the season why not take your inner writer out shopping and
treat yourself to some beautiful new stationary? This is especially important for successful
authors and journalists who make a living from words because in the business of
deadlines we forget to treat ourselves occasionally. Stock up on whatever takes your fancy from note books, pens,
pencils, ring binders, refill pads, index cards, post it notes, paper clips, decorative
box files, a fancy pencil box, yellow legal pads and lovely large blank-leaf
journals. Enjoy yourself and remember
that this is not frivolous spending; you are actually investing in yourself as a writer and taking your
writing seriously enough to put your money where your mouth is. Anyone can wax lyrical about wanting to be
a writer; a real writer will invest in their art making sure that they have
everything they need to get the job done.
So as soon as you are able to visit a stationary store go and treat your
inner writer to some pretty new tools. I certainly will.