Top 10 Things Every Writer Needs For a Richer Writing Life

We're always looking for ways to make our writing lives richer, more enjoyable. I have this horrible feeling that even though I think I'm a good writer I'm really not and often find myself on this rampage of devouring everything I can about learning to write and write well. Here's just a few things that helped calm these feelings, made writing just a tad bit easier, and just a little bit more enjoyable.

1. Tea & Coffee (but mostly tea)
We need the essentials, right? Sitting down to write with a cup of tea is one of my most favorite parts of the day. Tea makes it special. Or any hot beverage, really. I really love Republic of Tea's Brain Boost or TAZO teas. Also, STASH. They're brilliant, haven't tried a flavor I didn't like. As for coffee, the only kind I've ever almost fallen over for is the Swedish Coffee I got in my Try the World Box, Kharisma by Lofbergs. Absolutely lovely.

2. Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
Pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about writing your first book and more. Funny stories, writerly encouragement and sympathy. I read it every day before writing during NaNoWriMo 2014 and it was just the pep I needed to start writing.

3. Write Your Novel From the Middle, James Scott Bell
After reading this book I can't even count how many things about writing popped into place inside my head. It's the best, shortest, wisest, simplest, little book I've read.

4. Structuring Your Novel, K.M. Weiland
This book topped it all. Its the book that changed my writing life forever, although I didn't know it at the time. I still pants, a lot, but this book is definitely for pantsers as well as planners. Pantsers NEED to know the stuff that's in this book. It will help you pants a lot better, trust me, and makes pantsing a lot more richer in the process.

Seriously, all you need is K.M. Weiland's blog for writers. She is spot on about everything, and you can find everything you ever wanted to know about foreshadowing, creating dynamic characters, pacing, theme, setting, and so much more from just a few of her articles. Her website is amazing. I aspire to be as precise and helpful as she.

6. Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
Treasure, treasure, treasure. That's what this book is. It came just at the right moment for me because it has taught me, along with a wildly wonderful summer, that the world does not need to buy, review, or enjoy your work for you to be a writer, an artist, or whatever you are. You just simply need to be and by being you are.

7. Canva
Especially if you're a blogging writer. This is a special, special place you can go create some fabulous graphics. Love it so much. Its drag and drop feature is amazing and you'll be blown away by how simple it is to create something. Also,

8. Essential Quotes for the Writer's Life
"Finish your novel, because you learn more that way than any other." -James Scott Bell
"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." -Cyril Connolly
"Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don't forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth." -Paula Danziger 
"I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that is how you grow." -Marissa Mayer
"Let's start by taking a smallish nap or two." -Winnie the Pooh
"The thing you are most afraid to write--write that." -advice to young writers  
9. + Thesauruses
Buy all their thesauruses. Seriously. I'm in line with you. They have pulled me out of so many hard spots, and even made all the difference in fleshing out one of my characters and actually bring the story to life for me. Their blog posts and thesauruses are chock full of so many options, so many possibilities and ideas and are the be all end all to inspire you to get writing again.

10. Get Out More 
I'm forever reminding myself how good this is for me. It makes snuggling in and shoring up at home that much more meaningful after you've actually gotten out, exposed yourself, and interacted with other humans. You feel much more satisfied. And having earned a good two hour nap or a good three hour book read makes it so much nicer when you get up and do your writing.

Let's chat! What are some things you've found that have made your writing life the stuff of dreams?


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