Putting Together Your Writer’s Kit

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​Towards the end of this week, my biannual writing group returns for the spring. That weekly sojourn for a few weeks to recharge the writer and see what we can do. In addition to that, this month marks the first time I’m embarking on Camp Nanowrimo, the summer camp version of November’s event. This is a little different, a little more at ease. I was invited to a cabin in Tennessee, so I thought I’ve never been to Tennessee, why not. (Just a quick note: the cabins are virtual – it’s a chat room with a few like-minded writers.Unfortunately, I won’t be traveling to Tennessee.) It will give me the impetus to do more with my Wales book, maybe get an outline or an ongoing theme, but definitely something.

With these two embarkments and my commitment to this site, I need to get my writing tools in order so that they can easily be adapted to any environment: home, library, coffee shop, cabin in the woods.

In the past I’ve used a first aid kit that I’ve gotten for free at Target. They usually have them readily available in the spring, and are often on sale – buy three items, get the kit for free. It’s a good deal, and if you actually pay for the kit, it’s not more than $6.

Currently, I’m using a slightly bigger version – this one is a Bible case. I’m sure you’ve seen them in the religion section of any bookstore. They’re large enough to fit a Bible, a notebook for Bible study, pens, etc. The one I use, I found at a bargain warehouse for $6.99. It fits everything I need, and it’s small enough that I can toss it into a tote bag to go wherever I need to. It also has a handle like a handbag, so it can be carried on its own.

None of the bags, or writing tool kits need to cost a small fortune if you know what you need ahead of time and can search for your most important specifications.

And, of course, you can reuse something you already have hidden in your closet.

The basic layout of my tool kit is that it zips around, and has one flat pocket on the outside back. Inside, I can open it to lay flat. On both sides is a slip pocket. In the center spine is an attached fabric bookmark. It is religious in nature, but if that bothers you, it can be removed with scissors. On the right side of mine, over the slip pocket, is a clear half pocket and four loops for writing instruments. 

Depending on how large your items are, you might be able to fit a cell phone and very flat wallet inside. That way, you only need to carry the case. I usually can’t do that, but one day, maybe.

What do I carry to make my case a writer’s tool kit?

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Writing Tips: A Writing Tool Kit That Really Works

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​This is the sort of thing/organizer that I’ve been looking for for what seems like forever. I’m calling it my Writer’s Tool Kit (or Writer’s First Aid Kit), and it’s something that I’ve tried to put together for the last several years. I’ve gone through a plethora of messenger bags, re-purposed makeup bags, pencil cases, pouches, diaper bags, organizers, and all the other items you’d find in the accessory, stationery, and cosmetic departments at a Target or comparable big box store.

I’ve also tried LL Bean, Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer, Baggellini, and no-name brands on the internet and so far nothing has worked. 

Oh, it works for a little while, but then I need something extra and the entire thing ends up in a mess on the floor with me wearing my frustration face. Even now, I’ve forgotten my earphones. They must have fallen off of my nightstand, and in my hurry to get out the door I forgot they weren’t in my purse where they usually live.

I have been using a small messenger bag that I found on Amazon, and I really love it. It’s the right size, has a decent number of organizational pockets (although the pencil slip could be longer) and it’s big enough to carry all my needs, whether I want to overstuff it, or to use it simply as an oversized pocketbook for my wallet, Kindle, and cell phone. At the moment, though I’m using a separate purse along with the messenger bag.

One problem with my bag is that there is no padding so consequently my keyboard is not protected. I’ve been using a padded tablet case to carry it and protect it, but it’s hard to get in and out of the center portion of the messenger bag; the zipper isn’t wide enough.

On Pinterest, they keep promoting a pin “just for me” from the Mocchi site. It is exactly what I wanted. Slender, large enough for my Kindle and possibly my keyboard, slip pockets for papers, perhaps a notepad, and zipper pockets for post-it notes and stamps. It even comes in my color: green. On the bad side, it costs around $60 before the tax and the shipping and handling.

That is way out of my league.

And it still wouldn’t be perfect.

That’s the way it’s been every time. Until now.

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