A Writer's Essentials: The Things I Cannot Do Without

Robot-Inspired Flash Drive
Robot-Inspired Flash Drive

A Self-Testimonial

Over the years, a couple of people have asked me, "What does a writer need to write effectively on a daily basis?"  As most writers will tell you, WRITERS WRITE. Write well, write often, and write daily! The best way to do this is to write 500 words a day (hopefully those 500 words are polished). However, there are certain things that do aid me in my writing and in my pursuit of becoming published author. Now, I can't tell you what will work for you, but I can delve into what works for me. Your success may vary, so here goes...

Can you ever have enough pens?

I'll admit it, I really like stationary. I like using and buying highlighters to mark up my books and fine pens in order to write microscopic-sized notes in the margins. Why? Reference. I like to go back and see what I found previously, when writing a paper, a book review, or whenever I need an idea for a plot line. I usually find lots of parallels while reading a novel. Years ago, when trying to find the "perfect pen" for my needs, I stumbled across the Pilot Precise V7 Rolling Ball Pen and was instantly hooked. I'm sure you've seen these before. Just recently, I learned that author Natalie Goldberg, who wrote Writing Down the Bones swears by them. But she's not the reason why I've been using them for the better part of the last 15 years or so. I just find that they are easy and almost effortless to use, last a long time, and are somewhat affordable in comparison to some other pens out there on the commercial market. I usually buy them by the dozen, as it's the most cost-effective way to go about purchasing them. Having a bundle of legal pads lying around doesn't hurt either. I usually buy those in packs of twelve or so, as they are pretty cheap if you stick with the generic kind made by Office Depot or Staples.

It's said that such writers and artists including Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gough, Matisse, and Ernest Hemingway made use of Moleskines on a daily basis.
It's said that such writers and artists including Oscar Wilde, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gough, Matisse, and Ernest Hemingway made use of Moleskines on a daily basis.

Hemingway Had a Moleskine...

Moleskine (pron. mol-a-skeen’-a) is a popular brand of notebooks, planners, diaries, sketchbooks and albums manufactured by Moleskine Srl, an Italian company based in Milan. Moleskine notebooks are typically bound in oilcloth-covered cardboard, with an elastic band to hold the notebook closed, a sewn spine that allows it to lie flat when opened, cream colour paper, rounded corners, a ribbon bookmark, an expandable pocket inside the rear cover, all packed in a paper banderole.--Wikipedia

I take this little bad-boy with me wherever I go, especially on long walks. Sometimes at my public library or hangar-sized bookstore an idea will strike me and I'll scribble it down. The idea might come as a scene for a story or a line from a character. Either way, I'll record it in my Moleskine despite the fact I might not know just where it'll fit into my storyline. As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," but to me, a single-sentence can spawn an entire novel if you can make connections in a story-web by ever-expanding scenes. One example of this is my story, The Absence of Aurora. At first, I just pictured a little girl being interrogated by two-bullish police officers, in which many questions surfaced: Why was she there? Where were her parents? What events led up to this scene? So from that, I was able to create an entire story by answering such questions rationally. The best thing to do is to not question any ideas you might have. Trust your instincts and scribble it down! Who knows, you just might have a bestseller one day just by doing so.

Keep a Journal

Writers Write, Right?

I've been keeping a journal for the last 15 years and it has paid off for me and not in the monetary sense (at least not yet). One of the books that was given to me and that was instrumental in my pursuit of becoming a writer was Dorothea Brande's, Becoming A Writer. In her book, she recommends that we all keep a daily journal and write in it every single day. After doing this everyday (including holidays, weekends, and in-climate weather) for six-weeks, you'll do it everyday for the rest of your days. Do this and some amazing things will happen. You'll discover that writing is now a part of you and a need that is crucial to your daily lifestyle and as important as eating and bathing. You'll wonder how your life was without doing so and will find that upon sitting down, your brain is prepared to write for you, believe it or not. Free-writing should not be a chore, but rather a freedom to vent. At least 15 minutes a day of journal writing will help to not only empty your mind of stress, but in time, help to find Your Voice. Writing long hand is the key. If you would like to know more about novel and journal writing, please read my hub titled, How to Write a Novel and Find the Voice Within.

Books to Peruse

What's In Your Arsenal?

I love books and my doing so certainly helps me to become a better and more effective writer. I've collected every single book I bought while in college and for birthday and Christmas, I always tell members of my family to give me books or gift cards from Borders or Barnes & Noble's. To be honest, I don't think I'll ever have enough of them. If possible, I try to have two copies of the same books--one to mark up and one to treasure. My best advice to those who want to write better is to read, read, read. I recommend reading at least one book a week, which will of course equate to at least 50 books a year, obviously. For all intents and purposes, you should read whatever subject matter you plan to write. For instance, if your planning to write a biography one day, it should behoove you to read a ton of biographies. Not only will this help you to write your biography, but this will also help you to know your competition. And if buying books by the boatload is not in your budget, you should make use of your public library. I certainly do.  Another option would be to buy used books online.  One of my all-time favorite sites is Abebooks.com.  I've bought many books from them and usually pay no more than a dollar for each book.  In some cases, you can receive free shipping on your orders as vendors there are very competitive.

Please click to enlarge

Portability is the key here.  A USB Flash Drive is certainly a great way to carry your work wherever you go.
Portability is the key here. A USB Flash Drive is certainly a great way to carry your work wherever you go.
This is a Lexmark E238 laser jet printer which I actually own.
This is a Lexmark E238 laser jet printer which I actually own.

Technology Essentials

I'm guessing that you have a computer, but I may be wrong and if I am, you do have at least access to one. It really is amazing how far we've come in portability in such a short amount of time. Granted, we are in the 21st century, but nowadays, we really could consequently write an entire novel with just our phones! For instance, I have a Samsung Intrepid smart phone which has Windows Mobile 6.5 so allows me to write and edit my novel wherever I go. In addition to this, I can also send my entire novel as an attachment to anyone in the world with an email address which was impossible only a five years ago due to memory-capacity restrictions. Having a computer nowadays is certainly a must.

Before treating myself to a monochrome laser jet printer (the one shown is actually the exact one I own) I fought with loading and aligning paper just right so it wouldn't jam while printing. This printer was an absolute blessing as it prints up to 60 pages per minute without any smudges. I bought this printer three years ago and I'm still using the same toner cartridge! It makes my editing work so much easier.

Although my complete written works are saved on CD-Rs and as attachments to a couple of my other email accounts across the web, I still rely on a USB Flash Drive like the one you see here disguised as a robot.  I like how they are portable and easy to access on-the-fly.  They are also very cheap too, as you can buy a 1-Gigabyte USB Flash Drive for under $10 almost anywhere.  It's simply a great way to store and transport not only your written works, but your music, photos, and videos as well.

Don't ever underestimate a good, comfy swivel chair like this one while writing...Geez, talk about being well-red!

No day begins without my dark friend...Black, no sugar, no cream, no joke.

While in college, my professors beat my brains about buying a hardbound College Dictionary. I still use one to this day.

Take a hike! Seriously, a nice walk will clear your mind and reset your creativity. Comfortable sneakers work best.

Mirror, mirror...What do I see? If a writer writes then a writer I must be! (Sorry, Seuss moment)

A Shiba Inu Puppy

Find Your Muse...

Now, I can't tell what works and what doesn't, because I don't know you. One of my favorite quotes from the Wachowski Brother's movie, The Matrix is, "Know thyself." Only you are aware of the fire that burns inside of you. Find whatever motivation it takes for you to write, whether it be a photograph of your better half, your kids, or you pet Shiba Inu pup. Mine is the girl in my avatar.  You can either hang a the picture up on your computer, place it inside a picture frame, or use it as a wallpaper for your monitor so to constantly remind you of why you write. I wrote a hub detailing the reason why I write titled, Why I Write: A Reflection. Your propensity to write should equate to your success as a writer. I'm not telling you that my way is the correct way by any means, rather, I'm simply sharing with you what works for me, so stay the course and follow your dreams! Thank you for reading me.

Good luck with your writing and don't ever quit!

Please Enjoy...LOUD

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Comments 150 comments

poetlorraine 7 years ago

wow that was brilliant ...... i fall short on some of the basics there, and i have never seen one of those books but i want one now...... i know i must read more,,,,,, thanks for taking the time to put this together...... you will succeed .... you are such a hard worker.... love to the girl in your avatar.... Brenda

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you Brenda, for being the very first to comment! I'm guessing that you mean the Moleskine! Yes, they are awesome. Mine's almost full and so I need another one soon. Good thing Christmas is on its way! Thank you again :D

poetlorraine 7 years ago

yeah the moeskin..... they look so important......

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I hope that you get one someday. I like the fact that they are durable and have an elastic band to keep it shut. You'll think twice about misplacing them too, as they are keepsakes.

poetlorraine 7 years ago

i am going to get one for sure, and the coffee i need one now, must go and make one, it is 8.55 a.m. and i have already been here an hour, work this p.m. may click on your advert, i find the postage so expensive to Ireland that is the problem i have buying on line, how about you, do you buy on line

Peter Dickinson profile image

Peter Dickinson 7 years ago from South East Asia

Great Hub, Great Music. Since I sold all my possessions the books have gone though I have some of the rest. We are alike in many ways. Thanks Dohn and good luck.

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Was thinking you are up early, if you are in the East Coast at the moment! :) You are definitely passionate about writing, you did a great job with this hub!

When I relocated to the West Coast, I let go of all my possesions, gave them away, except for my books and a few paintings.

I am glad you reminded me to journal again- I used to do this for years and stopped. The printer sounds awesome, will mention this to my s/o as we do a lot of printing and plan to do our mini publishing for cards, brochures and such.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@poetlorraine-Yes, sometimes I do, especially for ebay and used books on Abebooks.com. If you look in the right places (on eBay, you can find free shipping for many things). Abebooks is one of my favorites, however. They're international by the way. I highly suggest that you go there as well! Thank you if you do decide to buy from me, Brenda.

@Peter Dickinson-Yes, we are Peter. There are certain things that I can do without, but NOT my books. I can't do without them. Many times during the course of the day, I'll flip through them to look for certain quotes that intrigue me. My rule of thumb is that if it doesn't fit in my car, it's not worth taking! Thanks for the feedback, Peter!

@VioletSun-No, I'm not up early. I'm up LATE! I couldn't sleep and so decided to finish up this hub. One of the things that motivates me to pour so much into my hubs is the fact that I would like another 100 hubscore hub. I've had one so far that maintained such a score for 12 hours and then slowly plummeted soon afterwards. Yes, books to me are paramount. I'd leave most of my clothes behind before leaving my books! Please take up journal writing again. I can't stress the fact that writing longhand is therapeutic on so many levels. Just a few minutes a day is all it takes. I hope that you do switch to a laser jet printer. Lexmark is top notch. I highly recommend them. Thanks again!

Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

Yes, Dohn, writters write and read the books...a lot of them.

Ahhhh... I wish that there are Hubpages on Croatian as well, I play with the words so easy on my language (thanks to the many books which I started to read in early childhood that inspired me.)

I love your Hub.And "well-red" chair.

He, he....coffee is all the time on my table...and a little bit of creative mess around...(my vision of writting he, he).

My boyfriend is certainly not my Muse - he would read my articles on Croatian, but not interested to read them on English. My Mum does not speak English, heh!

So my readers are my Muse.... and Google, or course. And the girl from my avatar.

Hugs and Love and thanks for this Hub. It is very inspiring!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 7 years ago from United States

dohn, Great article. I love the "little bad boy" description. I think taking the moleskin notebook with you at all times is a great idea as I sometimes get a great idea and then can't quite remember all the details a day later. I love reading your hubs.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@Tatjana-Mihaela-I love how when speaking to some people who tell me that they want to become writers, I'll ask them, "So what have you read?" They then answer with, "I don't read books." The conversation is pretty much over by then. Such an anomaly is like someone telling abasketball coach, "I want to become a star of your team, but I've never watched a game of basketball." Who does that? Shame about not having a muse at the home front, Tatjana. You can borrow my Shiba Inu puppy...Just make sure you feed him ;) The girl from you avatar is pretty cute too :D Love ya back, Tatjana. Take care!

@Pamela99-Hello, Pam. One of the things that I should've added is to keep a notepad by your nightstand. Many times, our dreams give us great story ideas. Other times in our conscious state we'll say, "Man, I got a great idea for a story. It's so good (maybe too good) so I won't ever forget it...No, I don't have to write it down." And then what happens? We forget it! There goes are million bucks! Thanks again, Pam!

shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

I have two pet peeves when it comes to writing: stationary and dictionary just like you dohn. I can't do without them :)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, I'm old school! I need to be able to hold on to my journals and don't want to have to rely on electricity or a battery to look at what I've wrote! Candle light works best by the way! Thanks, Shamel! I appreciate it.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

For a writer, you are so organized Dohn - hats off to you! When an idea strikes me, you can be sure I have no book or pen to write it down - I am going to be making a few New Year's resolutions inspired by this hub :)

myownworld profile image

myownworld 7 years ago from uk

lol... fantastic hub! your hubs always carry the right mix of thought and humor...and that's why I so enjoy reading them! You perfectly summed up all the things a writer most needs, with great music too! (btw. l fell for that red couch!!)... Keep posting my friend...x

dusanotes profile image

dusanotes 7 years ago from Windermere, FL

Dohn, what a fine Hub. I do everything but keep a daily journal. Oh, I have one. I start and stop, remember and forget to write in it for a while, then go back. I hope I have recorded all of the momentous events and dates such as my marriage, each child's birth and the like, but I'm not as diligent as you. Thanks for sharing your tools of the trade. It was very helpful and good. Don White

Bbudoyono profile image

Bbudoyono 7 years ago

Great hub dohn. Writing is a need right? We can't live without it.

alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Dohn, What a good hub, with tons of good information. I like the way you organized it and included so many images. Great suggestions for writers. Beautiful library.

keira7 profile image

keira7 7 years ago

This is a very essential hub for me, I will certainly follow your advices. I am always looking for more help to progress. Thank you for the very good tips, my dear friend. Bless you bro.:)

Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

Dohn, the pens and the notebook. I think maybe I've wanted to b a writer all my life! I have always collected both and I must carry a large enough purse to bring them with me at all times! And read - my family think I should have a room at the library!

This was a great hub.

Lily Rose profile image

Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

I need one of those books - I think of things I want to remember all the time while driving and struggle to find a paper or anything to write a quick note or I'll forget almost instantaneously. I had no idea it was pronounced as you indicated - thanks for that clarification, one of my pet peeves is not pronouncing things properly (wierd, I know!)

Great hub, Dohn and well written, as always!

pgrundy 7 years ago

Dohn--Great hub! Have you ever used one of those mini notebook computers? They run around $300 for a basic one, and they look so handy, but I don't know anyone who has one. You say you can write on your cell phone. That amazes me. I can't even make phone calls on my cell phone without screwing them up. God I'm old! You've inspired me to journal again. Also, I hope you get lots Amazon sales on this hub. :)

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

YOU are really one of a kind DOHN, thats why I am a fan always! I agree with all of it, most of all, coffee, the muse and notebook, I dont have a laptop, desktop only, I dont have Samsung Intrepid, huh

and I dont think I can be a good writer as you are,(good writers are born and can be developed too), you have both..

have a good day always!


suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 7 years ago from Asheville, NC

Coffee is as essential to me as my word processor. Great Hub.

Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 7 years ago

I love the way you start your day....I need the coffee, but I need it with a sugar kick. My best writing is done when I first wake up in the morning. I also use my cell phone to write I take pictures with it as well. I can upload directly from my cell phone to my blogs. Awesome article as usual!

Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 7 years ago

Fantastic and very creative hub!

Thanks for the journaling idea as I too tend to lose my thoughts regularly. btw, i love the chair.

Jack Kong 7 years ago

Another great hub, Dohn. Thumbs up!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@Shalini Kagal-Thanks, Shalini ;) Ideas come and go like in a stream. If you don't have a net, they're simply going to swim away (said the wise man!) Please do change that, Shalini. You'll be glad that you did. Thank you as always.

@myownworld-Thank you for the compliment! I do try having a little fun with my hubs. I believe that if I have fun writing my hubs, my readers will certainly have fun reading them. Yes, that swivel chair is shape of a hand is awesome. It would make for an excellent conversation piece!

@dusanotes-Yes, Don! That's exactly why all of us should keep a journal--so we don't ever forget that pivotal moment that should be recorded. For us to be able to go back and read what we wrote in reaction to the said event is priceless. Thanks so much Don. As always, it's great to hear from you.

@Bbudoyono-Writing is without a doubt, a need :D I'm glad that you think so too.

@alekhouse-Thanks so much for that. So many people that I know call themselves writers, yet don't put in the effort to improve their craft. By writing this hub, I hope that it'll help others to find some organization in their pursuit of writing. I'm glad that you enjoyed reading this!

@keira7-I really do hope that this hub helps you! What this really is, is a culmination of great advice I've picked up on over the years. So much the better if others follow it. Thank you again, my friend :)

@Duchess OBlunt-I really do like getting lost in a stationary store. There are always new products (it seems) that I can explore. At times, when I was a teenager and my parents couldn't find me, my brothers and sisters would ask, "Did you check the library?" That pretty much sums it up. Thanks for the comment!

@Lily Rose-Yes! Losing a great idea to me is like losing money (and sometimes a lot of it!) You really never know when a great idea will hit you, so to be prepared is essential. I hope that you do invest in one-be it a Moleskin or something similar. You'll be glad that you did :D Thanks, Lily.

@Pgrundy-Hello, Pam. Ha! Yes, there's barely any distinction these days between a smart phone and a laptop these days, with of course the exception of size. Buying a smart phone is one of the best things I've ever did in pursuit of taking my writing to another level. Netbooks are affordable and in this economy are becoming more and more popular. For a while, Verizon was practically giving them away with new contracts--I think they're made by Dell. It's wonderful to hear that you're going back to writing in a journal. You'll be glad that you did. Thanks again for the comment. It's always great to hear from you.

@prettydarkhorse-Thanks so much for that, Maita. I'm so glad that you're not able to see some of my older work! But I approach writing with a determination and listened to all of the constructive criticism given to me. I just gave it my all. All of only have to make up our minds to improve--do that and you will improve! Thanks as always, my friend! You know I appreciate all that you do :D

@suziecat7-Coffee is a jump start for me. I of course totally agree with you! Thank you for commenting!

@Tammy Lochmann-I used to use sugar and cream when first I started drinking coffee, but then while on a week-long camping trip, I learned to take it black like everyone else. The first 3 days were a bit harsh, but I got used to it. Yes, I use the phone on my camera that way too! Isn't it awesome? Thanks, Tammy!

@Bail Up!-Thanks so much for that, Bail Up! I wonder if Santa Claus can fit that chair down my chimney :D Please try to write in a journal. You'll be glad that you did!

@Jack Kong-Thanks, Jack. I'm glad that you enjoyed reading this!

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

dohn-you have been an inspiration to me since I joined HubPages, and with every Hub you write, I know why this is.

PS: Love the chair!!!

ralwus 7 years ago

We are more alike than I ever imagined my friend. Nuff said.

andromida profile image

andromida 7 years ago

Seems like writers also need inventory management software.Glad to know that you keep your writings in a very safe place and thanks for the tips of reading a book per week.

I must say your picture selection and placement are brilliant in this hub,thanks..

Rose West profile image

Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

This is such an excellent hub on all things writerly! I know I really like something if I wish I had written it. No, I'm not jealous, I just really enjoyed this one!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

Great hub. When Stephen King was asked what a writer needed to write, he said, "A pen and a notebook." Good answer, succinct--didn't even specify MOLESKIN. You started with those same two basic items, and expanded a little for us.

jobister profile image

jobister 7 years ago from Anaheim, California

I love pilot pens!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@lorlie6-Wow. Thank you! That really is wonderful to hear. First and foremost, I write what interests me, so to hear such great comments is certainly a bonus!

@ralwus-Yes, improving one's craft takes a great deal of work and time. Nothing worth doing should come easy ;)

@Andromida-Hmmm...Inventory software sure wouldn't hurt. Most writers are really old-school when it comes to technology, not to mention stubborn, as the despise change. Thank you so much for the compliment, my friend. I seem to always find it a challenge to organize my hubs and am always on the look out for improvements. It's always a treat to hear from you.

@Rose West-:D If I ever had a quarter for every time I said that about other Hubber's Hubs, I wouldn't need Google Adsense at all! That's very kind of you to say that, Rose. Thank you.

@Paradise7-You know, I'm one of his biggest fans, having read 35 of his books (and counting). He has certainly influenced me. Perhaps my favorite book of his is, "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft." Yes, the bare bones of what a writer needs is just that. But in today's high-tech computer savvy world, we writers have to be in the know, but journal writing to me is essential in the entire process. What's a writer without a Voice? Excellent point, Paradise7! I love hearing your comments. Thank you.

@jobister-I can't do without them! Thanks :D

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Great Hub dohn. I loved all your suggestions, but the red chair has got to go.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Green Lotus. Nay for the Red Head? You're the first to dislike it!

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Ahh far too sophisticated for my taste ;)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Okay, fine...Take the puppy. Although he is potty-trained, no snacks after midnight...Legend has it that he'll turn into a Gremlin :D

wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors

I enjoyed reading this. It's been a long time since I've written in a journal but avidly agree journals get the creative juices flowing. I love the moleskine notebook and wouldn't be able to keep up my writing pace without my Mormon coffee, aka Diet Pepsi. It's a weird Mormon thing. I'll rate this up and hopefully it will get to and stay at 100!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Mormon coffee :D Yes, I've been writing in journals for a long time now and couldn't do without it. It's great to hear that you and I are so much alike (shame about not having hi-test coffee). I've had only one Hub reach 100: Autumn in New Paltz, New York but since then, I've been working hard to get back there! I won't stop trying however. I appreciate you helping and supporting me as always! Thanks.

juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

I very much enjoyed this piece. It has a lot of sound advice and reading reading reading is what I liked best. A comfortable pen is a nice thing. I don't think I've found one yet and I've been at it since 1954.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, we artists sure are finicky! I highly recommend the Pilot Precise V7 Rolling Ball, as it suits my needs just fine. Plus, I can handle misplacing one by not jumping off a bridge whenever I do. Uni Ball pens are a close second, but I find them a bit too wide a grip and tad bit more expensive. Thanks for reading me! I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this.

Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 7 years ago from Near the Ocean

A nice pen gives me shivers... some girls like Gucci I like a nice flowing pen. Should it be the silk brocade or the black leather? Ya, I mean journal!

apricot profile image

apricot 7 years ago from Italy

Thanks for sharing a writer's secrets! A V7 pen? I've always used pencils myself but I may look into the pen thing! And the moleskin! Well, if it's made in Milan it should be just down the road from me! I may treat myself to one if I ever get published! You certainly read a lot - no wonder you're a good writer! They say it's the most important thing. And keeping a journal - I was reading one editor's opinion on keeping journals and she was quite scathing but I'm with you on this one - I've found it helps, especially if you write down descriptions, tastes etc that grab your notice - you can always use them later. Nice hub Dohn! (Have you really got that red chair?!)

Philipo profile image

Philipo 7 years ago from Nigeria

Thanks for showing the secrets of good writing. It is a nice and informative hub with good quality illustrative pictures.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

This is a great hub Dohn. Seriously, I like those items you wrote here (and the Amazon capsules in between :D). I have everything except a journal. I've gotten so used to being around computers, I am not really much of a 'writer' on paper. :) Thanks for the list. Oh and maybe I should add, a nice comfy bed and pillow :D.

Kay Hebbourn 7 years ago

Dohn, that was absolutely brilliant. Universal...everyone here was killing themselves laughing at the coffee cup, the swivel chair, the need to get just the right pen and of course...The Muse~~~AHHH so cute. Loved the robot pen drive, I'm surprised there is no 12 step program for stationery fetishes yet!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

Hi Dohn, I came back just to say if you want a brewed coffee, good luck to all your endeavor and I will make it sure I will buy your books soon, Maita

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@Randy Behavior-You are definitely my kind of girl, RB. But wait, you already knew that, right? :D

@Apricot-That's right, you LIVE in Italy! You should be swimming in Moleskines there! Yes, I do read a lot. I only regret that I can't read more. Two or three books are usually what I am for. There are still so many that I would like to read. I try to write at least 500 words a day everyday with the addition of keeping a journal. Just about any kind of writing is never a bad thing--except maybe trashy romance novels and erotica ;) No, that chair doesn't belong to me...Yet.

@Philipo-Thanks, Philipo! It's my belief that if you want to become good at anything in life, you really have to give it your all. Doing all of these things will certainly help anyone improve their writing. Thank you for the compliment.

@Emievil-I love that avatar, Emie! Thanks for the compliment ;) Should you start using a journal, you find that you have less stress. I really "stress" keeping a journal even for those aren't writers per se. Bed and pillow? What's that? Writers don't sleep! They simply pass out :D

@Kay Hebbourn-Ha! Thanks, Kay. I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. Yes, I believe that it's imperative that we all find our right pens. My college professor told me he spent 3 hours one day going from store to store in search of the right pen. And he did fine "the One" but then lost it a week later :( When I worked in an office, my co-workers would always come over to desk to fondle my stuff (the stuff on my desk, LOL). Thanks, Kay!

@prettydarkhorse-Brewed coffee??? That would be super! Yes, you are a doll! Thanks, buddy :D That was very thoughtful of you! And thanks for the head's up.

Song-Bird profile image

Song-Bird 7 years ago from Michigan

Wow! What a fantastic hub. I feel motivated to pick up my journal again - you are right that it is a great practice for a writer. I like the moleskin idea. I keep a notebook next to my bed for those creative thoughts that seem to come bursting out just before falling asleep but it is probably a good idea to carry around some kind of notebook all day!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you so much for that, Song-Bird. Once you start, you'll wonder why didn't do so sooner. The means does have an end, as the exercise IS the process of writing. I really do hope that you take it up. Keeping a dream journal is yet another great idea that I should've mentioned. We should all learn to write in the dark as well, as light actually will change our though processes when we are exposed to in after a long period of darkness. Thanks again!

Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

Dohn your hubs are always enjoyable, but they are also very helpful. You give great advice in this article. Thanks Dohn

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, TFT. I hope that others can make use of this information as I do everyday. I appreciate all your support that you give to me. I thank you sincerely, TFT.

wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 7 years ago from New York, NY

dohn . .this was one amusing and of course great hub .. cant tell you but I giggled alot reading this one. . especially when i got to the well...red chair.. . though I am not a writer I do love to do calligraphy . so pens and paper are important to me. And one of my most favorite things to do is browse the bookstore. . I need to remember next time to have my notebook and pen with me. .there is always something I want to jot down and this hub made me realize a little trick. . ha always have one of each with you;)

As for the coffee. . need mine sweet and light preferably with french vanilla cream:D

You always make me smile. . thanks for sharing this one!

p.s. I love to see you with that 99 score .. i bet the next time I log in it will be another 100 for you........

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Shari! I always try to have a little fun with my hubs while writing them. Safe to say, if I do, my reader usually does too. As I said, I love little knick-knacks to peruse and I like to see with my hands (childhood habit) and obviously, I love going to the bookstore and getting lost in the stacks. Sometimes I'll snatch a book off the shelf and pop a squat for the hell of it. I'm sure you somewhat the same way!

Yes, I love that chair as well. The great thing is, is that it gropes you rather you having to grope someone else for a change :D Hope you liked that one ;)

Thanks, Shari. I really hope I do get that 100 score again! You're the greatest.

wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 7 years ago from New York, NY

I am laughing out loud for sure right now. . as I just watched the Bengals get a touchdown . but of course I was laughing from your groping!!!

And you got my number right .. have been known for quite a squat in the bookstore. . and when in the library there is always a chair ;)

? 's to you my friend..... your even better than great

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Awesome, Shari :D

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I am really cheap when it comes to the pens I purchase, and I must say I pay the price for this down the road. Your hub has inspired me to look for a nicer pen when I go stationery shopping again. By the way I love writing paper, and I even like to create my own cards.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yeah, I can't write with cheap pens, especially Bics, which are really tough on my hands and fingers. After about five minutes, my hand cramps up. I used to use fountain pens, but they smear too easily. Writing paper is something that never caught on to me. I wrote a few letters by hand, but used legal paper on each occasion. Shopping for a good pen is half the fun :D Oh, and yes, I'm familiar with your cards as I read a few hubs on them--great idea. It really doesn't get more personal than that. Thanks, SweetiePie!

cosette 7 years ago


haha this was brilliant! i want those robot and hello kitty flash drives. you know what's weird? i was thinking about writing about pens, but thought it wouldn't be interesting enough and *pow* you rocked it!

(love your wall of books)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks so much, cosette. Yes, I'll take the robot flash drives but I'll give those Hello Kitty ones to my sisters and my niece! Yeah...I love books, can you tell? I'm glad that you enjoyed it :D

blaise25 profile image

blaise25 7 years ago from close to you...

moleskine..hmmm, I want that exactly ;p

thanks for this cool hub Dohn!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

You're welcome and thanks, blaise25! I'm glad to have helped you with your decision ;)

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

Dohn, this is invaluable. Thanks so much for sharing. I don't just doubt ideas that I write and scribble them out, I actually rip out the page, but from your advice, will no longer do that. Very useful tips.

I understand what you mean about pens, my favourite is the Pilot G-Tec-C4.(especially the pink one. lol) Love the way that pen writes.

Thanks, you are a blessing.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

You're welcome, Lady_E! Over the years, I've learned to trust my gut about story and poetry ideas. Most times, the "ideas" don't seem like much and so sound like gobbledy-gook. However, in time, I find a place for it like I would for a jigsaw puzzle.

I'm not wild about pink, but whatever suits your fancy is most important ;)

Thanks again, Lady_E.

eyeofh profile image

eyeofh 7 years ago from New Jersey

Man...this is a great hub! A little bit of humor and a whole lot of introspection. I love it!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, eyeofh! I'm glad that you enjoyed it. I appreciate the feedback.

Dink96 profile image

Dink96 7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

Wonderful hub chock full of GREAT info. A lot of the same stuff my teacher has been stressing all semester, but many "inside" tips as well. I always value your insight. Thank you so much. And BTW...last module is screenwriting and I don't think I care for that! Such a rigid format! :-)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, Dink96! It's great hearing from you again. You've obviously have been busy with college. Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad that I'm able to help. Screenwriting, huh? Yeah, that's a totally different animal. It's very cold-blooded in comparison to fiction writing. Everyone and their kid sister seems to be writing a screenplay nowadays through dollar-sign goggles! Good luck with your class ;)

Singular Investor profile image

Singular Investor 7 years ago from Oxford

Interesting sutff dohn and so many fans ! Are you really good looking or something ?

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Singular Investor! Good looking? Hmmm...I always thought it was the blue hat because it brings out my eyes ;)

I really don't know other than the fact that I like to share my writing with the hopes that others like it :)

travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

Hey Dohn - this is a great hub. I love the way you wove the story into the products. Well done. I'm off to check out the robot flash drive. Love it and I know someone else who would love it even more. Thanks for this.

travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 7 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

Hi again - Thanks for including my hub "Chilling Out In Laos".

I when back to see if I could buy that cute flashdrive but it wasn't a link to Amazon! Hmmmm. Do you know where it came from?

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hi, travelespresso. If you mean the silver robot flash drive that I used for my featured pic, it's currently unavailable. Try as I may, I couldn't find it. I think that it's currently out of stock. As soon as it does become available, I will create a link for it to redirect to Amazon.

Thanks so much for for the comment. I enjoyed writing this one and hope that it'll garner a 100 Hubscore. I really hope it does over time. I'm glad that you enjoyed this. I'm going to try to link more of your hubs to mine, namely my Lao hubs (more are on the way too). Thanks again!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

One of my hubs actually made it to 100 for a brief time and then headed south. So I had my hubpage moment in time! :-)

Many of yours should be in that 100 range were it up to me to decide.

Like you, I used to keep every book that I had acquired from my pre-teen years going forward but have been re-reading and giving many away through recent years due to allergies. I do keep leather bound and special books and still have many...just not all.

My grandmother used to journal but it is something that I have never done. You are an inspiration, Dohn!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

That was very kind of you to have said that, Peggy. Thank you so much for the compliment! So far, I've only had one hub (just like you) reach 100 which was my Autumn in New Paltz, New York. Hub. Not only did it have a 100 Hubscore, but it was the Hottest of the Hottest hubs at the #1 spot, albeit for only 12 hours or so. Luckily for me, I was able to do a screen-shot of it so yeah, once is definitely a huge accomplishment...Just think of all of the other hubbers out there that have yet to get a hubscore of 100, as there are over 110,000 members. I guess we're the lucky ones, huh?

Yes, leather bound books are really hard to part with! So far I only have 3 of them but of course I do want more. Aren't books awesome?

You should journal writing a shot. Like I said, in six-weeks time, you won't stop. Again, thank you Peggy W. That really means a lot to me.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Dohn,

Yes books are awesome. Can't imagine a home without them!

My one grandmother journeled every day...just a few notes on a page, but more when she traveled. My other grandmother only took notes when traveling. I have passed both sets of records on to others in the family. Would have been great reference material for some hubs had I kept them.

The only time I keep detailed notes is when I travel which is why (along with my photos) I can create so many of my travel hubs. The first thing after returning back home would be my mission to gather all the materials and create my photo albums.

I am actually having fun putting these hubs together as it offers the opportunity to revisit the trips and refresh my memory of the many details.

As to my one and only (so far) 100 scored hub it was the Story - My Personal Proof of an Afterlife. I really don't understand how this scoring takes place. Is it the number of comments in a certain period of time? It doesn't really matter...we will keep hubbing, right? :-)

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Copied twice...so I will just ask one more question. How much time do you take each day with your journeling? As a writer, it would be indispensible for you. For the rest of us, probably not quite as important although it might be good for the soul. I also take time for creating new artwork on occasion.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I usually spend an hour on journal writing a day. Sometimes I'll go two hours if my mind is still a buzz.

Yes, I am familiar with that hub and really enjoyed reading it. You published that hub pretty recently! I think that traffic has a large part to do with it being on the very top of the Hottest Hubs list. Rich content will get to score high, but traffic will determine its "hottness." When you go and look at the "Best Hubs," the hubs there have a combination of good quality, it's relationship with search engines, and its traffic will determine it's position...At least that' what I've gathered. Several of my hubs "float" in the 90s day in and day out.

One of the great benefits of keeping a journal is being able to go back and reflect/look back on what I wrote. Many times, I'll find story ideas and topic ideas for some of my hubs. To me, there's no greater freedom than journal writing.

Yes, I really do like your artwork and would love to see more of it, Peggy! Thanks for coming back to comment.

cindyvine profile image

cindyvine 7 years ago from Cape Town

Very clever hub, I like the way you backed up what you said with Amazon products. Might steal your idea.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Thanks Cindy. Originally, my plan was just to share with everyone the things that I do in order to improve my craft...And then I realized that I am pretty loyal to the brands that I use, so decided to push the envelope :D

Albertttt profile image

Albertttt 7 years ago

Clever hub indeed.

Can I get you to take a look at my blob? Everything that I write has a humorous flavor to it.



Taylor Finch profile image

Taylor Finch 7 years ago from United Kingdom

A really nice hub. I need mainly peace and quiet to write effectively.

Rebecca E. profile image

Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

again another great hub that really proves some of the things a writer needs, pens and books for me are a must.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@Albertttt-Thanks you for the comment. I take it you mean your blog? Sure, I'll take a look :D

@Taylor Finch-Yes, I need that too, sometimes...Other times, I'll crank up my PC's media player while listening to classic rock or the Chili Peppers and write until my fingers get weak! To each his own :)

@Rebecca E.-Thanks, Rebecca E. Of course, the things that I've listed are not completely needed--I just prefer to have them at my disposal...I should have mentioned Time as well. There was a period in my life when I couldn't afford the Time to write and guess what? It was the worst time of my life!

M. Rose profile image

M. Rose 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

Another great gem, dohn! Love all your suggestions in this hub. And I especially love that you have a favorite pen...I thought I was the only one! My pen of choice is the Papermate Profile Retractable ball point pen. It writes like pens I love with liquid ink, but without smudging!

Anywho, thanks for writing this :)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, M. Rose. I'm happy to hear that you found this useful. In writing this, I thought it be interesting to others what writers require in order to be successful in improving their craft. Thanks for reading me!

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I wish they make refills for fuel and drive, or as you put - muses! Enjoyed the read yet again, thanks for sharing insights on how you work as a writer. Be inspired always! :D

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Cris! Yes, I feel you...Butt-lighters work (so as to light a fire under your butt) but usually only when someone else uses them on us writers! Thanks for stopping in, buddy, I appreciate it.

R.G. San Ramon 7 years ago

I have very bad handwriting that even I find my written texts annoyingly ugly. But that doesn't stop me to write. Although I find everything written in my journal as "lost", I still write. For the love of writing... Sometimes ideas don't just stay in paper; they are somehow painted in my mind after I've written them. Oddly, I just know where to look for them even if I cannot understand them. :D

This hub is amazing. (I wonder why I am not yet a fan...) I have always dreamed of a work station where I can just do my thing - reading, writing, learning. Thanks to you, I've realized I'm not alone. :)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, thanks R.G. San Ramon for getting me out of 666 = You are my 667th fan :D I appreciate the compliment! My handwriting gets suckier the faster I write, so I know all too well what you mean. We all have to find our own Fortresses of Solitude. Thank you for the compliment. I wish you success in all your endeavors :)

cameron eslin profile image

cameron eslin 7 years ago

Yeah, writers write, there is no secret. I once wrote at a party, all i needed was a folded piece of paper left in my bag. Moleskines are always recommended by everyone but they don't work for me, I don't know why... Just because it's easy and fast, I'd say notebooks or laptops are the best. You can write longer pieces without your wrist hurting... Always a good thing ^^

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, cameron eslin. To each his own, I guess. Yes, I'm one of those people too, who'll write at nightclub should the desire strike me--I have no shame, lol. JK Rowling has admitted to writing her Harry Potter series on napkins at local diners over cups of tea. There is no "right" way to write, but writing is a right-way to live. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 7 years ago from United States

Great suggestions. I completely agree with the importance of reading and taking down notes. Although I must admit, I go as cheap as I can when it comes to writing. Those packages of 12 ink pens for 99c and old college 1-subject notebooks with the paper covers. If my materials were any fancier than that, I fear I wouldn't be able to write something good enough to be inside of it. I like to not worry about how bad my writing looks or how many ink smudges there are. I always say it just ads character. ;)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, whatever works, right? I'm no expert on this, only I just wanted to share what works for me. Thanks for reading me! I'll see you at the finish line:)

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago

Great hub--agree with all your pointers but instead of a moleskine, I have a cheapy little notebook stashed in my bag. I keep my journal on my night-stand for those "play-back" moments of the day. Yes to Coffee! But all these gadgets are only good if you can do the BIC thing as Jane Yolan suggests--Butt In Chair and write away. My biggest problem?--I want to go shopping/or hang out somewhere, someplace/read instead of slaving away in the writer's workshop, especially if the workshop happens to be your work-station.

Love your hub!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

I just can write with a Bic, no matter how hard I try. The barrel is way too narrow and I have to press down twice as hard to squeeze out the ink, which puts too much strain on my hand! I'm probably better off writing with a fine-sharpie which aren't that bad either. I can put up with somethings, but NOT a Bic! I you can, than more power to you :D

Thanks so much for the comment. A notebook atop your nightstand is one of the things I should've mentioned. Our dreams have such a short lifespan!

Useful Knowledge 7 years ago

Dohn, Great hub. I love the Blue Angels Video also. You are always Inspiring!

Journey * profile image

Journey * 7 years ago from USA

Hi dohn121, this is a great hub. I like that flash drive!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@Useful Knowledge-Thank you. I thought the way in which they made that video was spot-on and thought it fitting for this hub ;)

@Journey*-Yes, me too. I tried looking for it to purchase, but it's sold out/out of stock :( I guess we're going to have to wait to get one. Thanks again!

JaShinYa profile image

JaShinYa 7 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

Hi Dohn! I really appreciate this hub. For a young writer like myself, it's great when I can get advice from anywhere. My biggest problem is finding the time. It seems that I'm always working or something. Where do you find the time?

Looking forward tom more!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hello, JaShinYa. I a few people have asked me that very same question and my response is always the same: Make time to write! If you sat down and wrote down and kept track of all the minutes of the day you spend on each and every task, you'll find that much of it is wasted on mundane things. Surely, every writer can find at least 15 to 20 minutes (and most likely more than even that) to write in a journal. If you make it a priority, you'll be surprised to find that you do indeed have the time :)

Good luck with your craft and thank you for visiting me.

JaShinYa profile image

JaShinYa 7 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

Thanks for the advice! I'm looking into those moleskins too. If I get one, I'll be sure to get it from here!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

ha! That's great to hear. Thank you for that.

mercon profile image

mercon 7 years ago

good article, probably I'll bookmark this hub

thx :)

scheng1 7 years ago

Now that I'm so used to using laptop, I hardly know how to use pens to write anymore.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@mercon-Thanks, mercon. I sure do hope that you did bookmark this one :D

@sheng1-Don't ever forget how to write traditionally! We should all strive to improve our craft in all aspects ;)

askjanbrass profile image

askjanbrass 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I don't think I'd be able to do with the Chicago Manual of Style! I reference it all the time when writing.

Great hub, thanks for sharing.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, askjanbrass. Hey, whatever helps you is a good thing. I find myself leafing through Strunk and White's Elements of Style all the time. Thanks for the compliment!

Right Black profile image

Right Black 7 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

I just joined hubpages a couple of weeks ago and came across this page. I'm not really a professional writer but I am trying to hone my skills. I heard it said that if you want to be a clear thinker you must be a clear writer. That's what inspires me. I hope to read more of your posts. Thanks

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, RB. The professional writer is the amateur that never quit (never say never, lol). I agree with you wholeheartedly. Someone once told me that writing is critical thinking in motion. I like to stand by that. Thanks for the feedback!

lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 7 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

I really liked this hub. I always say im going to start a journal but never do because i think i have already missed writing down so much that has happend to me that its too late to begin now. I have been told by several people that i should write my lifestory and keeping a journal would have been a good idea. I also think i will remember everything and i have decided that my memory isnt as good as I thought. I am a paper and pen person myself so i loved the pen ideas. In fact, when I was interning as a reporter, I would write out all of my stories on paper and then write them on the computer. You are an excellent writer and I am excited to read more of your hubs. Thank you

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, lisadpreston. That's very kind of you to say that. So long as you're alive, it's not ever too late to keep a journal. You'll find in the process of doing so that not only will your memory improve over time as it unconsciously prepares itself to remember fine details of the subject matter you will later recall, but that you will remember many of the other details you thought you'd forgotten as they will resurface. This may not sound believable, but it truly is. Give it a shot and you'll see. Good luck in your writing and keep on writing!

sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 7 years ago from India

Nice hub and reading this i think i need to buy a laptop instead of desktop so when ever if ever any good idea comes to my brain ( what ever little i have) i might save it and then explore it later.

bozzie123 profile image

bozzie123 7 years ago

funny stuff

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@sweetie1-Thanks again. A netbook should also be a viable alternative as they are much more cost-effective. Nowadays, you can buy one for about $300 as opposed to paying $600 or more for a decent laptop. I appreciate your reading this.

@bozzie123-Thanks, bozzie123. I'm glad you think so ;)

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

dohn - what a great list of writers' stuff. I used to have a really nice pen (can't remember which) and lost it because I kept it off to the side. I was 'saving' it. What an idiot. I honestly felt that I wrote better with that pen. And if you think you can, you do. I should have asked for some of this stuff for Christmas.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, Dolores. Us writers are quirky, aren't we? I heard of this one woman who needed to hear the sound of water being poured into the glass before she could start writing creatively (go figure). I guess my only thing would be coffee (which I conveniently didn't bother mentioning) but that's really for the morning. I hope you were "good" this year ;)

palmerlarryray profile image

palmerlarryray 7 years ago from Macon, Missouri

Great Hub with some great advice on the equipment neccessary for the writers art. I will be following you and looking forward to your future hubs.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, palmerlarryray. I think all of us has our own quirks when it comes to readying ourselves for getting comfortable/finding inspiration. I look forward to hearing from you and reading your hubs as well. Thank you.

Jeffrey Neal profile image

Jeffrey Neal 7 years ago from Tennessee

dohn, I've been suffering from a block lately, and reading this, I find there are some things missing from my tool bag. I'll have to find the inspirational tidbit as I think that is lacking, and I'm definitely not drinking enough coffee. I also do not write in a journal everyday, and this may be the biggest thing I am missing. Thanks for the tips.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

That's great to hear, Jeffrey. The thing I love most about keeping a journal is that it's private and free-thought. I can say whatever I want without hurting anyone's feelings. And speaking of feelings, writing in a journal is a release. Tons of ideas with come like a rush because the pain of stress is finally liberated from your conscious. I really hope that you keep at it. I'd like to hear about your progress. Thanks for commenting.

hubpageswriter 7 years ago

I love this article, Dohn.. it reminds me of the things that I can't do without as well. Thanks for your comment on my article. You are right; the cheapest notebook nowadays can range from $300-$500 and it's affordable rather than 1k plus type of notebooks. I would love to bring this wherever too..a must have! Good one..

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, HPWriter! It's always great to hear from you. I think that all of us have our ways in which we find our "inspiration" and this hub was about how I find mine. There really is no "trick" to it. The only trick is consistency. Make writing an inevitable habit and you'll find success. Notebooks and netbooks nowadays are becoming cheaper and cheaper and their really isn't much of a reason for most of us to not be able to afford one. Thanks again, my friend.

marcofratelli profile image

marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

So cool man! I love the look and feel of those moleskin books, they're so motivational for me but I don't use them for writing. I tend to type heaps faster than I can write manually so a lot of my writing is done on the computer. It also allows me to move from one thought onto the next very quickly, so it keeps up with my brain too!

I think it's excellent you've kept a journal for so long. Back in 2000 I decided I wanted to write an autobiography. My motivation for that was that I was afraid I'd forget the detail of my childhood in 20 years time (for some reason!) I've never finished it but every now and then I document events that I think mark milestones that would fit into that autobiography. What I did, how I felt etc. I love writing generally, it's therapeutic. Lately I've been like a psychologist to my friends who live away, through email. Once they get going I think they discover the importance of it :)

Another great hub my friend!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you, Marco! Writing an autobiography can be a big challenge. I'd be hardpressed to write one, what with my audience's lack of interest :P I can understand the desire to type rather than to write and can share bot viewpoints in the positive and negative light. Thank you so much for commenting, Marco. It's always great to hear from you!

mtsi1098 7 years ago

You are obviously are writer doing this from a great passion within...I can certainly appreciate that and I like your first picture robot - I am not sure I have ever written 500 words a day though :)

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dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, my professor always beat my brain about doing 500 words a day. Like many things, we have to be disciplined in our "training." All of it is training until we're dead! Thanks so much for that mtsi1098. I hope you enjoy your New Year's!

jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

I love this hub Dohn! It's inspiring me to write... write... write...! I also keep a notebook with me always (not a moleskine yet) and just write anything that comes to mind.

I love books too! They are the decorations at home. Of course I read them too, they don't just decorate! Ha ha ha. However, there is one thing I cannot bring myself to do, and that is - write notes on books. Somehow, I just don't feel right about that. It feels like desecration to me. But that's just me of course! So don't mind me there.

Oh, and I love your red chair! I wish I have one like that!

Thank you for this wonderful hub!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you jill of alltrades! I really had a lot of fun writing this hub. I really just wanted to share how I go about my day and the various "things" that come handy to me. J.K. Rowling wrote most of her Harry Potter books on napkins in coffee shops! Hey, whatever works, right?

Interesting that you share that same notion about writing in books, as I was brought up to NOT do exactly that. However, when I got to college, I was thoroughly encouraged to mark up all my college texts as it was expected.

YES. I want that red chair too!

I'm so glad that you enjoyed this Jill. Thank you :D

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

Great - thanks for this inspiring and informative Hub. I have mjost of your list but use cheaper notebooks than Moleskines! Though I do have one too, LOL.

Love and peace


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I do have to say I love the great big red chair, does it come in any other color? lololo It does look comfy though, this hub is a complete reflection of what all of us need thank you so much for the reminder and honestly I have ran out of pens. :)I do have a moleskine and keep a daily diary thanks for the tips. :)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

@tonymac04-Hey, Tony! Sorry I didn't comment sooner. For some reason I didn't receive notification! Yes, I do sometimes use cheap notebooks, as sometimes I can get a 1-subject notebook for 25 cents when they're on sale! Thank you for the comment!

@AEvans-It's funny that you said that about the chair. Being a Taurus, I HATE the color red, lol. I think it awesome that you do have a moleskin and keep a diary (I call them journals, lol). I'm glad this helped! Thank again, J.

Ghost32 6 years ago

Not bad at all, Dohn. I'm reminded of Louis L'Amour once saying that he was "no prima donna" but "could sit on a crowded LA street corner" and type his 500 words a day.

I'm way too lazy (and paranoid) to keep an effective journal but do keep a DREAM journal which (dreams being usually in code anyway) scares me less. Can't stand my coffee black, gotta have some half-and-half. But then, hey, add a cup of Ramen noodles late at night and/or a banana split, and I'm good to go.

Moleskina? Huh. Never have graduated beyond the ol' spiral notebook...:D

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, Fred! I didn't know that about Louis L'Amour. I can relate to him, because even as a teenager with a few zits here and there, I used to sit with my black coffee at a little diner down the road and so soon escaped into a world of thoughts, feelings, and creativity. I visited that world frequently and always knew how to find it, I guess.

A dream journal is also very good. My creative writing professor encouraged all of us to keep one bedside and for us to learn to write in the dark (upon waking up from said dream). Why? Because the turning on of a light will dissipate any of our recollections from such dreams!

Don't worry, I still use a spiral notebook! Whenever I see the the 1-subject variety on sale I usually stock up!

Thanks again!

Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Hey, My brother Dohn...

Pretty useful hub! A writer´s essentials! Even the title is catchy! It´s been good help, even after all those months! Thanks for sharing, my man!

warmest regards and infinite blessings,


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, Al. I'm glad you got the chance to read this one. I had a lot of fun writing this and it was my intention to maybe share some of the "things" I use on a daily basis. I'm glad you liked it!

Warmest Regards,


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

dohn121, fabulous writers essentials hub, I enjoyed it tremendously, great graphics and layout as well. Thanks and Peace :)

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thank you very much, Katie. I had a lot of fun writing this one. I'm sure that all of us have a list of "must haves" for whatever their given field. Thanks again.

blue parrot profile image

blue parrot 6 years ago from Madrid, Spain

Your wonderful list of what a writer needs is almost complete, but I think you forgot

1. The alarm clock to get up early because Benjamin Franklin said that the key to success will be found under the alarm clock.

2. a wife to answer the phone, answer the door, and cook. The writer will have to lift his feet when she sweeps around his chair.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Woah! I think you and I have different values! Or maybe you're just kidding? I had a girlfriend who was a bit of a slob and so I had to clean up after her when we lived together. She however compensated for it in other ways :D If anything else, I'd like for my wife to do for me what I'd do for her (that's how it should be, right?). Thanks for the visit and comment.


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

good hub !

freehans profile image

freehans 6 years ago from Philippines

Nice hub on many things. Find it very useful reading this hub

blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 5 years ago from australia

Oh Dohn I looove your things, this is truly really positively such a fantastic hub and set up...well...ten out of ten...can I come live at your house...please..pick me pick me x

nochance profile image

nochance 4 years ago from Duluth, MN

OMG I used to own one of those robot flash drives!

Anyway you have some really great tips here... but the blocks of text are hard on the eyes (paragraphs please, you're a writer) and the enormous amounts of amazon listings are a tad obnoxious.

Also I don't know why you have a zillion links to your other hubs at the end. As a fellow hubber it's kind of a turn off.

But your content is really good so voted up. Thanks.

E. Koch 4 years ago

`Know thyself.' has a long history before `The Matrix', check it out!


Sunny 3 years ago

No copnmailts on this end, simply a good piece.

Princess 3 years ago

A perfect reply! Thanks for taking the troeblu.

L. Marie Figtree profile image

L. Marie Figtree 4 months ago from South Bay, CA

(Loooooonnnnggg overdue) Greetings, Dohn121! Don't know if you remember me at all, but we "met" on HP seven years ago! You were one of the first (and only) people to reach out and give me a warm welcome. Despite the long absence, I have never forgotten you, and am thrilled to see that you are a) still here, and b) still writing. Meanwhile, I have returned to update my hubs, and get more serious about my writing pursuits. I would really like to stay in contact with you, and actually be able to pick your brain sometime. Curious about your success outside of HP, if you have become a paid writer, and if so, in what capacity. Hit me back when you have a chance, am very much looking forward to your reply!

Warmest regards,


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