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

Updated on March 18, 2010
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.

Desktop, Laptop, or Netbook Computer

Apple MacBook Pro
Apple MacBook Pro

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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    • L. Marie Figtree profile image

      Luana Higuera 11 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,

      Luana

    • profile image

      Princess 4 years ago

      A perfect reply! Thanks for taking the troeblu.

    • profile image

      Sunny 4 years ago

      No copnmailts on this end, simply a good piece.

    • profile image

      E. Koch 4 years ago

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

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_thyself

    • nochance profile image

      Chloe Davis Smith 5 years ago from Minnesota

      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.

    • 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

    • freehans profile image

      freehans 6 years ago from Philippines

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

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 7 years ago from USA

      good hub !

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

      Dohn

    • blue parrot profile image

      blue parrot 7 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
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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,

      Dohn

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 7 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,

      Al

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

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      Ghost32 7 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
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      @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.

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 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. :)

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 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

      Tony

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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

    • 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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

    • profile image

      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 :)

    • dohn121 profile image
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

    • 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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

    • 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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

    • palmerlarryray profile image

      Larry Ray Palmer 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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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 ;)

    • 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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      @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 ;)

    • bozzie123 profile image

      bozzie123 7 years ago

      funny stuff

    • 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.

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

    • 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
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

    • 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
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

    • 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
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      @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 ;)

    • profile image

      scheng1 7 years ago

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

    • mercon profile image

      mercon 7 years ago

      good article, probably I'll bookmark this hub

      thx :)

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

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

    • JaShinYa profile image

      Josh Musser 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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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

      Josh Musser 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
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      @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!

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 7 years ago from USA

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

    • profile image

      Useful Knowledge 7 years ago

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

    • dohn121 profile image
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

    • 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
      Author

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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:)

    • 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. ;)

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

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      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 ^^

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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 :)

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      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. :)

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

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      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

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

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      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 :)

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      @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!

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      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.

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      Taylor Finch 7 years ago from United Kingdom

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

    • 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.

      Thanks.

      https://hubpages.com/literature/Seinfield

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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

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      Cindy Vine 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.

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

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      Peggy Woods 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 Woods 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.

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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 Woods 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!

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

    • 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?

    • 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.

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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 :)

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      Singular Investor 7 years ago from Oxford

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

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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 ;)

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      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! :-)

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

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

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      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!

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

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      Elena 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.

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

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

    • blaise25 profile image

      Fehl Dungo 7 years ago from close to you...

      moleskine..hmmm, I want that exactly ;p

      thanks for this cool hub Dohn!

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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

    • profile image

      cosette 7 years ago

      OMG

      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
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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

    • 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.

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Awesome, Shari :D

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      Shari 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

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

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      Shari 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........

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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.

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      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

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      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      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!

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      Renee Hanlon 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!