Really, if I’m going to be a writer, I should invest in one of those ergonomic ones which swivel round and go up and down…Maybe they sell chairs like that on the Internet. Maybe I should just have a quick little look.
Last week, I read Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, the second book in the Shopaholic series. After writing my research paper last year on the first novel, I borrowed Manhattan and Ties the Knot from a friend so as to continue my Becky Bloomwood education.
In Manhattan, Becky has been given an advance to write a financial self-help book for those of us living with the type of debt addiction she is plagued with. She, of course, spends her advance before typing a single word. When she does finally decide to sit down and write, she is swiftly distracted by the plethora of items one can buy to look like a good writer. This scene had me stifling giggles under my bed sheets in an attempt to not wake my sleeping husband while I read by iPhone flashlight (sometimes I am a 12 year old trapped in a 30-something body) because I know this procrastination method all too well.
As the saying goes, writers write. It doesn’t matter on what or where; if you have a pen and paper or a computer screen with a keyboard, you can write. But wouldn’t it be so much nicer to have the perfect tools?
Here is my list of items that I find myself dreaming about to make myself a better writer without ever typing a word. This list ranges from the useful yet probably unnecessary, to the expensive and utterly ridiculous.
These high-end, minimalist notebooks boast a history of use by great artists and writers. The idea is that their quality will hold up to your daily use and maybe some of the greatness of others who used this product will rub off on you.
I am a sucker for these. A sucker. I have been using Moleskine journals to organize my academic life for several years now and I love them. However, I am now crossing over into using them purely for writing. The thing is, they are almost too nice to the point of intimidating. Once the black binding is in my hands I don’t want to mar it’s purity with my bullshit scribbles.
The Perfect Playlist
Who doesn’t need a soundtrack to their creative flow that also drowns out all other sounds and distractions? A writing playlist is one of those things that is such a good idea until you find yourself three hours later still purchasing tracks on iTunes in an attempt to attain the ideal music for your literary genius.
Thankfully, I have mostly given up this vice once I discovered sites like Songza and StreamingSoundtracks.com. These, and many other sites like them, take the guess work out of playlist creation and free up time to actually write.
A Writer’s Office
Like Becky, I sometimes spend an exorbitant amount of time looking at ways to (re)decorate my writing space. See that grey chair and desk in the picture below? I have had that since high school. It’s all terrible but it all still stands and is functional. It’s just not pretty. I am really proud of that papasan chair that was a steal on Kijiji last fall. But otherwise, I find myself on the Ikea website compiling a list of minimalist furniture items for a cuter looking office.
Luckily, I’m flat broke, so I can only dream of spending money. Honestly, having the “perfect” office wouldn’t keep me from having that TV with a Wii hooked up to it for Dr. Mario marathons and Netflix distractions.
This is one of my over-the-top spending dreams: a Macbook and iPad. Now, this dream is one part practical and several parts stupid. First the practical – I seriously do need to buy a new computer in the near future. My desktop was bought around nine years ago and has issues keeping up with such difficult tasks as opening a browser, clicking between windows, and typing in a word-processor. As I’m typing, it will sometimes stop to think about the fact that characters need to appear on the screen with every pressed key. I feel bad for the old girl, but I just can’ t keep living like this. I also have a six year old netbook that decided to start deleting entire files that I am working on. It’s always a joy to have worked for several hours, saving all the while, only to suddenly have the whole system claim that the saved file is no longer there. In fact, it never existed. This throws me into existential angst that I don’t have time to deal with.
So, with this practical reasoning for a new computer, why is this dream stupid? It is stupid because I know that I am buying into the hype of this brand. I think to myself, if only I had a Mac, then I would look like a writer. I could buy the BookBook case that makes my Mac look like a book and therefore I would be super smart and awesome. If I had a Mac and an iPad, they would talk to each other and my iPhone. Then I would have all this free-time because my electronics are streamlined. However, there are always new accessories to bling out this product, therefore using up my time and money that would be better spent on actually writing.
Above all, even though my computers are limping along and my writing space is college student chic, I still have practical alternatives to spending money. Google Drive solves the lost save file problem. Getting over the image of being a writer and just sitting at any hard surface gets rid of the ego problem. And the most simple solution for a writer: paper and pen. Just write. Writers write and sometimes writers have to fight themselves to write. But they write with out the bells and whistles and that is what I’m trying to do.