In my new book, Come What Maybe, my heroine Lauren returns to her hometown of Seaside Cove, Maine, post-Covid, to check in on her sister and grandmother. Since Lauren is a successful social media strategist, she can work from anywhere. In fact, throughout the story, we find her working from her Grams’s house, a café, and even the local bar. (It doesn’t hurt that hunky bar owner Ethan is there.)
I realized that Lauren and I have something in common. As a writer, I have the ability to work from different places. I can visit my parents or go to the library or a coffeehouse.
However, there are a couple things I need in order to have a prolific day of writing, no matter where I set up my laptop. Five things in fact. Without further ado, here is my list of must-have items for a successful day of writing.
I have three rocks that I bought in Sedona, Arizona, a number of years ago. I chose those particular stones because each of them had a specific meaning. Sadly, I no longer remember what that meaning was. But I would guess something like the ability to concentrate or serenity or peace or something.
Are these stones really magical or mystical? I have no idea, but in situations like these, I prefer to err on the side of caution and assume that they are packed with magic qualities. And somewhere along the line, I decided they were my lucky writing stones. That’s why you can always find them next to my computer as I’m typing away.
It goes without saying that every writer needs food and drink to keep them going during their daily word counts. Unfortunately, writing is a very sedentary job, which means I don’t always get the decadent yummies that I would prefer.
What I would like to eat/drink while writing: a large glass of Pinot Noir and the dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s.
What I usually have: a huge glass of water (I’m a water-holic) and blueberry tea, with some kind of healthy snack like yogurt and almonds or cheese and fruit.
In this day and age, you can find most people hanging on to their phones. However, my cell phone serves a dual purpose.
- Music: I have to write to music and all of my music lives on my phone. During the writing of Come What Maybe, I listened to a lot of Michael Buble. I also listened to a Kerri-staple – John Williams, particularly different Star Wars Play me a little Imperial March and my fingers can really fly over the keys.
- Procrastination: That’s right, no one’s perfect and I have certainly succumb to the art of wasting time, especially when I’m stuck on a scene. Some of my current favorite ways to delay include:
- Looking at pics of my beautiful daughter
- Checking Instagram
- Organizing the apps on my phone into folders and therefore pretending I’m the most organized and efficient person on the planet.
Nunnie is my maternal grandmother, and she was a huge presence in my life. She also recognized my talent for writing at a very early age when I sat down at her counter and wrote a poem about her. She read the poem and declared with absolute certainty that I was a writer. From that moment forward I was a writer because Nunnie said so. (Never underestimate the power of an Italian grandmother.)
Today, I have my favorite picture of Nunnie framed and I keep it in my office. Positioned just so, Nunnie always faces me when I write. During those moments of self-doubt, I only have to cast my eyes upward to see Nunnie smiling down at me. My self-doubt never lasts for long.
If you know me or follow me on social media, then you absolutely know who Harry is. He’s my adorable, amazing, mischievous, human-like, rescued poodle-mix. And yes, Harry and I are codependent and we don’t care one bit.
Naturally, as the furry diva that he is, Harry has a bed in literally every room of our house. But his favorite is the bed that sits under the desk in my office. I tell Harry that we have to go to work, and he prances right into the office and does his little circle, circle, fluff the blankets bit, and gets comfy. If something ever happens to the music on my phone, I’ll be able to write to the melodic sound of Harry snoring away. #Comforting
Call me superstitious. That’s a-okay with me. But as long as I have my five security blankets with me, I know that the stories will keep flowing. In fact, I’m working on the follow-up to Come What Maybe right now.
My typing is in time with Harry’s snores.