What A Writer Needs

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by Dani Pettrey

Every writer is different and every writer has different needs while writing. I always write with a piece of dark chocolate and a coffee drink (Mocha, Americano, etc.) at hand. I always write my first drafts longhand, and I’m pretty particular about the notebooks and pens I use.
It got me thinking about what other writers need when they write so I asked a bunch of my fellow writers what they can’t do without when writing. I loved seeing everyone’s different answers and perspectives. Hope you’ll enjoy this fun sneak peek into your favorite authors’ writing routines too.

Tracie Peterson needs her research books close at hand including A Field Guide to American Houses and English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century.

Kathryn Cushman couldn’t write without her MacBook Air or Scrivener program.

Julie Klassen needs her coffee, laptop and wrist supports.

Jen Turano likes to have post-it notes handy for all the ideas that pop up while she’s writing. (Very smart. I think I’m going to have to adopt this. Would probably work a lot better than all the doodles I make all over the sides of the pages).

Victoria Bylin needs her coffee, music playing in the background, and this is pretty cool-she likes to switch up her fonts while writing. She said it keeps things interesting.

Melissa Jagears needs silence and time. (Can you guess she’s got little ones? ?)

Melissa Tagg likes a good beverage assortment. She keeps Diet Coke with lime, coffee, and water on hand. And lots of grapes!

Anne Mateer couldn’t write without Scrivener and Spotify.

Becky Wade needs time spent in prayer before she starts writing and then quiet while writing.

Nancy Mehl needs her faithful companion. Her dog Watson. Nancy Mehl's Dog WatsonIsn’t he adorable?

Elizabeth Ludwig couldn’t write without quiet and her comfy red chair.
Elizabeth Ludwig's chair

Doesn’t it just make you want to curl up in it?

I really enjoyed getting a glimpse into my writer friends’ lives. I hope you have too.

What about you? What couldn’t you write without?


Dani Pettrey March 2013Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom, and author. Her debut novel, Submerged, released in 2012 and her current release, Shattered, was released in February. Dani feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves-the thrill of adventure, nail biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two daughters. Visit her website at www.danipettrey.com.

Comments 0

  1. We all have that special environment, including things, that seems to enhance our ability to write. My productivity goes up by a factor of 5 to 10 if I’m sitting in the sun. Up here in Seattle, I use a grow light when I’m desperate–a 737 to Arizona when I’m really desperate. For things, I need coffee, 4 or 5 of my favorite mechanical pencils, a stack of 5X7 cards (for scene descriptions), and a wide-ruled, spiral notebook when I’m actually writing the manuscript.

  2. I’m like you, Dani. I write my first drafts longhand too and I am very particular with my notebooks and pens. lol

    I also need my headphones to listen to movie soundtrack music while writing. I listen to certain tracks for the emotional state the scene requires. It helps keep me focused on the mood of what I’m writing.

    Great post! I loved hearing from the other authors!

  3. I need my yellow legal pads and a certain brand of fine point black ink pens. For awhile I was writing directly on the computer but I got blocked and went back to long hand. My brain seems to be more connected to the black ink. 🙂
    I also use Post-Its.

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