The only essential tool you need for writing
I think you’re finally on the road to successfully writing — not to be confused with being a successful writer — when you switch from thinking of all the things you need in order to write to realising all the things you don’t need.
Judging by many of the posts on Medium and in other writing forums, many neophyte writers get quickly hung up on everything ranging from types of pen to computer operating systems and whether Scrivener is better than Word. What type of chair to sit in or should they stand? What time of the day is best for writing?
Is it better to write drunk? That’s surprisingly common. (And I’m not going to poke too much fun at that because I used to think that drink and writing went so well together that I spent a lot of time drinking and no time at all writing.) The answer to the question — and I can only speak from my own experience — is a resounding ‘No’.
A quiet place or a coffee shop with ambient noise? Lockdowns just about everywhere are making that one a bit redundant. So quiet or listening to music. If I listen to music, I soon drift off into the music and forget about my fingers and the keyboard.
The truth of the matter is — especially until you are so successful that you get to order your days around your writing and have the luxury of choosing when, where, and what to write on a given day — that the only thing you ever need to write is you. Your unique brain with all its unique thoughts.
Stop worrying about all the incidentals. You can write with a pencil on a pad or just create sentences in your head and worry about putting them on paper later. Every time you refuse to write because of tools, location, noise, or time, you’re telling yourself that other things are more important than your writing.
And they may be. So be honest. Do you want to write or do you want a beer?