When you become a writer there are certain things you can kiss goodbye to:
1. Being able to read a novel for pleasure.
2. A wardrobe containing NO tweed. Once you become a writer, tweed will find a way into your clothing style. Tweed – a fashion must for all serious writers. Respect to all those authors who purchased and wore a tweed jacket for their official author photo. 🙌🏻
3. Having a casual relationship with Twitter.
4. A smooth forehead. Once you become a writer your forehead will attract deep furrows.
5. A TINY handbag.
Seriously, the day after you decide to write you will experience a powerful urge to start carting a lot of stuff around with you.
A few weeks later, you will be seen hotfooting it down to your local handbag emporium and upgrading on handbag size alone.
Some months will pass and you will arrive at your local writer’s group meeting, hauling your giant handbag into the room, praying your deodorant has your back and groaning at the prospect of having to find your notebook.
Roll forward a couple of years and as the date for your book launch gets nearer – your handbag will get even BIGGER!
Several creative moons ago I did some unofficial handbag research at a writer’s workshop. I watched writers shuffle into the workshop dragging their handbag behind them. One clever soul had tied her writer’s handbag to a nifty little trolley and wore an ear to ear smile! The rest of us silently cursed her while staggering under the weight of our handbags.
I observed many writers rolling their eyes at the prospect of finding their pen inside their mammoth sized bag. Over lunch I spied several writers performing what can only be described as a magic trick – taking the contents of an entire office out of their handbag, piling it up on their seat…just to find their author business card. My eyes widened as more and more stuff built up around them. One red faced writer emptied so much stuff out of her handbag the speaker asked if she was moving in.
So, I thought it would be interesting to see what a writer’s handbag contains.
As I am a writer and soon to be author of Instructions For Falling In Love Again, AND the proud owner of a huge writer’s handbag I thought we could spend today discussing the handbags or bags of writers.
Brace yourself, here’s a list of the stuff I cart around with me:
- Note books. I carry around a collection of notebooks. One is not enough! When I am not scribbling down new story ideas in my Creative Inspiration notebook I am busy filling my Writer’s Diary with thoughts on how I am feeling creatively (some days my diary entries are surrounded with doodles of flowers and happy faces….some days my entries are short, covered with miserable faces, hand drawn black shadowy figures and one or two naughty words). I have been known to really enjoy myself and carry a third notebook. This is one that I can’t bring myself to write in as it’s too beautiful. I often come across these in shops, buy them and tell myself they are too pretty to spoil, so I carry them in my handbag and marvel at them during an idle moment.
- Coffee Loyalty Cards. I adore coffee shops (I am a writer of course) and I like to have an array of coffee loyalty cards on the go.
- Bits of loose paper with creative ideas scribbled on them. Sometimes I don’t get to my notebooks. The idea comes so fast that I can only scribble it down on a bit of paper. For noting – all my important and potentially game changing ideas are written on loose scraps of paper – not in the notebooks…sigh!
- Kindle PLUS a paperback. I like to have two books on the go. Writers must read a lot. Now I could just have both books on my Kindle but I can’t go in a bookshop without making a purchase plus I have a nasty book sniffing addiction. I like to open up my handbag and smell the delicious scent of paperback!
- My printed out first draft with hand drawn smiley face and the word – fab! I am busy getting the ELEVENTH draft ready for publication but I still carry that first draft around with me. One of my reviewers kindly drew a smiley face and wrote ‘fab!’ on the front. She did tear it to bits with red pen inside, but the sight of that smiley face and those words keep me going in the dark moments.
- Pretty pencil case. I am a big fan of attractive looking pencil cases. At writing events, where successful authors take questions from the audience, I always want to ask – can I see your pencil case? The second it was held aloft, I would know whether the successful author and I could ever be friends. Beautiful pencil cases create beautiful friendships.
- Lipstick. A selection of shades to let the world know what I am thinking. Dusty pink means I am thinking about a hot romance scene, plum means I am thinking deep and intelligent stuff (I rarely wear plum) sparkly pink means my head is full of light and fluffy things and crimson red means I have just received a rejection and I am still feeling brave ❤️ Also if the worst does happen and I can’t find a pen or a pencil (lost pencil-case scenario) I always carry with me an emergency lipstick, which could be used to scribble down the key points of an idea.
- Tissues. As I am an emotional writer who struggles with NOT crying when writing or reading romance, I have at least 2 packets on the go.
- Phone. Of course. Where would a writer be without access to social media? Duh!
- Writer’s Bladder Emergency Kit. It is terrible when you suffer with this condition. A new story idea or the arrival of a handsome new character can send some writers (of a certain age) like me sprinting for the loo. We have to be prepared for all Writer’s Bladder scenarios, so the handbag of a seasoned writer will include spare knickers and other leak preventing accessories.
- Handbag Basics. Hair brush (in case I bump into successful authors in Asda), plasters (for when I trip over my enormous handbag), headache tablets, purse, hand cream, mints (for coffee-breath after writing binge), Evening Primrose oil capsules (for my hormones) and heavy floral scented body spray (for when my deodrant has let me down).
I hope this blog post has given you some much-needed insight into the stuff a writer carries around in their handbag.
Please share with me the contents of your own writer’s handbags 👜
If anyone has a tweed clothing catalogue, let me know 👍🏻
My COVER reveal is next Sunday. Don’t miss this important event here on my blog.
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