If I sound like a James Bond villain I won’t apologize. You have to think like a mini-megalomaniac (if there is such a personality type) if you want to master your domain. In anything you do, do it well.
‘A poor workman blames his tools’. But don’t blame Spellcheck or a lousy computer for your latest rejection or bad plotting. I don’t agree with technological determinism about tools shaping the work and the artist/ workman, only because we’re stuck with what we have for now. Could we have had it so much better? Would Hamlet and War and Peace be better or worse if they were written on laptops? Would Vivaldi have benefited from digital recording? We’ll never know.
But there are some items you need for your arsenal.
1. Noise-Cancelling Earphones
You need a pair of these earphones when you’re working. Shut a figurative door on noisy distractions by plugging up your earholes and looking discreet. Headphones make you look like you’re working on a construction site. The earphones do let some background noise in but best to err on side of caution. Don’t use when driving, operating heavy machinery or walking across the road.
The stationery sort with pages, but just as portable as a laptop and more resistant to knocks and coffee spills. Moleskin, deerskin or meerkat, spiral or bound, lined or blank it doesn’t matter. You don’t want have to a really great idea for a nefarious plan only to start scrabbling for ink and paper later. You can also burn the incriminating evidence or embarrassing poetry afterwards.
3. Assorted Media (Watercolours, modelling clay, acrylic…)
This is related to (2). Pen and paper and tapping away on your computer won’t suffice. If you’re stuck, paint with a different brush. Draw characters as stick figures and plan stories like paintings. Or don’t by indulging your inner Jackson Pollock.
Don’t laugh but a mug of your tipple of choice is always comforting to have on hand. If the mug is too big and it feels like you’re strength-training every time you take a swig, too small and its like having tea with the petit noblesse .
All praise shrinking storage! Back up your important data and back up your back-ups.
6. Gaming Mouse
Gaming mice are ergonomically designed to fit into the crook of your hand and handle so well it’s as if your hand is a mouse. Great for long sessions of editing and redrafting WIPs.