• Dakota Rebel

5 Things I Can't Live Without

Being an author is a lot like being a sports fan. We're a superstitious bunch and we all have tokens and totems and environments that we believe allow us to be our most creative selves. I am no different.

The following things are my comfort items, the stuff I like to have around me to put me in the mood to write. It's silly, but it works, so don't knock it.

1. Writing Gloves. Like...for real. I always seem to have cold extremities. And while these don't cover my actual fingers, they are essential to keeping my hands warm while I type away. I'm honestly wearing them as I write this post.

A total bargain at less than $6. These are beautiful and super comfy. My favorite part? They keep my FitBit from banging against my laptop. I have these dark gray ones, but I plan to get the wine, the black and the coffee, too.

2. My Planner. I use this for literally everything. My notes, my plotting, release schedules, social media calendar. Sometimes, I write an entire story in the notes section. I am never without this thing. It travels well and I like the Happy Planner brand because it's super customizable. I have the punch so I can add pages I make myself. Plus, the amount of stickers you can buy, make, print is insane! If you haven't discovered the joy of planners...well, what the hell are you waiting for?

3. THESE PENS! Every author needs pens, and the smoother they write and comfortable to hold the better. I have never found pen love like the love I have for Ink Joy pens. The colors are vibrant, they really, truly don't smear and they are the perfect thickness both in the holding and in the writing. I buy these things like you stock up on your favorite bra. I live in constant fear that they will discontinue these and so I hoard them like a crazy person on TLC.

4. Apple Candles. Your brain fires on all of your senses. And just like the smell of popcorn can make you remember a movie date, specific smells can put your mind into the frame it needs to be in. I try to always have an apple candle burning when I know I need to bust out a serious word count. I have trained my mind to associate the smell of apples with time to work.

You can do the same thing by always chewing the same kind of gum, or the same kind of mint, or find your own favorite smell and surround yourself with it when you need to accomplish something. It sounds crazy, but I swear to you it works.

5. Music. I don't know if it's because I grew up as an only child, or if it's because I have the loudest children on the planet, but I cannot focus in a quiet environment. Silence makes me squiggy. I need noise. Since I don't really watch television, I do find that distracting. But music is like an escape. It helps me push through at the gym and it helps me concentrate on my work. My favorite thing at the moment is to put one single song on repeat as I work. It doesn't take long for it to become a background sound, nothing I'm actually paying attention to, just noise, and I can fall into my characters and really start busting out the words. My favorite repeat right now...Here We Go Again by Demi Lovato. Remember that, it's going to be an important piece of trivia at some point this year.

So there you have it, the 5 things I need to really get in to my writing. Do you have things you need to get work done? Do you have to have a certain pair of socks if you're headed out on a long run? Is there a stuffed animal you need in bed with you when you're sick? Tell me your totems in the comments below.

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