6 Things You Need to Kickstart a Writing Habit

by Karen Green

There’s nothing that inspires a desire to write more than reading great books does, so don’t let fear or the feeling that you might not have something profound to say stand in your way. The simple act of journaling or writing—daily, weekly, hourly—even if only for yourself, is a wonderful way to connect with your feelings, work out stressful situations or try to make sense of the world around you. It’s also a great way to keep safe the stories and memories that a photo might not adequately capture, or it can just be a way to jot down the thoughts, questions and observations that occur to you as you go about your day.

Think of a writing practice as a form of meditation mixed with art, and you might just surprise yourself by how much you enjoy it. And if you’re still not sure if a sustained writing habit is something you could commit to, there’s nothing wrong with stocking up on these wonderful goodies to have on hand when inspiration strikes.

  1. Customizable journal—$14.00 U.S., Etsy

Start with the basics: a journal that you’ll enjoy writing in. This customizable notebook, available to order from Etsy, gives you the option to choose the cover as well as the paper, so whether you prefer lined, plain or graph paper, you’ll be ready for all the words.

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  1. Graphite pencils, set of 12—$12.00 U.S., Rifle Paper Co.

Writing in longhand feels organic and personal, and it gives you a real chance to connect to the words you are writing. But that doesn’t mean you’ll want to keep every word you write, so a good, sturdy (and pretty) pencil with an eraser is the perfect tool for the job.

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  1. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott—$9.84 U.S., Amazon.com

Even if you don’t have your sights set on writing a novel, Lamott’s words are sure to inspire your own. With simple instructions and powerful insights into the writing life, this book has led countless writers to find and develop their own voices.

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  1. Inspiring mug—$16.00 U.S., Etsy

If you’re going to write, you’re going to need caffeine. This mug, featuring a line from T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” understands.  There’s nothing like holding a cup full of steamy goodness to get the creative juices flowing.

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  1. The Elements of Style, Illustrated Edition by William Strunk Jr., E. B. White & Maira Kalman—$13.57 U.S., Barnes & Noble

Even if nobody else ever sees your work, understanding the principals of basic English and grammar use will only ever help your writing. This edition of the trusted manual is decidedly less intimidating than other style guides, featuring charming and helpful illustrations. If you don’t want to use it (you should use it), it still makes a beautiful coffee table book.

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  1. Noise-canceling headphones—$37.99 U.S., Amazon.com

Not every writer has the luxury of closing the door to a room of one’s own, but a pair of good headphones will keep the world at bay for a bit. Classical music is said to boost creativity and concentration, but listen to whatever playlist will keep you focused and inspired.

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Do you write or journal? What are your must-haves for keeping up the practice? Let us know in the comments!

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