A to Z Challenge 2013 – B is for…


If I wait until the end of the month to talk about my Writing Toolkit or Survival Essentials, well, the writing trek would pretty much be over. So in the spirit of the great outdoors, today I’ll share with you some contents in my Writing “Bug-out Bag.”


1) MacBook Pro 13″. I’d prefer a Macbook Air 11” for true portability. Feel free to donate to the cause. 😉

2) iPad and iPhone. Quick on-the-run type of notes or a bit longer with the iPad and a bluetooth keyboard.

3) Storage. Back that *beep* up! Dropbox or any cloud-type storage. Folders on your laptop, computer, wherever. SD Cards. I have a case that holds up to 10 cards. It’s slim and I can use the cards for the laptop and my cameras. Thumb drives, external hard drives. You get the idea. Copy your WIPs to various folders in different locations and devices so your back ups have back ups of the back ups. You feel me?! Trust me, people, many a tear has been shed, many a hair has been pulled. Don’t let this happen to you. You’ll be left a saline-deprived, dehydrated, tear duct shriveling bald-spotted hot mess.

4) Software. Among the many I must highlight two that have served me well: a) Scrivener. I wrote my last three projects on it: two novels and a short story. Love the index card feature and the ability to move scenes around; and b ) Dragon Dictate. Back and wrist injuries make prolonged sitting painful. This way I can continue with the story while standing, lying down, exercising. (Don’t let your muscles atrophy, people. Writing might turn us to stone! haha)

5) Reference. Anything to do with craft and research in the form of physical books, ebooks, mp3s, podcasts, vlogs, and the like.

6) Music. I like classical music or OSTs from film and television. The track varies, depending on the scene I’m working on. I also have a playlist that serves a purpose similar to those used for running, driving, or an 80’s movie training montage. You know, anything to get you into the writing ‘zone’.

7) Believe it or not, mirrored closet doors. My apartment came with them. I figure, instant dry erase surface for mind mapping, checklists, etc.

8) Low-tech: Paper and writing implements. You do not have an excuse. Get those words out. When the tech dies–EGADS–you can and must keep going. Has JJ Abrams taught us nothing?

9) Sustenance. Is it sad that I put food so low on the list?

10) Sleep. Yes, I know that sleep and floor-to-ceiling mirrors don’t fit inside a Bug-out Bag. But in this case, the bag is a metaphor, much like the camp, itself. I’m not trying to be deep–too soon for that–but I should probably break it to ya. Camp NaNo is neither a camp nor a nano. Discuss.

This list is by no means exhaustive. What are your must-haves to get through writing challenges?


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