• V.P Colombo

5 Things Every Writer Needs

1. A Writing Space

Wherever you are - at home, travelling, at work - you need somewhere to write and something to write with: pen and paper, computer, laptop, typewriter...pen and paper is the easiest to carry everywhere so keep a notebook with you.

2. A Ritual

For some of us, it's difficult to get in "the zone". We are too easily distracted by everything that surrounds us: background noise (cars in the street, children, pets, music, tv), silence, thoughts, etc... Well it is for me.

So I created a ritual to get me out of my life and into writing. I burn some incense, I wear my crystal bracelets and rings, and listen to mantras (here Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha, Mantras for Precarious Times, Deva Premal)

3. A Cat...

... or two, or three, or four cats, or a dog or two, or a goat, or a pony, or four cats and two dogs like me :P

They bring so much love into our lives, they're fantastic companions. Ok, sometimes they can distract us, but everyone needs to take a break every now and then :)

My fur babies are always helping, even when sick (Lola left photo on my desk so I could monitor her)

4. An Editor

As English is not my native language and we moved to Australia while my daughter was in her early teens, she's now my in-house editor. She helps me with the grammar sometimes but mostly with sentences that you wouldn't say in English and that I translated literally from French. She has a thing for punctuation though and focuses on it when sometimes all I ask is if the story works.

We also need a professional editor. A manuscript which hasn't been professionally edited has little to no chance to get published. It's as simple as that. The editor will also help to work on structure, plot holes, etc...

Clémence and Luna checking on my punctuation before I submit the story to a writing competition.

5. Vacation

We writers need to step away from our writing - I do!

First, because it's easy to get so stuck into writing that we lose sight, direction and objectivity.

To be able to do a good rewrite and/or edit we need a break from the story, but also from our daily routine. We need to change scenery, to breath a different air, to meet other people; all of this will help us to come back with a fresh view.

My suitcase last June before travelling to Uluru and North QLD

I think I should add a sixth point, because you never know...

6. Champagne!

Always, always, always have some bubbles in the fridge to pop. You never know when you'll win a writing competition, when your manuscript will be accepted, when an agent will decide to represent you, when someone will buy your book at the other end of the world... Be ready to celebrate anytime, anywhere!

22 views0 comments