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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eight things a writer on the go needs

Nowadays we seem to be constantly on the move and as spring approaches, even more so. As you never know when you’ll come across something that sparks the writer within, what should you  make sure you  always have with  you?

1.  I personally don’t carry a lap top. I’m too inclined to lose it or drop it so I use an AlphaSmart, the virtues of which  I described in my very early blog Writer on the move. You can find out more about it  including prices here. I  got mine a lot cheaper on Ebay as people frequently upgrade and  move on

Using it  stops me spending too much time surfing when I should be writing. There are few places in the world where you can’t find  internet access when you need it.

Of course this only applies if you are on the go for a short time and don’t have a deadline while you’re away . If you do then you’d better  take a laptop.


However you might want to read these tips about keeping your laptop safe, before you set off

2. Pen and notebook – can’t beat ‘em  for moments when the muse strikes and you just can’t get anything else to hand.


3. MP3 or  some other  pocket recording device for ideas on the go that you don’t have time to write down or if you find yourself in the company of someone interesting and you want to record him.

I often join an unofficial tour on my travels around the country and it’s great to be able to record the ‘guide’ or whoever is sharing information and not have to worry about writing  everything down.


You might think of a great story line and want to capture it before it gets away or even a spark or thought for an article. Just turn it on and  record your thoughts quickly.

4. A good ( doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest) digital camera.clip_image002[9]

Even if you don’t usually supply  photos, they are always great for reminding you about a place/ event / person and can capture things you don’t even notice at the time e.g. the weather, the kind of people who were there, the clothes people wore etc.

5. Mobile phone  (and charger). If you get a great idea for a story and want to check in with an editor you have worked with before call and run it past them and get an angle.

A new editor wouldn't want a pitch by phone so gather the information, take the photos as though you were writing the story and when you get to a computer pitch the story.

6.Comfortable walking shoes and clothes.  Sun glasses and sun screen and  a hat if you’re in a hot climate – you don’t need sunstroke.

7. Books to read – if you;re travelling you will hopefully have time to catch up on some of those books you’ve been promising yourself you’ll read one day. Don’t miss the opportunity.

8..power cords / batteries/ chargers / USB chargers that can be used in an electric outlet – anything that keeps all your equipment working.

Have an enjoyable and fruitful trip.


Rosalind Adam said...

You're so well organised! I must admit that I do tend to take my laptop with me when we go away even though it is very heavy. I like to have my camera with me too but I'd never thought of using my MP3 to record tour guides. Thanks for the tip ;-)

Ann said...

Actually Ros, I'm not at all organised. I wrote the post to force me to sit down and list what I need to take now that it's the time of year when I'm off exploring 'new' sites in this wonderful country of ours.