Annie’s Writing Survival Kit


For me, quality writing is elusive.  I’ve been working on my novel for just under a year now (which is scaring the crap out of me because it’s still unfinished) and I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out my little superstitious way to ensure maximum productivity and creativity.  Here are the things that help me get the creative juices flowing:

  • A clean desk: I am so easily distracted when I write, so I preemptively like to clean my desk or table before I start to crank out pages just to make sure I stay on-task.
  • Scrunchies: Nothing kills my writing vibe more than hair in my face and since my hair is long, thick, and curly, this is a problem for me.  I purchased a 5-pack of these scrunchies from Urban Outfitters and I love them.  I love them so much.  I love these scrunchies so much that I am going to single-handedly keep scrunchies in style so that I can continue to wear them without judgment.
  • The GoogleDoc word counter extension: I’m highly motivated by increasing my novel’s word count, so the first thing I installed when I moved my draft to GoogleDocs was a word counter extension.  I think word count is a more accurate meter for tracking progress than page count and I love checking the counter and seeing how much I wrote in each lil writing session.
  • BIC RoundStic blue pens: These pens are my absolute favorite!  They’re conveniently cheap and I find that they last a long time even if you leave them uncapped.  If I come to a rut in my writing process, the first thing I do is write by hand to try and untangle the knots and these pens are kind of the key to this practice.  They go perfectly with…
  • Mead FiveStar spiral-bound college-ruled notebooks: I am such a snob when it comes to wide-ruled versus college-ruled and how my notebooks are bound, but I just love these.  The covers are durable and they come in so many different sizes and colors while being relatively inexpensive.  My favorite right now is a single-subject notebook with a white cover because it’s easy to shove in my backpack and stands up to lots of wear.
  • Pajamas: As much as I love looking cute/socially acceptable, I have a stash of ugly jammies and sweatpants that are my writing go-to’s.  Fuzzy socks are also a must because I keep my room pretty chilly.
  • Music: I grew up as a competitive dancer and this totally changed my relationship with music.  To me, music triggers a weird work ethic for me because my time in the studio has unintentionally associated hard work with music.  Weird, but it works.  I’m digging playlist called “Chill Vibes” by Spotify at the moment, but I also have a self-compiled playlist called “write on” that gets me in the writing mood.
  • A small space: What I think is so weird about me as a writer is that I love to write sitting on the floor or in an environment like the one I’m writing.  For example, I wrote a short story last year that took place, from start to finish, in a bathroom with the lights off during a school shooting.  In order to write as candidly as possible, I sat on the floor in between my couch and the wall and wrote for two hours straight without stopping.  A few days ago, I was trying to write a scene and just couldn’t get it, so I went and sat on my parents’ bathroom floor for an hour and wrote like nobody’s business.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think sitting on the floor in a small space triggers creativity (it’s probably just me).
  • An obnoxiously inspirational quote: There’s something about profanity that makes me want to write.  My desk faces a chalkboard wall in my room and, right about my desk, I have written “write the f***ing book!” in chalk.  Like with sitting in a small space, maybe it’s just me.

So that’s that!  What is your writing survival kit?  Let me know in the comments below (haha, accidental rhyme) and don’t forget to check out my Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Wattpad, and Spotify <3


44 thoughts on “Annie’s Writing Survival Kit

  1. I love this list! 👍🏼Especially the inspirational quote lol😂I definitely need stuff like that around me, so I leave myself little notes all the time.
    I have a name plate on my desk that says “I Woke Up Like This” 😊 and I also have a coffee mug with my name engraved on it in gold, my name plate from my last job, a sticky note pad shaped like an “H”, and usually one or two coffee mugs with the letter “H” on them… I don’t think I need to be constantly reminded of my name to write, but that’s how I decorated my desk, so… haha it seems kinda crazy when I explain it! 😂
    But all I need to write is just a computer… I don’t like to write by hand, not even notes, and I hate to be distracted. So as long as I’m sitting somewhere comfortable like my desk or the couch, by a window preferably, that’s all I need to write. Oh, and coffee! 😊

    Nice post ❤️

    -Helene |

  2. This made me grin! I love writing to music, especially if I’m struggling with a scene, it really helps – kind of like when people get pumped up by listening to their favourite tracks at the gym, I suppose. I also like writing in my pjs, and though I mainly write on my laptop, I like having a notebook and pen around too, just in case. Oh, and a large cup of tea, either herbal or black with soy/almond milk.

  3. Hi Annie!
    I love this post! I also have a few quirky writing habits:
    My location of choice is the couch. Sometimes I sit on the couch with my laptop on my lap, but most of the time I am lying down. I am not sure if I can write sitting on a chair at a desk…
    I also wear comfortable, non-socially-acceptable clothing 🙂
    I love Spotify as well. My current playlist which I only use for writing is Peaceful Piano. It is interesting that you mention that music puts you into a productive mood! I used to take piano lessons, so maybe it has a similar effect on me as well, though I haven’t thought of it that way before 🙂
    Keep writing and don’t give up!


  4. I totally agree with you when it comes to writing on the floor or in a small space! For me, I think it’s because it’s an atypical place to be so my brain gets a little more creative and gets out of whatever rut it happens to be in! I have to switch up where I write or I can’t concentrate for some reason. Whether it’s where I’m sitting in the living room or which coffee shop I’m going to, I can’t do the same thing every time or I get blocked!

  5. Yes, music! And I like writing on the road. But music is typically essential for my writing, and I love this French musical’s soundtrack. I think Captain Guinevere was written listening to that thing.

      1. The musical is called La Légende du Roi Arthur, if that’s what you’re talking about. CG is available on Amazon and I plan to release the sequel in November.

  6. Yes these do work.
    But what works best for me is a clear morning or better a sunrise.
    And I also think that every morning is clear, beautiful and refreshing. It reveals the best in me. It’s a must for me.
    Anyway, nice article!

      1. Happy dance for sure! I’m about 20K but between work, school, and family I don’t have the time I’d like to devote to writing. Slow going but so satisfying as well.

  7. Annie, I love this post. It makes me smile to learn about other writing processes. I like to know that there are other people like me. I have a few things I like to do as well. Going along with your clean desk point, I have to get rid of distractions. For that, I usually leave my house and go somewhere I can’t start fiddling with something, and where the internet does not connect automatically. But for me, I have to be near windows. Looking outside is something I have to do while writing.

  8. I absolutely love (and agree with) this post! I find it so interesting that you like to write in spaces that help “transport” you into the world, I’m definetly going to try that out in the future! Thanks for the advice 🙂