10. Paper. I am aware that most writers do their actual writing on some sort of computer, but I assure you that crumpling up a piece of paper and hurling it in the direction of a recycle basket is a far more emotionally gratifying experience than hitting the delete button. Thumping your desk with your fist raises the satisfaction level.
9. Pens. This summer I spent a large amount of time writing with a pen which resulted in scattered ink stains on my hands. These stains made me feel, in an odd way, like a real writer. It was literally my work leaving its mark on me. Try it. Of course, it may help if (like me) you're writing in the shadow of the Globe Theatre in London.
8. Snacks One Can Devour with One Hand. Eating and writing. Win-win.
7. Crumb-free Snacks. If you’ve ever had to clean out your keyboard, you’ll agree with me. You want a keyboard that goes ‘click-click’ not ‘crunch-crunch’. Crunch-crunch is not a happy sound, unless you have pet dragons and even then, you have to worry over what is crunch-crunching. Sorry. I digress.
6. Beverages. I leave the choice of beverage completely up to you and your spontaneous gifter, but I warn you liquids of the alcoholic variety may add to your word count, but not in a good way. Or maybe that’s just me.
5. Someone (be they two or four legged) to bring you the above-mentioned snacks and beverages. No true artist should be disturbed while communing with their muse! Or, more likely, muttering ‘just 500 more words, dammit, and I’ll have my word count for today.’
4. Bookcase. Any writer needs shelves dedicated to writing. It’s up to you how to fill them. Some writers like ‘how-to’ books - the more the merrier. I am not some of this some. My shelves are filled with historical sources and picture books. And yes, there might be some snacks there too.
3. Clock. Of course a clock is useful for those ten minute or one hour word sprints, but it also allows you to discover exactly how long you just spent on the internet ‘researching’. I know how this goes. You start with a simple search for a thesaurus and end up some time later discovering the nesting habits of pheasants. You'll think you were only on the net for five minutes. Ha!
2. A rich, effortless vocabulary. I am forced to use a thesaurus (alright, actually I have three), but it would be wonderful to think of the precise word myself. It might also avoid first drafts where I use the same word fifteen times in the same paragraph.
1. Instant creativity. When you have a limited time to write (what with life and all), having quality words appearing promptly would make for sunnier days. Think about it. You’re smiling at the thought, aren’t you?
So there it is. Let the spontaneous gifting commence!
Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her latest mystery game, "A Fatal Fairy Tale" was published in February. All her murder mystery games and two plays are available through host-party.com. She has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine Elias. She is on Twitter as @elspethwrites.