My 10 Quirky Writing Must-Haves

August 28, 2019

By Renée Lichtenhan

Most writers I know claim at least a few quirky must-haves to get their writing groove on. When one of them goes missing, everything’s just… off.  What are yours? Comment with them on my FB or Instagram! Here are ten of mine.


1. No Coffee Shops or Libraries. My thoughts bounce away like a pile of ping-pong balls at the smallest distraction. Also, I’m an extrovert, so it’s better if there are no people around to snag me into conversation.


2. Just the right playlist. Here’s where I’m high maintenance. Despite my need for solitude, dense silence makes me uncomfortable. I like music, but it can’t have any lyrics because they clog up my word flow. It can’t be classical either, because a sudden surge in tempo rushes (and annoys) me.  My go-to playlists are “spa music”, acoustic guitar, or Kenny G (I know…).  Elevator music, basically.


3. A Candle. My family knows that I love getting candles as gifts. Each time I sit down to write, I choose a scent that fits my mood or the mood of one of my characters.  The soft glow is cozy and helps me settle into a creative space.


4. Perfect Screen-to-Eyeball Position. During a tight deadline last year, I’d spent countless hours on my laptop.  My neck flared with such intense pain, I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t think straight.  Realizing that the cause was the low position of my computer screen, I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse, and threw together some homemade platforms that raised my laptop to eye level.  


5. Comfy Clothes. Yoga pants, fuzzy socks, and big, sloppy sweatshirts.  There’s nothing more distracting than a tight waistband.  Well, anything tight, really.  Even my feet need to breathe.


6. Internet. Details that need researching pop up all the time.  


7. Thesaurus. Back in school, my thesaurus was tattered and well used. My digital version doesn’t show the wear, but trust me, I use it all the time.  


8. Spiritual Connection. Imagine going for a jog without tying your shoes first. It wouldn’t take long for you to notice your laces slapping at your ankles and your feet sliding out of your shoes. You’d quickly feel that something was amiss. If I write without praying first, I notice within the first paragraph. My writing is just “off.” Since I write inspirational, Christian fiction, connecting with the source of that inspiration is critical.


9. A Water View. Maybe it’s because I’m a Pieces, I don’t know. More likely, it’s because I’ve lived around water all of my life. If I can see the ocean, a lake, swimming pool, or fountain, it makes my writing better. 


10. Reading. Finishing a well-crafted, captivating novel sends me scrambling for my laptop with renewed inspiration. If you’re a writer, be sure to make time to read!   


What about you? Comment on my Facebook or Instagram with some of your quirky writing must-haves!