14 Mar

DIY MFA: School Supplies

Posted in DIY MFA, Process

In preparation for DIY MFA 2.O, I’d like you to go shopping for school supplies.   While you don’t need to restock your school supplies altogether, you should treat yourself to a few small things.  You’re starting on a big project and by taking time to put together a couple of tools and supplies, you show that you’re serious and are making an investment in your writing.

So what do you need to collect before you start?  Here’s a photo of my DIY MFA 2.O kit.

Notebook:  The ecosystem notebooks are nice because they’re environmentally friendly and come in pretty colors.  I would rather write on unlined paper, but that’s a personal preference.  I also like writing inspiring quotes in the inside front and back covers for encouragement.

Pen: My favorites are Pilot Varsity in dark blue (not shown above) because I want to be able to see comments I write on manuscripts easily and dark blue is also easy on the eyes.  I buy these pens in bulk online.

Postcard:  I keep a postcard of a Tiffany stained glass window with my notebook at all times.  The image is what I think of as my imaginary ideal writing space.  If I’m writing in a noisy cafe or crowded subway, I can look at the picture and imagine myself in a peaceful writing space.  On the back of the postcard, I’ve written three mantras.  No matter what obstacle I’m running into with my writing, one of these mantras usually helps.  They are:

“No guts, no glory.”
“Keep the drama on the page.”
“Stop thinking; just write.”

Stickers:  Actually, it doesn’t need to be stickers, per se, but you do need some sort of reward-system.  I give myself a sticker for a writing job well done and to celebrate that small victory but oh-so-important victory that comes with a good writing session.

Dice:  Currently, this is my favorite writing tool.  I carry two dice with me at all times.

Mascot:  I think every writer needs a mascot.  It’s like having a little piece of your workspace with you even if you’re “writing out.”  It also means you have company while engaging in that lonely craft of writing.  The mascot is also a reminder that you are awesome.  After all, how many people actually have mascots?

Brain Bank:  I’m going to use the pink vase-cube in the picture, but you can use anything you like.  The only requirement for this item is that it be big enough to store your ideas.  Some ideas: piggy bank, cookie tin, small basket, cookie jar, even a shoe box.  I’ll talk about what to do with your Brain Bank later this week.

As you assemble your writing tools, remember to keep things as portable as possible, so you can write on the go.  The only one that might be non-portable is the Idea Bank, but you could make it portable by using a pencil case or coin purse for it.  Here’s a picture of my portable writing kit.

Now you tell me: what other supplies are must-haves in your DIY MFA 2.O toolkit?

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