I’m guilty of being a consumerist, at times. Not that being a consumer is a bad thing—that’s what drives our consumer driven economic model, right? But I do use buying things as an excuse not to do work. And by work I mean write.
How many times have you been browsing Etsy or Amazon, and the little voice inside your head went “Oh, hey, if I bought X, then I’d do Y more!”
It’s a common trap we all fall into. Buying X doesn’t make Y any easier—it’s just a delay tactic. Trust me, I have a yoga mat I’ve never used. I have a bamboo journal that’s currently sitting next to my bed, being used as a coaster. I have art pens that would make me more artsy when I doodled.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t exercise, or don’t write, or don’t doodle. I do all of these things, and it was only after I fell into the “if I buy X then I’d do Y more” mentality that I realized I was using buying things as an excuse not to write.
The question arises—what does a writer need to write, then?
Melanie Figueroa, co-creator, editor, and social media manager at The Poetics Project notes that most of her poems or beginning of writing projects have started out on napkins, scraps of paper, or on the notepad feature on her iPhone.
I carry around a dollar composition notebook to jot down ideas in, which never seems to get used. I too go digital and tend to write notes to myself when I think of something interesting throughout the day, or I sit down at a computer and write.
Now, doing the math, I know that a computer or a smart phone is more expensive than a fancy writing journal, but honestly, a computer or smart phone is way more diverse than a writing journal that will never get used.
All a writer needs to write is passion, drive, an idea, and some medium to jot those ideas down with. Don’t fall into the trap of delaying work because you need to buy something—if you have a surface that can be written on and an instrument to write with, you’re all set.