I get definite envy when I see girls walking round with gorgeous, dainty handbags. The sort that’s the perfect size for a phone, some lipgloss and a small purse. So cute, so practical for carrying around in crowded places or for extended periods of time.
But no good for a writer.
Admittedly, the smart phone has removed the need for carrying round many things, but there are still a number of ‘essentials’ that necessitate a handbag you could literally fit the kitchen sink in.
1. A Notebook
Yes, you can type on your smart phone. But what if it runs out of battery? What if the ‘auto sync back up to the cloud’ fails you and your work is lost? (this actually happened to me once. I could have cried). A notebook is (almost) fool proof, and perfect for jotting down those random thoughts that occur to you as you go about your day.
2. Spare Pen(s)
Many, usually. I cleared my handbag out today and found three, and I know I took one out of it a few days ago, and gave one to someone else. So there were at least five in there. Why do I need five pens? Same principle as an exam – what if one runs out? Have a backup? What if they run out? Better pack a whole Staples, just to be sure.
Again, smart phones have saved our arms here. Having a camera to capture that perfect visual when you come across it, lest you forget the finer details when you are sat at your computer later, is essential. I’ve used my phone to photograph locations many times.
4. A book/ereader
I alternate on this one, depending on what I happen to be reading at the time, but I rarely go anywhere without a book (or two). The eReader has the advantage of carrying more books than you could possibly hope to read in a lifetime, but I have been known to pack two physical books in my handbag when I’m close to finishing one.
For when that book you’re reading gets a bit too emotional for the public place your reading it. Or the scene you’re writing. Or for when your pen explodes due to frantically writing that awesome idea you just had before it escapes you. Multiple applications.