I don’t know why, but I just have this very strange attraction towards somebody else’s wishlist. Not to be confused with being covetous or anything, but there’s just something so inspiring and weirdly… whimsical about seeing what sparks creativity and productivity in someone else—even more so if the person is a creative.
You know, like how you couldn’t resist but to wonder what kind of fountain pen did Tolkien use to pen Lord of the Rings? Or how you wonder what kind of cooking utensils do Martha Stewart use in her own personal, home kitchen?
Knowing what other people use in their own creative endeavors, for me, brings tremendous joy and relief—joy because now I know more stuff I could use to make my own life easier; relief because at least I’m not the only person who hoard stuff, and think that the right pen and paper makes for the best writing experience—the same way the right keyboard makes all the difference when it comes to typing my next novel-length project.
Yes, I am known to
collect hoard a lot of stuff. I shudder thinking what Marie Kondo would do if she were to help me tidy up my space. I mean, almost everything sparks joy to me.
So here is my list (at least for now), and how I plan on using them, should I finally get my hands on them!
Mechanical Keyboard with Blue Switch
Did I mention I think the right keyboard makes all the difference when it comes to writing?
The logic is simple. I’m a writer. And if I’m supposed to spend a lot of time writing, I would want the experience to be as joyful as possible. I just couldn’t bear to write anything longer than an email on a touch screen, and some of the recent laptops’ keyboards are too mushy for my taste—they compensated the typing experience for the lightweight build.
A mechanical keyboard, especially one with a blue switch, is on another level. If you’re unfamiliar with a mechanical keyboard, they’re basically chunkier, clickier version of keyboards than your usual ones, because they are loaded with individual switches underneath each key. This means every key has a satisfying travel, and it bounces back almost effortlessly to encourage you to type the next letter… and the next one… and the next.
The “blue” switch I mentioned, is essentially a type of switch that is clickier and more suitable for typing, but a lot noisier. So this is not for you guys who live with someone else, or for those of you who have a very uncompromising neighbor.
I’m personally eyeing the ANNE Pro 2 Mechanical Keyboard.
ChicSparrow Hemingway Toronto A6 Deluxe Traveler’s Notebook
Now that is a mouthful, but here’s a breakdown of what that means.
Lineup: Hemingway Deluxe
It is basically a traveler’s notebook. And if you’ve read one of my old blog posts, I’m basically in love with the system. There is just one tiny problem I’ve encountered: I don’t really fancy the color brown anymore, and the regular Traveler’s Notebook size didn’t work for me.
Okay so that’s two tiny things. But I digress. I chose ChicSparrow because they put so much attention to details in the quality of their leathers. What I especially like about their website is that they provide different lineups with different textures of leathers, and they wrote the descriptions for each of them informatively.
Here’s a little secret: I might have actually ordered my own ChicSparrow, and am just waiting for the package to reach my home.
iPad (any model)
I don’t usually fuss a lot with technology, and to be fair, I already have a fully-functioning laptop to do all my writings in. In fact, I’ve used the same laptop to finish Unspoken Words, Maybe Everything, and Polaris Musim Dingin. So it’s not like I don’t like writing in that machine.
The idea to have an iPad actually comes from my recent move to a new workplace. They offer all the same things any employees would want from a company, including a working laptop.
Now of course I won’t refuse getting a new laptop. But the problem is, the office laptop is strictly for business use only. I wouldn’t risk putting all my writing projects in the system—the audit team would kill me if they found out. And I certainly don’t have the strength to lug two laptops together all the time for when the inspiration strikes.
Enter the iPad: lighter, cheaper, and can go with me virtually everywhere. I don’t even need the newest Pro models, no matter how much I envy their buttery smooth UI animation and vivid, bright screens. Any iPads—even the cheapest model, would do. But even the cheapest iPad is still an investment, so I’m still holding my bucks while I reevaluate my needs.
Let’s see if I do end up getting an iPad later, shall we?
You know how I usually outline my scenes all this time? Using sticky notes, and by just laying them down on the floor. It works—yeah it does. But at the same time, I have to put them away and lay them out again every time I need to brainstorm. Only after I’ve finalized the order of things would I be able to stack them semi-permanently, or (to my horror!) transfer them somewhere else less transient.
And before you shout at me to go digital—I’ve tried, okay? I have tried using Notepads, Word documents, Google Sheets, Evernote, BEAR, OmniOutliner, Trello, and even straight-up Scrivener. But nothing could get my brain turning like a good old-fashioned handwriting my scene ideas into paper.
This is where a cork board comes to play. I’ve noticed the aesthetics and word choice the people who made Scrivener used: they have a feature called “cork board” that is used to outline and give an overview of your story.
And I thought, this would work perfectly for me… if only it wasn’t in digital format. It doesn’t take rocket science from here on out to follow my train of thoughts—I’ve decided that an actual, physical cork board, might be the very thing that I need to finalize my outlining process once and for all.
I love printers. I really do. I love it when they can print in colors, and I especially love it when I can use the printer to scan documents. Especially as a writer, I often print stuff—my shorter writings, excerpts from a novel I’ve worked on, letters, etc.
But I mostly print in monochrome, due to the nature of my job. And do you know what printers do when you don’t print using their colored ink for too long? They clog up.
This is why, after much pondering, I’ve decided that a monochrome printer is the thing that I need. I barely use the color printing options at all—twice in the last 5 years, last time I counted—and my phone has a great enough camera to act as a makeshift scanner when I need it to.
Moreover, I heard that printers that can only print (not scan) are usually cheaper than their more “complete” cousins. But even if they end up being the same price, or even a tad pricier, I’d rather have something that is just “enough”, instead of having a product loaded with features I will never use.
(To be honest, I’m still searching for the right printer myself, so any suggestions would help!)
Where to find
Alicia Lidwina 2020