What You Need to Write

Sacramento Photowalk: Rodney's Cigars & Liquor...
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Plot?  An outline for your novel?  A passion for storytelling and a story that just has to be told?  I don’t know.  I guess.  They can’t hurt to have layin’ around your desk or something but here’s what you really need to write.

Coffee.  I know. Duh, right?  Writing without coffee would be like writing without words.  Not just pointless but impossible.  But not just any coffee.  If you’re the type that goes to Starbucks and ‘writes’ on your laptop with your feet on a chair; stop it.  I don’t like that.  Go to Target or something and get one of those little Krups cappuccino makers.  Put that bad boy right on your desk, man.  You must have coffee.  It’s liquid writing.

A computer.  Not for the word processing ability but for Pandora.  Seriously how did anybody ever get any work done before Pandora?  CD’s?  The radio?  Like an animal?  Of course those word processing programs are pretty handy.  I learned to type on an IBM Selectric.  I’m pretty sure if that’s all we still had I wouldn’t bother writing anything.  Too much work.

An understanding spouse.  Or a divorce.  Half a dozen of one….

Tobbacco.  I can’t reccomend cigarettes.  I think only Hunter S. made those work and he still had to use that weird holder.  Cigars are better and give you that nice Hemingway look.  It’s like burning writing.  Plus the smoke tends to keep away bothersome spouses.  I prefer the pipe for a scholarly Tolkien effect.  Then when someone pokes their nosy mug in your door and asks what you’re doing you can take a couple puffs, point the pipe stem and say “I’m writing.  What does it look like?”  They withdraw quickly and you can re-maximize your spider solitaire window.

A knife.  Actually you don’t need one to write.  It’s just a good idea to have a sharp knife handy.

Beer.  Drank too much coffee, didn’t ya?  Computer screen getting fuzzy and fingers too shaky to type?  Don’t worry, just pour yourself a tall frosty beer.  If you’re into the hard stuff I suppose that’ll work but you don’t want to get drunk, ya lush.  Just take the edge off.  It’s like bubbly, malty writing.

A hat.  Oh.  You don’t wear a hat when you write?  I’m sorry.  I thought you were serious about the craft.

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About Eric Bahle

Eric Bahle stopped going to his real job so he could be a full time digital author and storyteller. He loves being in the woods with his bow or on the water in his kayak. He lives in Pennsylvania with his lovely wife and a mongrel dog. He is working on his next bestselling story.


  1. You so rock.

  2. My first thought was, “A pen”.

    Uh oh.

  3. In addition to your fabulous thoughts, I would add:

    A wild a_ _ imagination

    A mind wide-open

    Bare feet

    Comfy chair and big room to run around in

    Some desk toys

    and everyone out of the way…

    Appreciate your work.

  4. @Diane. Remiss of me to not include bare feet. Won’t happen again!

  5. Now I know why I never made it as a seven year old writer; the only thing I had was a computer.

  6. I would add a proper environment to that list. It doesn’t always have to be the same place, but it has to be a productive space.