Saturday, 17 October 2020

Writers' essential lockdown kit - Tracy Darnton

Just a short one this month as I'm too busy feeling anxious and creating a spreadsheet of how I can see my various kids and family in all their different Tier locations.

The return of two universities worth of students from all over the country has led to our city's rates shooting up and me wondering if I'm going to be locked down again. 

Luckily, I've written a book about preparing for disaster which foreshadowed the toilet roll shortages so I am obviously an expert. I share with you my essential writers' toolkit of supplies to see you through the long, long winter months: 

Item:                Notebooks     



If you call yourself a writer, you will probably have already stockpiled pre-2020 more than you will ever ever need in your own lifetime (especially as you type your manuscripts) but you just can't stop collecting the damn things. 

Item:                TBR pile of novels


This should be the equivalent of three times your own height and make you feel stressed or it is not a proper TBR pile. 

Item:                 Post-it notes

Winter months will fly by if you colour-code all the plots and sub plots in your manuscript.

Item:                 Desk buddy

This is your constant work colleague for those water cooler moments and to discuss the latest Netflix series. You can bounce all those knotty plot problems off your desk buddy so choose wisely. 

Item:                 Thingammybob

Weird and intriguing object to have in the background on your zoom calls and author You Tube videos. This will distract your 'viewers' from the state of your hair and level of your conversation.

Item:                Tea bags

Quantity = 3 x (hours of writing) x 140/y   where y = procrastination ratio

You're welcome. 

Tracy Darnton is the author of YA thrillers The Truth About Lies and The Rules. She's meant to be concentrating on writing the next one. 


Rowena House said...

A very fine list! Shame mine had a biscuit barrel on it before lockdown. Doing a fine impression of a barrel myself now. Good luck with the spreadsheet, and, well, everything.

Penny Dolan said...

Good list - except that I don't agree with one point.

I know your description of the height of a To Be Read pile was gently humourous, but imo, any lockdown stack should definitely NOT make you at all stressed. Moreover, thee quantity should not be an added burden. Not all need be read.

I'm writing this in response to a certain rush for the next best book I see on twitter, sometimes initated by marketing campaigns & free review copies.

"Lockdown" book stacks - in general - can help you live more easily, more interestingly, and with more perspective and hope, possibly, so opt for a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction. With a corner for poetry maybe.

No bisuit barrel! Well, is a biscuit drawer allowed, then?

Penny Dolan said...

That is definitely a mixed stack you have there, Tracey.
Noting the Penguin Quiz Book, among others.

Tracy Darnton said...

Thanks Rowena for pointing out the glaring biscuit omission. What was I thinking!

And happy to report, Penny, that the TBR pile is a pic I had to hand on my phone on some of the books we read in the last lockdown. So this stack at least is already read and enjoyed - except for the quiz book where we've only answered a few!