Survival kits are not just for outdoor enthusiasts. Life can be tough. We all need things to get us through the rough spots, whether these be first drafts (pause to shudder), the marshy middles of our writing projects, unexpected bad news, or those days when everything goes wrong.
Sustenance. Sure, protein bars are great when hiking, but when I'm at my desk and thrashing through a first draft (which I’ve been doing this summer), I go for jellybeans. Jelly Belly jellybeans, to be specific. I find they are great sustenance during tough writing times. They heal. I’m pretty sure this a scientific fact. When the times get tough, the tough pop jellybeans.
First Aid Supplies. I don’t know about you, but I can be my own worst enemy. When I am writing, I can wallow like a water buffalo in pools of self-doubt. That’s when I apply a hearty dose of reality as if it were antibiotic cream. I remind myself that what I am working on does not need to be perfect. I can always revise. Revisions are first aid for broken and bruised, scratched and messy writing.
Water. It soothes. It hydrates. It is a necessity for survival. So is music. Unlike water, it inspires. When I am writing, it can help me get through the toughest parts of the process (another shudder as I consider the first draft). When I am having a bad, bad day, music is therapeutic.
Flashlight . . . or a Good Book. When out in the wilderness at night, a flashlight could be really helpful to a lost hiker. Anyone who reads knows that a great book is also helpful for finding a way out of a rotten day or rough period. Call it escapism. Reading is fabulous, too, I think, for writers needing some breathing space away from an ornery manuscript. Reading feeds writing. Not only does a writer get a break, but she (or he) refuels and recharges.
What’s in your survival kit? I bet it’s interesting!