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In the Bag

It's no secret that I'm a bit of a bag junkie.  I used to say that I was a bag whore. But I have come to realize that someone might take that to mean I would perform certain favors in exchange for a kick as bag, and that simply isn't...um...hmm. You know what? Let's just say either one of those terms probably works, but for now we'll say bag junkie.

I'm a huge fan (read:obsessive) about having the right bag for the right items for the right situation.  To that end, there are often times where I will switch bags midstream, depending on what I'm doing or where I'm going.

I have a work bag. It's a messenger bag. I also have a work backpack that gets used if I'm traveling to one of our stores. The messenger bag is day to day work stuff. The backpack is travel to a store work stuff.  The traveling to a store backpack usually has WAY more stuff than I need for a daily basis simply because I never know what I might need when I'm on site that I won't have access to otherwise.

My creative bags are the same way.  Yes. I have separate bags for my creative side. Sometimes the very basics from my creative bag will go in my work bag(s) .

The basic items that I always carry with me as much as possible.

  • A small journal to record story ideas/thoughts in.
  • A digital recorder with clip on stereo mic.
  • Pens (a multitude of tips, inks, etc)
These items usually wind up in any bag I'm carrying (even if I'm not carrying one of my creative bags).

The Creative Day Bag:
This is the bag I take when I'm going to be out and about. It's a smaller sling type messenger bag. It has the essentials if I find myself out somewhere and suddenly overcome with the urge to write something. OR, I'm out somewhere, bored out of my gourd and need to kill some time.  I have a couple smaller bags that fit this bill, but this canvas one is one of my faves. Followed closely by a K-Swiss messenger bag. Included in this bag are the following:
  • Fully charged 11" MacBookAir
  • Moleskin journal (stormtrooper cover)--used for tracking things from the writer's retreat and this new thing I'm trying where I actually make lists and outlines related to my stories.
  • Leather travel journal for those thoughts and memories that I don't really want to share with you all just yet.
  • Small gray idea journal from a friend. This one goes with me everywhere and is where the ideas go.
  • Earbuds.
  • Pens
It's a pretty basic kit, but it's a scaled down version of what I would need to feel productive and be able to plunge ahead on one of the few works in progress on my plate.  I don't travel THAT often with the scaled down kit unless I'm going out somewhere. Usually the full-on creative badass kit is with me.

Full-On Creative Badass Kit
Got the Bosch (Olio) backpack from a friend and immediately loaded it up with all the bits and baubles that make me feel creative and allow the creative bloodletting to happen. 
The original items from the Day Pack are included.

  • Fully charged 11" MacBookAir (incl. AC adapter)
  • Moleskin journal (stormtrooper cover)--used for tracking things from the writer's retreat and this new thing I'm trying where I actually make lists and outlines related to my stories.
  • Leather travel journal for those thoughts and memories that I don't really want to share with you all just yet.
  • Small gray idea journal from a friend. This one goes with me everywhere and is where the ideas go.
  • Earbuds.
  • Pens
  • Random notebook
  • Coloring book(s)
  • Sketch pad
  • various fine-tipped colored markers for coloring
  • Sketch pencils
  • colored pencils
  • glue stick
  • copy of "Zen and the Art of Writing" by Ray Bradbury--this is a must.
  • The Writer's Emergency Deck by John August
  • Kindle
I carry this one with me most days (yes, even to work).  

Do I need to carry everything like this with me?  Yes and no.

I suffer from well...wanting to have shit and rationalizing that I actually need these things in order to be a really good writer.  The truth is, I only need a writing implement and something to write on. 

That's it. Pen and paper. Pencil and napkin. 
Whatever. Just something to get the ideas from my head down to a place where I can do something with them, because when they are just floating around up there--it's crazy. I feel crazy. I'm not going to lie.

When I am in full on 'writer mode' I find that the line blurs between worlds. I may be looking at you. I may be having a completely normal and coherent conversation with you, but I'm probably not all there. There's a real good chance that some of my brain cycles are being used to work out a plot point or story arc.

And I guess that's one of the reasons I carry so much shit with me. ("Do you have to carry so much shit with you?" "Yes...I have to carry so much shit with me. You never know when you're going to need to jet."--Breakfast Club (or a close facsimile thereof).  But yeah...I carry that much so I don't get stuck on the 'I could write this out better if I had that one pen and my certain journal.'  I just carry those around with me as much of the time and it makes the path from floating in my brain to existing on paper that much smoother.

With that, I think I need to get back to work. Last week was bananas. And this week won't be any better, but at least there's a lunchtime blog to look forward to!

Have a great rest of your day my friends!

-A.T.

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