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In The Bag

There are a few common threads throughout this blog if you read it long enough. One of these threads has to do with my obsession...er...quest for the perfect bag. And if you couldn't see, I made the word perfect in that last sentence surrounded by air quotes. So, if you don't mind, when you read the word perfect in this post, can you go ahead and make the air quotes? Perfect.

The main debate with bags is backpack vs. messenger or shoulder bag. At least that's one of the main facets of the debate. To me, it's not really an issue. I have found my perfect laptop backpack. This is the bag that I take with me when I'm traveling for work. I can fit a crap-ton of things in it. There's pockets for days, a separate matching pouch for pens or AC Adapters, and an all-weather cover.  It's the Everki Titan, if you're wondering. It's a perfect little beast.

I have a separate smaller back pack (a Hurley that I got cashing in a gift card). This is the bag I use if I'm in the mood to carry a backpack, but want to carry the minimal kit.

As for messenger bags, I have found the perfect bag when I'm doing the full-on writer's kit. It's the STM Velo 2 (Medium) Messenger bag. It truly is a great bag.  It would honestly be just fine as a minimal bag, but the problem is (as with the Everki Titan), if I'm carrying a bag that has a larger capacity to carry lots of crap, then I want to put a lot of crap in said bag.  I could get the smaller Velo 2 for my minimal kit, but something about that seems weird. 

For now, the minimal kit is in a Swiss Gear from Target. Although that might change. I recently came in to a bag that is little nicer and might class the joint up a bit. So, we'll see how that works out. 

I guess I should specify what I mean by Full Kit versus Minimal Kit.

Full Kit is typically if I'm going to be away from home or in a situation where I might want to be creative with absolutely no clue what I want to do. It's stuff that I would normally have at home, but not necessarily in arm's length. I have to go out of my way to get some of this stuff when I'm home and want to be creative with it. 

The Minimal Kit is essentially a day bag. It's the shit I'd take writing out at Panera, etc. It's essentially identical to what  have in arm's reach when I'm writing at home. 

The kits break down a little bit like this with a bit of wiggle room in my choice of gear that would occupy each kit. 

Full Kit
  • STM Velo 2 (Medium) Messenger Bag:
  • Roterfaden Organizer
  • Storm Trooper Moleskine Journal (Writing Journal)
  • Pocket Journal (ideas, etc)
  • Fuckton of assorted pens
  • Macbook Air + A/C Adapter
  • (sometimes) Alphasmart NEO2
  • Fountain Pen Case
  • Papers (usually whatever I’m editing at the time)
  • Bottle Opener Carabiner clip
  • Carmax
  • Earbuds (BOSE are my faves and fit my ears the best with no fatigue)
  • PNY Battery pack/Apple Lightning Cable
  • “The Messiah’s Handbook” Richard Bach
  • “How to Love” Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Zen and the Art of Writing” Ray Bradbury
  • Writer’s Emergency Deck
  • Story dice


Portable Field Recorder Kit (Could go in either bag depending on anticipated need, but normally kept in “full” kit)
  • Tenba Cable Duo 4 Cable Pouch:
  • Tascam DR-05
  • Table Tri-pod
  • Batteries
  • Memory Card
  • Apple Ear Buds



Minimalist Kit 
  • Bag Varies (Swiss Gear bag from Target; Jack 15" Laptop bag)
  • Roterfaden Organizer
  • Storm Trooper Moleskine Journal (Writing Journal)
  • Pocket Journal (ideas, etc)
  • Earbuds (BOSE are my faves and fit my ears the best with no fatigue)
  • Macbook Air + A/C Adapter
  • Fountain Pen Case
  • Papers (usually whatever I’m editing at the time)
  • Bottle Opener Carabiner clip
  • Carmax
  • Writer’s Emergency Deck



Now, let's be honest. I'm a writer.  All I truly need is a writing implement (such as a pen) and something on which to write.  And it's cute that you think that. 

And I get that. I don't need all of the crap in either bag. And that realization is something I've been working on. A carpenter can build a house with the most basic of tools, but they are going to have tools that work better. 

An illustrator could make a masterpiece with a charcoal briquette, but they would produce better work with the pencils and tools they are used to.

That's what part of it is, comfort. Sometimes I carry the full kit because I don't want to be out somewhere with the intent of being creative and thinking 'Wow....this would be so much more productive if I had X or Y.'  There's enough doubt some days without sabotaging myself by thinking I left the right tool at home and that the creative time is wasted.

The minimal kit still sounds like a lot. It's not. But it is exactly the right kit to allow me to work on anything that I currently have in progress as well as start an idea completely from scratch. 

I think I'll be doing the minimal kit for a while. If I find there's something I wish I would have had on multiple writing field trips, I'll look at adding it to the kit. 

I'm not sure that any of this was actually even remotely interesting, but it's on my mind. And this blog is a place for my mind to offload thing. Maybe I'll get ambitious and do a video for one of these posts coming up. 

Do you have a favorite bag? Do you break out what kinds of things you're going to take based on where or what you're working on?  

Drop me a line and let me know!


Until then, have a most perfect afternoon!!  OH...WAIT!!

You might know, I have a book coming out as part of the Midnight Magic box set. If  you haven't ordered it yet, could you help a fella out?

Here's the link to pre-order: https://books.pronoun.com/midnight-magic/  Thanks!!

Perfect!

-AT

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