As you prepare to put together your DIY MFA, you may want to consider treating yourself to a few simple school supplies:
- Notebook where you can take notes and store away your ideas
- Folder to hold your DIY MFA lists and assignments
- Writing implement of your choice
Notebook: This is where I do most of my writing when I'm away from the computer. I'll even use it instead of the computer from time to time, just to shake things up a bit. It's small enough to fit in my purse but big enough so I don't get hand cramps trying to write in it. I used to be a die-hard moleskine fan, but now I've actually converted to the ecosystem variety because I find them to be more lightweight. Also I like the pretty colors. The medium one is the perfect size for me and, of course, I always go for the unlined styles because sometimes I like to write sideways or draw diagrams.
Folder: Conferences are a great place to get pretty folders. I reuse my SCBWI conference folders over and over until they fall apart. Don't be afraid to get whimsical with these. If cartoon characters or unicorns are more your style than "serious" solid-colored folders, then go for it. Have fun.
Pen: My choice in writing implement is the only thing that's stayed pretty constant since I first started writing seriously. Pilot Varsity fountain pens. Dark blue. This may seem super-finicky but there is a method to this madness, I promise you. I need a fast pen that writes with little pressure (hence the fountain pen choice) and because I make notes in the margin of my manuscripts and I want to be able to spot my comments quickly (hence the blue rather than black ink).
Other Fun Supplies
Stickers: I'm a firm believer in stickers. I keep a bunch of stickers on hand and give myself a gold star or a smiley after a writing job well done. I know it sounds infantile, but it helps me keep my mood light and puts my writing in perspective. If writing well is all about gold stars and smiley faces then it's not really a big deal. And if it's not a big deal, then it stops being scary.
Mascot: Every writer has a mascot, whether they're aware of it or not. To tell the truth, I have several mascots, but in the interest of time rather than describing them, I'll just show you my two favorites.