Over the last twelve months, I’ve learned a lot about writing for a living, and have purchased my fair share of ‘things’ that I felt I needed or that promised to make me more productive. Some of them I still use today, whereas others were quickly relegated to the bottom drawer. Here’s a little list of some of the lifestyle items that made my cut this year.
As a writer who is nearly constantly on the move, I have tried my fair share of carry-all style bags and have settled on a rucksack by Stubble and Co for my day-to-day use. With a laptop pocket, plenty of internal and external space and comfortable straps, it’s perfect for lugging my laptop, its stand, my keyboard and my mouse to and from various cafes and workplaces. Although perfectly functional, I do have to say that it’s a little masculine and a tad clunky, and so if I have a client meeting or need to dress things up a little then I choose one of my bucket-style leather handbags. Now, ladies, I have to say, as someone who has owned my fair share of extremely cheap fast-fashion, when it comes to a leather handbag that will last the test of time, you can’t beat spending a little more to get the quality that you need. Take a look at exclusive sites like Mirta, for some gorgeous, high-quality and handmade shoulder bag inspiration, after all, it’s a business investment.
My re-usable insulated coffee mug
Pre-COVID, I used to spend a lot of my time in cafes as a way to escape the dreary four walls of my home office. Before purchasing my insulated coffee cup I would always order a tea or a coffee and then it would sit there, going cold, while I got engrossed in whatever I was writing about. Fed up of drinking cold tea and lukewarm coffee, one day I decided to bring along my re-usable coffee mug and my life was changed forever. My hot beverage of choice now stays warm for literally hours, and, as an additional perk, I feel less pressured to keep ordering drinks because no one can see how much of it I’ve drunk. The coffee mug I currently use is by Chilly’s, however, I have to say, it does have one major design flaw, in that you can’t close it to stop spillage on the go. Having just visited their website, I can see that they’re re-launching their coffee mugs in October this year – let’s hope they’ve fixed that issue as, otherwise, the mug is great.
My essential oil diffuser
I never realised how much scent could impact my mood until I started regularly using my essential oil diffuser. It’s become somewhat of a ritual for me to add a few drops of whatever scent I’m feeling to my little pod before starting my day, and I have to say, I absolutely love it. At the moment, lavender is my favourite scent, but if I need an extra boost of energy then I switch over to lemon or peppermint. My little diffuser is made by a company called Asakuki, has a handy automatic timer and also the option to display a variety of different coloured lights.
My gel wrist pads
After my first month of writing full-time, I could barely move my fingers because the tendons and muscles in my hands had become so sore. After a little bit of research, I found that this was due to the compression of my wrist when typing, and I realised that I needed to invest in some gel wrist supports. Whether I’m setting up at home, or in a cafe, I carry them with me everywhere, and now, despite writing up-to 25,000 a week, my hands remain pain-free. As a sucker for pretty marble print, I went for a pretty pink set from Amazon but there are dozens of options available.
My foam roller
Despite having an ergonomic chair at home, I have to say that writing full-time has been dreadful for my back. Although I do have a standing desk on my wish-list, for now, I’ve found substantial relief from using a foam roller to ease my lower back tension. I’ll be honest and say I’m not sure how foam rolling works, but I do find that my back feels better after spending 10 minutes or so rolling around on the floor – so that’s something! The foam roller I use is once again from Amazon.
And just because I know you’re all interested to know what’s ended up in the bottom draw, here you go:
- A whole host of fancy and expensive day planners – they’re just a time-consuming way to make a list.
- My pretty, but non-ergonomic chair – style over substance.
- Cheap wireless headphones – they never paired properly and didn’t survive being transported in my bag.
- A stupid amount of highlighters and pens – I work online, why do I need so many pens? *she says while ogling a stationary shop*.