Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ten Items for the Writers Backpack

Writers on the go need a few essentials.
Online article writing can be done anywhere with the right tools. Writers never know where they will be when the next idea or opportunity strikes. Work at home sometimes becomes work on the road. I find it useful to keep a writer's backpack, which I take with me just about everywhere I go. Here are ten things that might be included in a writer's backpack and why.
Notebook computer

If you have one of these, it's a handy little addition to a writers backpack. Notebook computers are a lot easier to lug around than a full size laptop. Online article writers get used to writing with a keyboard. It's just faster and more efficient. You don't have to write everything twice if your notebook is not your main computer. Just put your field work on a flash drive.


Notepad and pen

If you don't have a regular laptop or a mini, a pen and paper is the next best thing. When you're out and about, you can jot down quick article ideas or even make outlines for articles. On Saturdays, I ride along with my plumber boyfriend. While he's in a customer's home, I'm outside jotting down ideas, writing, editing and making outlines for online articles.


Most online article writers place pictures on their published work. Some even post slide shows and videos of places they have visited to give their readers a descriptive pictorial. One of the best work at home strategies for the on the road writer, is to pack a camera with extra batteries or a cell phone with a good camera. Photo opportunities are often unplanned, so make like a boy scout and be prepared.

Cell phone

Having a cell phone in your writers backpack serves a multitude of purposes. In addition to using it for a camera, it can also be used as a voice recorder or to take notes. Those GPS systems come in handy when you're hunting down leads. Use this work at home tool to let loved ones know you'll be late due to a story that came up. Of course, they're great for emergencies too.

First aid kit

Having a first aid kit in your writers backpack may sound like overkill but it really comes in handy. I've used mine on numerous occasions. Usually, that's after climbing a fence or walking through a field to get the perfect picture. You can buy tiny first aid kits for basic bandaging in the travel size aisle at supermarkets and big box stores.

Badge/Business cards

If you do the type of writing that requires access to off limits areas, your writers backpack better carry an ID badge as well as your personal identification. Sometimes a business card is helpful when conducting interviews as well. This work at home strategy allows entry and gives people a way to contact you with further information.

Comfortable Shoes

I can't tell you how many times this summer I've been traveling the back roads of Colorado in my sandals and wished I had a pair of comfortable shoes. As I said before, an online article writer never knows when a photo opportunity will present itself, or where they will have to go to get that photo. A pair of cheap tennis shoes will slide easily into the outer compartment of the writers backpack.

Change of clothes

It doesn't take much trouble to roll up a t-shirt, jeans and underclothes and tuck it into the bottom of your writers backpack. An extra change of clothes is nice to have with you, whether or not you're an online article writer. Sometimes I stray off the beaten path and find myself too far from my home office. It's sure nice to have a fresh change of clothes when forced to spend the night away on the road.

Grooming supplies

These come in handy for impromptu overnight stays as well. It's also nice to have supplies to fix windblown hair. Deodorant wears off and so does perfume. Packing grooming supplies in your writers backpack will have you looking and smelling your best at all times. You never know when an interview or story opportunity will come up while on the road.

Water and a snack

Online articles writers need to keep hydrated and energized when a story takes them away from their home office. Most backpacks have a spot for a water bottle and a snack or two. Why not tuck them in there just in case? You might decide to take a nature walk to capture some interesting photos. This work at home strategy will give you the energy you need for any on the road assignment.

Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

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