Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.
Look at you, a writer on the go! Maybe you’re off to a convention for the weekend, or to a mountain cabin for a writers retreat. Wherever it is you’re going, you’ll need to to pack strategically to maximize your amount of fun and productivity. You’re probably thinking of packing your duffel with a bunch of socks and underwear and T-shirts or whatever. You fool. You think that’s going to be sufficient for your trip? You’re a writer, for God’s sake, and you need to pack like it.
- Socks, underwear, T-shirts. They’re basic, but you totally would’ve forgotten them if I hadn’t mentioned them just now.
- Your preferred e-reading device. You can fit an entire library into your pocket. By keeping the book you’re currently reading on your Kindle, you can save room for the hardback editions of Ulysses, Infinite Jest, and a bunch of other classics you want people to think you’re reading.
- A notebook and pens. I recommend buying a new notebook specifically for this trip. It will make it feel more like a special occasion. Make sure to get something that will look good in the Smithsonian when they create the exhibit on how you wrote your masterpiece on this trip. The main thing is that you set lofty goals for your trip to keep yourself motivated, and that you feel like a failure if you don’t meet them.
- Your laptop. Duh, you’ll need it for writing. The fact that 60% of that writing will be updates to your various social media accounts should not deter you.
- Comfortable shoes. If you’re on a trip, you’ll probably be doing a lot of walking while lugging around your travel bag. Be nice to your feet by packing some sensible, comfy shoes. Do what I do and just wear your running shoes the whole trip. You never know when you’ll have to run from angry fans, disgruntled Patreon patrons, or targets of satirical essays. Unless you’re me, and then it’s every trip.
Passport. If you’re traveling internationally, this is obvious, but bring it on intranational trips also. You’ll feel very cosmopolitan! And it’s exciting to know that if you ever had to spontaneously flee the country because of a gambling debt that got out of hand, for instance, you could. Why, a person could almost vanish completely, if they had sufficient cash and IDs and such! A fun diversion to think about, but the writer’s imagination comes up with all manner of ideas.
- Ten thousand dollars in cash, three fake IDs, two wigs, and a fake mustache. No handlebar mustaches. That’s a rookie mistake. You’re trying to blend in, remember? If you plan to be a writer, you’ll be doing this again and again, though, so I won’t think less of you if you learn the mustache lesson the hard way.
As you can see, packing for a weekend getaway takes more planning for writers than for other vocations. But with a little forethought, you can set yourself up for success–and if you don’t, well, you can flee your shame and start a new life somewhere else. Safe travels!
What items do you absolutely have to put in your suitcase when traveling? Let us know in the comments!
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