Five Survival Items for Writers

by Kellyann Zuzulo

When Sandy came, she wasn't welcome. Last week, we here on the East Coast got slammed by Hurricane Sandy. The meteorologists chose to be specific and call her a Superstorm instead of a Hurricane. Semantics. She was a bitch. We only lost power for a couple of days, but I was on deadline. This week, it was a tenacious Nor'easter (which I resent for dropping the 'th' and trying to sound like a Southern friend.) Stocking up on fresh water, batteries and flashlights are a given. But there are five things a writer should have so there will be little to no interruption in service.

  1. Fully charged laptop battery: When you hear the storm's a coming, plug in.
  2. Notepad and pen or pencil: Every writer has a few of these hanging around in briefcases, purses and cars (you do, don't you?). Gather them together. They'll huddle in a reliable paper enclave awaiting your words.
  3. Battery-operated voice recorder: As you walk around your dark house, checking for leaks, you can dictate the next big scene. Just don't make it: "It was a dark and stormy night."
  4. Flashdrive: Back up your work before the laptop battery dies. A library or church may come back on power before your house does and you can do there to recharge or to download to a loaner computer.
  5. A candle: Of course, you should have a flashlight. Yet, there is something romantic and writerly about transcribing by candlelight.

A bonus supply would be a view of the outside. Nature has interfered with your plans, but you may become bitter if you don't acknowledge her intrinsic beauty. Now write.

Best Wishes,


  1. Kelly asked me to add chocolate to the list. I prefer dark, but any kind will do. Take care everyone.

  2. Thanks for doing that, CM! I had to get the blog up and run out the door with supplies for the New Jersey coast before it got too late in the day. I've also gotten some complaints that there's no tea or coffee on the list. Consider this the hard-core writer's survival list, where you survive on air and imagination. ;)
    But, yes, absolutely chocolate should be on there. Milk chocolate for me (Lindt truffles preferably). Bewley's Irish Breakfast tea in the morning and a glass of vino at night. Plain old water throughout the day. Who needs food when you have chocolate and wine...


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