Dancing into December: My Favorite Writing Tools

Favorite writing tools: Coffee mug, notebook, and pencil

Dancing into December: My Favorite Writing Tools—Guest Post by Tami Kamin Meyer

Write Now Columbus editor and freelance writer Tami Kamin Meyer pays homage to her favorite writing tools.

I am proud to be a freelance writer. For me, the term evokes a romantic vision of hours tapping away on a dusty typewriter with stubborn, round, porcelain, green keys as cigarette after cigarette slow burn in an ash-filled Diet Coke can on my desk. Coffee mugs with various levels and temperatures of java, one hawking a local sports team, another boasting how The Queen takes her coffee (immediately!) litter my work area, and I am blissfully happy.

Reality, however, could not be further from the truth. For one, I don’t smoke, and when I tried to create a mysterious, smoky workplace, I gagged from the intensity of the incense I had lit.

Note to self: The scent of musk is so 1970’s.

While it is true that java fuels my creativity, and I can drink it anytime of day or night without incident, I prefer it fresh and hot. And, my coffee tastes best in my favorite mug…one featuring a 3D rendering of midtown Manhattan. Sure, my beverage of choice ‘usually’ tastes just as good in a different mug, but it is that vessel that triggers my brain into work mode.

I sometimes think of not using my favorite mug, lest it gets cracked, or worse, the ‘B’ word. But the Old Faithful in me yearns for that mug every day. If I had thought of buying a second one that sunny day in Manhattan several years ago when I first laid eyes on the next Starbucks rendition of its NYC mug, I would have. Maybe even three. Two to break and one to keep in storage, never to be stained by standing coffee, forever.

We writers must have our favorite writing tools.

Another practice of mine when I’m writing is to keep sharpened pencils nearby. While I don’t recall when my love affair with a fresh, razor-sharp, yellow No. 2 lead pencil began, I know it was many moons ago.

Writing with pencil allows me to make mistakes, as we all do in life, but with the added benefit of being empowered to fully erase my errors as if they never occurred. Meanwhile, there have been times I erased my words, only to later realize the verbiage I had wiped away had expressed my thought perfectly.


Writing notes in pencil also reminds me of simpler, bygone days. I recall the pencils we used in elementary school. Their thick shafts of wood barely fit the silver hand-cranked pencil sharpener that hung loosely by a nail on the classroom wall.

They didn’t have erasers, either.

So, I always had a well-used, oddly disfigured pink eraser laying nearby. “If I could just remember where I put that thing….,” I recall thinking many times, “I would be in business.”

Despite owning a laptop and a PC, I continue to write interview questions and responses in pencil. Meanwhile, my personal planner features scribbled notes, random story ideas I wrote down when they came to me lest they be lost forever, phone numbers, some accompanied by the owner’s name and some not (if I never called, now you know why), email addresses, scribbles and more, all created in pencil. Yes, the calendar’s pages can get messy and difficult to read. But, just as with life, nothing’s perfect. Sometimes I actually enjoy the challenge of trying to decipher just what in the world I had written in my planner.

It’s those little things in life, ya know?

Ultimately, I relish the simplicity of a pencil. I don’t have to worry about it exploding its colorful ink in my purse like a Fourth of July firework. I don’t have to shake my pencil to make certain its lead is ‘flowing,” something ink pens beg for at times. My pencil is always ready to write when I am ready to, too.

Except when I hear the teeny albeit woeful sound created when my beautiful, sharp pencil tip breaks.

Anybody got a pen?

(c)Tami Kamin Meyer, 2021, all rights reserved