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I love the last page of Marie Claire where the magazine explores a celebrity’s purse. You might see something predictable, and sometimes you’ll learn an idiosyncrasy or two. Why not explore a writer’s bag? I’m curious if writers share some common threads in their fashionable threads. We all carry a pen…right? I’ve been caught on occasion without one. For shame, I know.

Oh, this isn’t just for the ladies. I know plenty of male writers who have their “European-Carry-Alls” or their “man purses.”

writers purse

What do writers carry with them?

A little story behind my purse: My mom made it. She knitted and felted it out of alpaca wool. It was a Christmas gift a few years ago. My dad told me he made the handles out of acorns (he’s a carpenter), but turns out it was just a joke. That was cute though.

moleskine for writers

Every writer has a Moleskine.

First off, the cliche writer’s paraphernalia: Moleskine and a pen.

business cards for writersFreelance writer’s essentials: cell phone and business cards. Yes, I still have a dumb phone. I have not yet crossed over to the smartphone realm. I still enjoy living in my black-and-white Pleasantville world. If you know me you know Eiffel Towers are obnoxiously present in my life, thus my business card holder.

Burt’s Bees lip balm (mint–I get no complaints) and essential oil roll-on. The roll-on was originally a gift from my friend and former colleague on Long Island, it’s called Muguet and smells of lily-of-the-valley. I later learned that it’s French and typically bouquets are carried around on May 1st. No wonder I naturally loved it!

My latest poems to read at open mics around Raleigh. Watch my open mic performance from this week.

Wallet and checkbook. Remember, poets make more than minimum wage! Confession: I still have my student ID and routinely get discounts…even though I graduated college almost 7 years ago.

Glasses. These are the same frames I’ve had since I was 14. Originally they were reading glasses. Now they’re a crutch for computer use and driving.

Book promotion cards. Postcards for my Bonnaroo guidebook to leave at book stores, music shops, open mics and such.

Mouthwash. I’ve only had one cavity in my life! I use this after meals and before meeting with clients. And dates.

When I need to come to someone’s rescue: a Band-Aid. I’ve never had to use it for myself.

dark chocolate for writersA bar of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s. I eat half a bar every afternoon. Great antioxidants!

Car keys with gym pass. I LOVE going to the gym. I feel much more energized to sit in front of a computer for most of the day when I balance it with some cardio. After working out I feel stronger and ready to do anything. When I’m there I pretend I’m Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Post office box key. That’s where all the biz mail and checks arrive!

Safety deposit box key. Every quarter I pick up my extra hard drive in the safety deposit box, back up my writing, and drop it back off. Remember I suggested doing this so that you don’t lose your writing if your computer crashes?

No books, no iPod, no e-reader…are you surprised? I am. I haven’t had time to read a book since the summer. I don’t like using an iPod unless I’m on a plane. (I like to hear nature sounds when I’m hiking and like to listen for cars when I’m bike riding.) I would love a Kindle or other kind of e-reader, but just haven’t received one as a gift (Hey, Santa Baby!) or made it a priority to get one.

How does your purse compare?