As I prepare for my own independent residency at the Banff Centre, I’m musing about all the things I wish I had brought with me when I was there for the first time in 2013. And since I live across the country and was without a car for a quick zip into town, I had to be judicious about my kit list since it can’t all come with me!
While the Banff Centre does provide a packing list with suggestions of layers, fleece and hats, there are a few things that I wished I had (or was glad I brought), which I thought I would share with my fellow writers.
One MUST have slippers. Cold feet distract and these drafty writing studios require some serious wool action.
It may just be my hypochondriac self, but I like to give my studio (and hotel rooms) a good wipe down to keep from getting sick. Do I sound insane? I am.
Coffee. Tea. ‘Enuf said.
Despite my best efforts, one cannot survive on coffee alone.
I need music to set the theme for my writing, and for a longer-term residencies, the speakers on the ol’ laptop just won’t do.
-Pen and Notebook
A crazy thing happens on these residencies…you feel creative and inspired all the damn time. I started recording sentences, words, ideas that came to me while eating, sleeping, and yes, while drinking coffee. You will not want to miss these moments.
Last but not least, pack a bit of a plan. At my previous residency, I spent the first few days planning and deciding what I wanted to write about. Your time here is best spent actually writing, so try to do an outline or list before you arrive.
-Kelly S. Thompson