In support of purple paper clips

One of the warmest, most encouraging writing books I own is Escaping into the Open, by Elizabeth Berg.

And one of my favorite pieces of advice in the book is this:

“Go to a gigantic office supply store and spend a long time looking at all the options available to you, and get the ones that make you feel the best.”

Okay, she’s talking about pens, not purple paper clips. But I happen to like paper clips. Any manuscript becomes better once it’s held together by a giant, plastic-coated, candy-colored clip. It’s a known fact.

We’re writers. We don’t own yachts or drive Porsche Cayennes. We don’t commute. We don’t even use that much paper anymore, now that editing arrives electronically. So why not splurge on a box of office supplies, if it makes you even a tiny bit happier to sit down at your desk?

Disclaimer: Under no circumstances should you use a pink paper clip while submitting material to a publisher or agent. The underpaid and overworked youngtillectual there will assume your name is Candi (with a heart dotting the i), and move your material directly to the bottom of the slush pile. These items are for personal use only.

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