What's in My Bag

What’s in my bag? — Sean Williams


What's in my bag? issue #35

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Sean Williams is a multi-award-winning, #1 New York Times best-selling author of novels, short stories and poetry across diverse genres for people of all ages. His latest novel, Impossible Music, is an extended meditation on heavy metal, hearing loss, and hope. He teaches creative writing at Flinders University, Australia. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @adelaidesean.


About the bag
I like a bag that’s tough, secure, padded, and black, while at the same time lightweight and not too fussy. The Pacsafe Venturesafe 15L GII ($95) suits me perfectly. I like to arrange my own internal storage so I don’t need lots of pockets. The only fault I’ve ever encountered in the many I’ve owned occurred after a fellowship in Antarctica, when all the zip tags came unglued. Keyrings soon solved that problem.

Journal with Italian leather cover
The journal itself isn’t anything special (Spirax A5 200pp, AUD$4.50), but the leather cover it’s in was a present from my mother, who bought it in Florence, Italy. She can’t remember where she bought it, or how much it cost, but it was a thoughtful gift that has seen a lot of use. It fits perfectly into the laptop slot of my bag.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II ($349)
I’ve learned by necessity that I can write anywhere — provided I’m wearing a pair of noise cancelling headphones. These, the fourth I’ve owned, are my current favourite. Over-ear because the immersion is more complete. Wireless because I also like to wear them when I’m out walking, and I swing my arms a lot. Wires are a menace.

MUJI Double Zip Case ($24, ebay)
This simple and cheap Muji zip case goes with me everywhere. It’s small enough not to clog up my bag while at the same time roomy enough for nail clippers, emery boards, glasses cleaners, mints, various drugs I might need, and so on. The mesh comes in handy for things you might want to quickly double check you have, like adaptors for gadgets.

Unbranded water bottle
I always carry a bottle. Always. This one is unbranded, so I can’t identify it, but it’s just about perfect for me: simple, not too tall, and has a practical screw-off top. I’m not interested in fancy handles or slow-leak teats. Give me a wide neck for maximum fluid intake, and I’m happy. Hydro Homies unite!

-- Sean Williams 02/5/20

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