I’ve seen a lot of blogs this week with Christmas gift suggestions for writers. Lots of great how-to-books, pens, journals and writing courses. All of them wonderful ideas. Then my mind wandered to more sensitive gifts. Ways families and friends can gift encouragement and support for the writers in their lives. (So, writers if you find my suggestions as things you want to add to your gift wish list, print this off and tape it to the frig or share through social media.)
Here is my encouragement list in no particular order.
If you have children—I almost wrote small children but then I realized even adult children can interrupt a writer’s creative time—present your writer with a hat that is to be worn when they are crafting wonderful words and fabulous fiction. Whenever you see the hat, you know not to show them hilarious FB videos or celebrity tweets. Don’t request help with anything. Tell callers they are indisposed, and don’t let anyone at the door disturb the writer in their special hat. Everyone needs to respect the hat or scarf or cardboard sign. (Doesn’t matter what you use to indicate writer working.)
Fix dinner for the family and invite your writer spouse to join you. This is not the time to ask what’s for dinner, hinting you want her to leave her characters. How can you expect her to close the door on 1840 and come up with a sit down family meal? You will more likely get peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and soggy carrots for your trouble. Even worse: last week’s twice warmed over meatloaf surprise. There will be times you will find your writer in the kitchen creating lovely meals because writer’s block has shut the characters in a dilemma. Enjoy the meal and say thank you. Once the dilemma is solved you may not see a home cooked meal for a while.
The lawn may not get mowed or the flowers weeded. Hire the neighbor kid to do it when the writing muse calls your hubby to his keyboard. Don’t expect the house to get painted or the plumbing fixed unless he too is in a writer’s block dilemma. If you’re desperate call a professional.
Respect the Space
Keep your stuff out of their writing space. No using their computer to play games or Skype with friends. Don’t borrow scratch paper from the pile on their desk. It’s a good chance junior may create a snowflake out of the murder scene that didn’t get save after it was printed off. Don’t even think about touching their desk, laptop or tablet—EVER!
Providing chocolate and other healthy snacks during the final stretch approaching deadline is a precious gift indeed.
Be a fan
It’s amazing how many writers say their family and friends don’t read their work. Come on! How could you be so rude? Read it, talk about it to others, write a review for Amazon. Carry their books around in your car to sell to your friends and co-workers. Be a supporter and cheerleader.
Did I mention chocolate.
Because most writers have a day job so their writing time is not always easy to carve out, send your writer to the library, Starbucks or any place he/she loves to write undisturbed. Or take the kids on a day trip so mom or dad can write in peace. They will be revived and excited and oh so grateful. They may even share their chocolate with you.
What gift of encouragement or support would you like to receive? If your family or friends have given you this precious gift, I’d love to hear about it.
I’d love for you to visit my blog again. If you would sign up in the right hand column you can receive new blog posts in your email. Please and Thank you.