The Best Gift You Can Give The Writer In Your Life

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The perfect gift for the Writer in your life.    Photo from Morgue file.com

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.

Writer’s Hat

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.)

Food

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.

Chores

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!

coconut balls finished

Chocolate

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.

Mini get-away

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.

 

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Repercussions *sigh*

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Don’t let small repercussions turn into an emotional fire.

 

“There are always repercussions,” as the old saying goes. Couple it with another saying “no good deed goes unpunished,” and they capture exactly what always happens to me.  Whenever I write a blog or article that’s instructional, I find myself stumbling over my own words. 

Recently I wrote about procrastination for a guest blog. For two days after it came out, I struggled to get motivated. Procrastination hit hard.  The interview questions I answered for a friend’s blog explaining how I organized my time created disorganization once it appeared on the web. My magazine article on researching a novel came back to haunt me. The critique from the judge in a writer’s contest told me the fictitious towns in my novel were located in the wrong area of Texas. Further research revealed my contrived names actually existed and needed to be changed.

I think God always tests me. He wants to keep me humble.  Pride doesn’t stay too long in my character when I trip over the very things I encourage other writers to avoid. Humility reigns when others asked for my advice or encouragement. God’s willingness to show me what I do that helps others is such a blessing. Otherwise these faux-pas would push me off the writing path altogether. Flaming sparks of embarrassment into an inferno of discouragement.

These repercussions often give me new insights into myself. The emotional rollercoaster of a writing career seems never to have an end. Each new challenge brings me once again to the feet of Jesus. My conversations with him empty my heart of so much trash. His encouragement and peace help me step out once again. My mind refocuses on the next writing project, piece of research or writing blog. Every word I write may bring me one step closer to making an impact for the kingdom.

What repercussions have you faced on your writing journey? How do you handle them?

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