I don’t handle change well. Is that a surprise? I’m not sure very many people do handle change well. It’s hard. Sometimes it hurts. And frankly, you never know just what’s on the other side of that mountain, or that relationship, or that…anything.
It’s the not knowing that can be difficult. Change is hardly ever wrapped up in a pretty box with a bow on it. And, at least in my life, it’s not ever been some hot guy jumping out of a cardboard cake. No wonder change is difficult.
The other thing I find frustrating about change is the saying good-bye. Whenever change comes into your life (no matter how great the change is), saying good-bye isn’t easy. Finding that perfect someone is great, but the tradeoff is saying goodbye to life as a single person. Moving is fun (once all the packing/unpacking is over), but you say goodbye to your familiar world in the process.
This week, a change in my life is becoming more real every day. It’s a change I’ve been hoping would happen for a long time. I’ve told people “if only xyz would happen, I’d be so excited.” It’s something I want, but also something that’s hard to follow through with. Because of the saying goodbye part, because I don’t know what’s going to be on the other side of that mountain.
Usually, when I’m flummoxed with how to handle change, I watch the movie Father of the Bride. There’s something about watching Steve Martin fumble through letting his “little girl” get married and then finding out his wife is pregnant that gives me a little perspective. But when I moved three years ago, we got rid of that movie. For some reason, I was certain that DVD that weighs nothing was going to put us over on our moving allowance. #facepalm
So…I went to a friend for a little informal therapy. I told her what I was worried about. I told her how scared I am to face this change. I told her about all the mixed up, jumbled up feelings that were bouncing around on the inside of me. At first she was no help. It was as if she’d forged that informal therapist degree after all and really had no idea what she was doing. Until I told her the metaphor that summed up my emotions.
“It’s like I’m going to Spain. I would love to go to Spain. I’m sure Spain is beautiful. But once I get there, I’ll only know how to say “how are you” and “my name is” in Spanish. Everything else will be completely foreign to me.”
And that’s when she nailed her role of informal therapist. She pulled out a song. And had the nerve to sing it. It’s a good thing she’s got a pretty great voice. If she didn’t have, I might have just burst into tears.
I was so intrigued with the lyrics she sang that I handed her my iPhone and had her find the song so that I could purchase it right then. I’d heard another one of the group’s songs before (I can’t remember the title of it now), but hadn’t heard this song.
Never Been to Spain by Three Dog Night. Have you heard this song before? It’s my new Steve Martin…until I purchase that movie again and then I’ll alternately watch the movie and play the song on a loop until I get through the six months it takes me to adapt to change.
The first line is: Well I never been to Spain / But I kinda like the music.
I was sold. The beat of the music is soothing. The words are fitting for the metaphor of going to Spain and instead of fretting about this change; I was able to reframe it to “going to Spain.”
And who wouldn’t want to go to Spain? It’s beautiful there. It has a romance language and surely there are hot guys who jump out of cardboard cakes. Right? If there’s not, please don’t spoil the dream for me. Just let me live in my delusional world.
Are you facing a change in your life? I challenge you to stop worrying about it. Or at least, try to curb your worry. You can try eating your feelings (I did that before I went to informal therapy) but if you can, try something else. Try reframing the business of change that’s about to enter your life. Go to Spain. Take the lyrics from Three Dog Night with you. Find out what’s on the other side of that mountain. Seek the hot guy who jumps out of the cardboard cake. It might be scary, but it’ll be worth it.
For those days when you feel like life has you beat, here are 10 reasons you might be tougher than you thought...
1. You’ve continued to live your life despite taunts, bullying, and attitude from others who are obviously jealous of your beauty, your bounty, and probably your breasts.
2. You went to work today even though you really wanted to stay cuddled under the covers and pretend that your awful boss and annoying coworkers didn’t exist.
3. You held your head up high when you saw your horrible ex at that function last week. You also didn’t trip his snooty new girlfriend even though you had every opportunity to do so.
4. You ate salad for dinner instead of choosing that greasy fried chicken smothered in a pint of gravy because you’ve made the decision to live healthier. And you didn’t cry about it.
5. You read a story to your child before bedtime even though you were exhausted and were reading through fatigue caused by a ten hour work day.
6. You stood on the bus during the commute to work and let another, more tired looking mother have your seat. Because she was finagling her way to the office after dropping her baby off at daycare. You’ve done the single mother tour and it’s no fun. She deserved that seat and probably a medal.
7. You kept your mouth shut when you really wanted to tell off that person who just keeps nagging you about changing your life. You know she’s dealing with her own stuff right now and doesn’t need you to bring it out into the light of day. Her words are her own pain, you can handle it.
8. You wore an old pair of shoes to the office because spending the money you earmarked for the electric bill would have been stupid. It sucks to be living paycheck to paycheck, but you’ll be damned if you aren’t going to live it responsibly until something better comes along.
9. You signed up for college at one of those “adult education” places. It’ll be tough, but you’ve decided now is the time to invest in yourself. It might mean less sleep and no more $4 coffees for a while, but the degree with your name on it will be worth it.
10. You smiled at someone who looked sad in the grocery store. Sure, your heart still hurts from that boyfriend who ripped it out last week when you found out he was messing around, but you just heard that sad person talking about her husband of thirty years passing away from cancer. You know when someone’s stronger than you and you smile to help them feel better.
Maybe you've done one of the things on this list or maybe you've done something else. Chances are, you're tougher than you thought. #Top10Tuesday
On board the Carnival Breeze I can’t help but think back to the boarding process. Getting thousands of people clamoring to get on the largest ship in the company’s fleet takes skill and organization and patience. Passports, zone cards, key cards. It’s a system they’ve designed to get everyone moved through like cattle in order to set sail.
It was in the middle of all this hustle and bustle that a sign caught my attention. It had nothing to do with what line to be in or where to get a key card. It was a sign that asked a question. How will you tell your story?
I realize they were referring to how a Breeze passenger was going to tell the story of her cruise, but it got me to thinking about the story of one’s life. How will you tell the story of your life?
Too often, people spend their life story wishing they were telling a different story; one that belongs to someone else. Are you prone to doing that? Do you walk through life dreaming about a life story that was written for someone else?
It can be difficult to tell your own story if you are too focused on the stories of others. You might have a skewed perspective on just how great your story really is. So try taking a step back.
· Have you overcome a difficult time in your life? A bad relationship? A major illness or financial downfall? That tells the story of your strength.
· Have you traveled to faraway places? For business or for pleasure? Or did your folks cart you from place to place by land and see and air? Those places are the story of your adventurous spirit; of your ability to adapt and make new friends.
· Maybe you’ve given to charity. Or helped the poor. Or volunteered. Have you stood up for someone less fortunate? Fought off a bully? Learned from your own bitterness and paid forward kindness? That’s the scene in your story of compassion and love and humility.
You may not have fine China or live in a mansion. Your car my not be as new and shiny as someone else’s. But don’t be distracted. Take a step back and tell the story of your life. Live it and breathe it every moment. Leave a legacy behind you that you can be proud of.
How will you tell your story?
I can’t remember when or why or how I started reading books. What I do remember is that I can’t remember a time when books weren’t an important part of my life. I love to read and when I once heard someone say “I don’t read much, I have to read too much at work” I really thought I was going to have a heart attack. Is there even such a thing as “reading too much”?
I can’t get enough books. Often times I get annoyed if real life gets in the way of reading books. Because when I sink into a really good book…well, honestly, it’s like real life doesn’t even exist. I don’t hear my name called, I answer “mmmm hmmmm” to whatever is being said to me because I can’t hear the person talking. As in “Vickie, the house is on fire!” and my response is: “mmmm hmmmm” as I touch the floor to see if it’s warm yet or if I have enough time to read another chapter before I have to jump out the second story window.
Despite my love of reading, I do know that some people don’t start reading as early as I did. Or maybe they haven’t found “the book” that’s going to hook them into reading everything they can get their hands on. So, to help those folks along, this week’s #Top10Tuesday blog is ten reasons to start reading.
1. Reading increases learning. If you’ve ever felt like Joey Tribiani from FRIENDS who never could quite keep up with the rest of the gang when it came to worldly knowledge, reading just might be the thing for you. Reading leads to learning which leads to more reading and more learning and…well, you can see how the cycle continues.
2. An excuse for shopping. For all you serious shoppers out there, get your credit cards and your shopping bags ready! Whether you like to shop online, at the mall, or at thrift stores, reading means one thing: it’s time to buy more books as soon as you finish the last book that kept you up until midnight. And with e-books, you can fill up your cart to overflowing without having to break your back by carrying all those sacks into the house.
3. Finding your book boyfriend. If you’re still single, newly single, or thinking about being single again, you’ll need a good boyfriend. And why not choose one that doesn’t leave the toilet seat up, doesn’t have a crazy ex hanging around trying to make your life hell, and who always has rock hard abs? Open the right book and you’ll find the perfect book boyfriend.
4. For that perfect witty comeback. You know how it is, you’ve got that annoying colleague or ex-friend or acquaintance you have to deal with and you just need that perfect comeback. But you can’t think of it. Well, open up a book, because writers have all kinds of interesting quotes that might benefit you in your moment of need.
5. When you need an escape. Let’s face it, sometimes reality sucks. When life throws you curve balls or hands you lemons, forget about hitting them out of the park or making lemonade. Go get a good book! That’s where you’ll find good friends, great plot twists, and a couple hours reprieve from the chaos going on around you. Run; don’t walk, to the nearest book store when the drama starts to unfold.
6. Cheap travel. Have you been bitten by the wanderlust bug? Want to travel far and wide but don’t have the money to make it happen? Crack open a book and start traveling cheap. Finding books with maps in the front pages are great for this. It’s a visual aid, an alternate Rand McNally if you will, and you can explore the seas and wonders of the world without ever leaving your cozy little nest.
7. To learn a foreign language. This is closely related to #4 and the witty comeback. Want to tell that annoying person off, but need to be sly about it so that you don’t get into trouble? This is when a book is necessary. You can learn a bit of a foreign language, tell that someone off, and they’ll never be the wiser. It’ll also help in case you ever win the lottery and #6 becomes a thing of the past while you jet off to exotic places for real.
8. To occupy yourself in the passenger seat. As a frequent traveler, there’s nothing worse than sitting on a plane or in a car or on a cruise ship with nothing to do for hours on end. And the person next to you may not be interested in a long conversation or he might be hovering over his iPad, completely preventing you from reading over his shoulder. Pack a book (or twelve) or load up your e-reader with plenty of great reading for the trip. Because snoring and drooling on others in public transportation is frowned upon.
9. Practice the intelligent/sexy look. This works for men and women. There’s something about an intelligent looking individual with a pair of glasses and a classy outfit on. You just know these people are smarter, better looking, and probably good in bed. If you’re in need of a confidence boost or just trying on a new persona, try this. Get a book, get some glasses (or polish up the ones you already own), and get reading. Just remember to hold the book right side up, okay?
10. Because it’s good to express emotion. Never have I laughed more than when I read. And I don’t just mean reading the latest Archie comic either. Writers may be solitary in their chosen career, but they know how to create a character that hits you in the funny bone. Or can get even the toughest reader to muster up some tears. You can’t keep all those emotions bottled up inside anyway; it’s not good for the heart. So pick up a book and while you get to know the characters, learn new languages, or travel to faraway places, practice expressing emotions. Laugh, cry, get angry, and experience the embarrassment that comes with the main character’s latest debacle. Your heart will thank you.
And there you have it, my top ten reasons to start reading. What does reading do for you?
Martha Conway’s book Thieving Forest is set in Ohio in 1806. It’s the frontier story of five orphaned sisters, four of whom are kidnapped by Native Americans. The girls are old enough to care for themselves after the death of their parents (killed by Swamp Fever), but when they are taken through Thieving Forest they are separated and must learn independence in a way they’d never planned to.
Told through the eyes of Susanna, the sister who believes in luck. She also happens to be lucky enough to be left behind when the others, Penelope, Beatrice, Aurelia, and Naomi are taken from their home. Susanna hurries to find help and follows after her sisters and their captors through a myriad of twists and events that leave her a slave to Indians. Throughout the trial of finding each of her sisters and eventually finding her own way in life through her journey through Black Swamp, Susanna encounters friends, enemies, death, and love.
I found Thieving Forest to be a steady read. It wasn’t a fast paced thriller, but a story steeped in history and lively characters that had me visualizing every event they encountered. Conway paints a beautiful and haunting picture of the land, the Quiner sisters, and the Native American Indian tribes. She brings frontier Ohio to life with this story.
If you’ve ever wondered about the history of this region or how you would handle a most horrific “what if” scenario of being orphaned and alone, picking up a copy of Thieving Forest is a good idea. You’ll find yourself captivated by the Quiner family and turning every page until you get to the end of their story. Thieving Story is a 5 star book. Well done, Martha Conway. Well done.
About a year ago I was walking down the yellow brick road. –Wait. That’s not right. That’s the intro to the story of the Tin Man…
About a year ago, I was back where I’ve been for as long as I can remember. At a stage in my life when I had this great idea for a book. I wrote a handful of pages, shared it with my husband who proclaimed it all kinds of amazing, and then…nothing. I stopped writing. I was stuck. The words just didn’t flow.
I must have complained to my sister about this situation and as usual, she came through in an amazing way. She told me about NaNoWriMo. To understand the complexities of this story, you have to know that she told me about NaNo via text message. Since we live a few thousand miles and a four hour time difference away from each other, texting is the best way to communicate. Who am I kidding? My kids live in the same house I do and when it’s time to call them for dinner, texting is still the best way to communicate. “Time 4 dnr” is so much easier than yelling “Time for dinner” to the young’uns who live one flight of stairs above my head.
Anyway, when I got my sister’s text, I was perplexed. It had to be auto correct doing it’s fancy thing and acting smarter than the rest of us. Stupid autocorrect. But it wasn’t. She explained to me how NaNo is National Novel Writing Month. I was floored. People can write a novel in a month? How is that even possible? I’d had the main character and idea for this novel of mine in my head since I was 8 years old and I couldn’t eke out more than a few pages.
So, I did what any upstanding citizen of this great nation would do. I googled it.
It turns out, my sister was right (as usual). People can actually write a novel in a month. And not just some silly story that is filled with typos and other grammatical errors that is only seen by their immediate family who secretly laugh and point out the typos while telling their family member what a great story it is.
If you can’t get that image in your head, think FRIENDS, season 1, episode 11. Chandler’s mother, Mrs. Bing comes to visit. She’s a famous romance author and Rachel tells her about her interest in writing. Mrs. Bing gives Rachel some advice on how easy it is to write a book and Rachel gives it a shot. The episode ends (I would say “spoiler alert” here, but if you haven’t seen FRIENDS, we (as in you and I) aren’t friends anyway, so you’re probably not reading this.) with all the friends laughing at Rachel’s story where she inadvertently had typed “heaving beasts” instead of “heaving breasts”. –Not much of a typist, that Ms. Green.
But seriously, great novels are written in a month. In fact, if you google “bestselling novels that were written during nanowrimo”, you’ll see this list. Of the books on this list, I’ve only heard of one of them. I know, I should read more. But how can I? I’m telling you all about NaNo!
I purchased Water for Elephants before I heard about NaNo. I’d never heard of it before, but found the title so intriguing, that I had to buy it and then zone out of everything around me so that I could read it and then proceeded to tell my husband all about it. I then proceeded to talk about it so much, that my son bought the movie for me for Xmas last year. I had no idea there was a movie about it and while I don’t typically watch the movie after having read a book (because really, the book is always better); I found the movie to be quite an accurate depiction of the novel.
And here’s the kicker. Sara Gruen wrote that book in a month! I know you’re thinking about how that’s not possible and surely she must have spent a great deal of time researching the book (she’d had to because who just knows all that stuff about circus life unless they were born in the circus) and editing the book and polishing the book and all the other things that come with a book.
Sara probably did all of those things. But she wrote the basis of this book in a single month. This same book that was on the bestseller list for more than a year. The movie starred Reese Witherspoon, people. It was that good.
So, here I am. A year after learning about NaNo. A year after having written 86,139 words on my own novel. How long did it take me to write those words? A month. One month in which I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote some more. I don't really remember what my family did that month, but mostly because I was glued to the loveseat with my laptop and my cell phone listening to Party in the U.S.A on a loop. There was something about the words in that song that inspired me to keep going.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I want to. Because it’s my blog and I can say what I want. Because NaNo is the best gift you can give to a friend or family member that’s a writer and it won’t cost you a single dime. Because it’s almost November and I’m so excited about the prospect of writing another novel that I can’t stop thinking about it. Because since I learned about NaNo a year ago, I’ve completed one novel (it’s in the almost final editing stage) and have started three more.
If you’re a writer and haven’t heard of NaNo, look it up. Join the others who live and breathe and wait for November every year. Become one of us who plan PTO from the day job during the month of November so that we can write instead of Xmas shopping. And if you’re not a writer, tell your writer friends and family about NaNo. They’ll love it.
National Novel Writing Month…the world needs your novel.
I’m writing this letter to you because you can’t seem to listen to me when I talk ab—see, you’re doing it again. I have something to say and you start hitting the backspace key. I know you want to be involved in this writing gig and you will be. But not like this. Not now.
You’ve got to get it through your thick head that you’re part of the writing process doesn’t come into play right now. You have to sit back and let other people do their thing. How will you have anything to write –edit, if you keep hitting the backspace key?
It doesn’t make sense, does it? Because the more you hit that key, the more you’re going to be staring a –at a shiny white page with nothing on it for you to mark up in my blood. That’s right. I said it. My blood. My blood.
Don’t you realize that when you –every time you go through my work and start spitting out your opinion that you’re doing with –it with my blood? Every time. Every time. It’s like you use your pointy swo—that’s right, pointy sword to dig itno –into my side and then when you pull it out, covered in my blood, you use it as the ink to your pen that marke—marks up my work. It hurts, ya know?
I don’t care if my words aren’t spelled right rightnow. I don’t care if I miss a space here or there. Tha’ts what a first draft is all about. It’s so—supposed to be written poorly. It’s su—just supposed to be written. You can have it later. I swera that you can. (swae-swear). Right now, I need this. I need to be able to scribble all over the blank page and get something done.
Do you realize NaNo starts next month? Do you? Were you not there this week when you leraned –learned I landed a part in a play? A play where I have to speak? Which means I have to learn lines? Add that to the NaNo deal and I have to be able to write something. This is non-negotial-negotia-negotiable. If I don’t get the words written, we won’t have anything to argue about later. You won’t have anything to marke-mark up later. You won’t have anything to do.
And if that’s not enough, you’re just not welcome here right now. That’s wri=-wir-right. You heard me. You’re not welcome here. Why do you think there are alw-all these red lines in this piece--? It’s because I’m forcing myself to ignore you every time you want to hig –hit the backspace key. Sure. You can blame me for having a *&*&^&^% -lousy piece of writing, but I don’t care. I know you’re the one that’s wrong about that.
Everyone is supposed to have a lousy first draft. That’s why they call it a first drea=-f-draft. It’s a draft. It’s there for revision. It’s there for thinking over later. It’s there to learn the craft and in time to get better at it. It’s not about perfection.
It’s never about perfection! It’s about getting my thoughts out. It’s about ke-learning the characters. It’s about finding the voice of the story. It’s about giving you something to do-later. Much, much later. Fiv-fiv-fifty though-thoug-thousand words doesn’t write itself. I’m sure you think it does, but you’re an idiot if I ever knew one if that is what you think.
Because that’s now t—not how it works. It’s about time. Time invi-invested. It’s about bleeding out your sould a=--soule—soul and then when the pain and the guts of it all are out there, it’s about sharing it with others. All for the purpose of getting the story told. And the story has to be told. You know that. I know that. The world needs this novel. Or the self-help book or the comedy play or the comic book or the whatever someone wants to write; the world needs it.
So, I’m not going to ask you nicely na-anymore. I’m going to tell you that it’s time to go. I’m going to sit you in that chair in the corner and duct tape your moth-mouth shut. I will tie you there and not let you out.
Don’t threaten me –I don’t want to hear it. I kow that –I know that no on e—one will read what I’m writing. It’s a first draft. What kind of writer lets someone read their first draft unless they are borrowing someone else’s intn—inner editor to get feedback because they’ve tied up their own inner editor like I’m doing right now?
Can’t you just sit there in that chair quietly ? that’s all I’m asking. You know it will work if you just do that. Remember, the Caged Bird? That’s been one of our finest pieces yet. And there’s still work to be done on it. I’ll let you kh-help with that. You know you’re the one I go to for things like revisions and edits. Obviously, you’r ethe inn—you’re the inner editor. But I can’t use your help for writing.
Whose hw-help am I going to use? The muse. Duh. Everyone knows he’s the guy I go to for things like this. Yes, he abandoned me that tda—day on the ship. Believe me, I haven’t forgotten. But I’ve forgiven him. He nd-needed a day off. You get days off. Yes you do, if you’d just take them.
Fine. I’ll negi-neo-negotiate. We will figure out a plan for when we get the beta responses back for TCB. We will. I swear. But I need you to shut up for a while. SOS has to be written. And then there’s that other creative activity I’ve gotten myself involved in. yes, I know you’re supe re-super exit-excited about that activity because you are the invisible star of that play –the guy who wouldn’t let the author write his sotry –story only to have the character s=-characters come to life in an attempt to kill him off.
I get it. You’re amazing . if it wasn’t for you that play never would have been written. Fine. D-kudos. Appal-applause. Fanfare. You’ve got it. Okay. Really. Can we let it go kn-now?
I’m going to keep writing. I’m going to ignore you. I’m going to leave you in this chair and make you sit there wtiho-y-with your motu-mouth shut. Yes. I am. You can’t stop me. Have you stp-stopped me so far? Look at all the mistakes I’ve made in this letter. All of them. aren’t they beautiful? Does-doez-dozens of w-red lines and green lines indicating all the mistakes I’ve made in this “first draft” of a-my lat-letter to you.
I t-love it. It’s like Christmas colors. They’re going to stay there too. In fact, I may go one step further and take the backspace button off the keyboard until this draft is comeple—complete. Tha’ts –that’s right. Complete. From “Once upon a time” to “the ed-end.”
The hell you say! I can start my book that way if I want to! And if I end iw-it with “the ed-end” who cares? Because at least that way, the book will be complete. Sure it may need some work. Maybe even a lot of work. But at least it’ll be done.
Because with you here, I’m getting NOTHING DONE. NOTHING. Do you hear me? I wrote a parta-paragraph and a half on it today. That’s it. And even that, I struggled with because of this stupid p-backspace key and the sound of your ovice in-voice in my head. “s-should it be past tense or present tence?” “Should he smell the sugary scent of doub-dough” or not? Just leave me alone!--
Just leave me alone! The point is that Jack has to run out after his son. He’s distraught. The man has to see if his son is okay. Never mind the fact that the boy can’t see his dead father. No. he’s not going to see his dead father. That’s the way the story goes. The characters say that’s how it goes. The muse says that’s how it goes. I say that’s how it goes.
You don’t get a say in this. You get to shut the f up and leave me alone. I will not backspace that f out of there. I don’t care what other people think about me putting the f in there. I’ll do it a thousand times more if ai –I want. F, f, f, ff, f, f,f f, f,f f,f,f f,f,f,ff, . there. Take that. How does that feel? F,f,f,f,f,f,f,f,f,f,f,f,f. and no spaces in between them either.
Tha’ts how annoyed I am with you. I’m tired of you walstzing in here like some king who thinks he can rule the writing world and thus mess with my world. Because you can’t. you can’t. you don’t have that right. I don’t care if there aren’t capti-capital letters in those sentences. I just don’t care.
Don’t you realize how tiring it is already to get up as early as I do to wirte? Write? I mean, serioiusly. Four thirty in themorning. Four theirty. Thirty. Tha’ts how I-tired I am. And then I have to go to work. And when you’re in me my head all morning, I end up at work in a really bad mood. An f’ing bad ma-mood.
Just stop it. Stop it won-once and for all. I need you to sid-sit down and shut up and leave me alone for a while. I am not going to tell you for how long, you’ll just have to trust me that I need you to be quit-quiet and do what I say.
Quit? You think you’re going to win this argument by threatening to quit and never come back? Please. Is that a promise? I can use someone e’==-else’s inner ec-editor. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to come overe here and clean up the mess that I’ve got all over the desktiop-desktop. You can w-quit I f0-if you want, but you won’t get any credit for your work.
Oh, you think your’e so amazing because you got me to hit the backap-back-backspace up there. Big deal. One time. Iv’e I’ve avoided hitting it a h-thouseand times in this letter this morning. It’s over. I’m done. I’m not going to keep talking about it.
I have things to write. I’m going to get back into Jack’s head and he’s going to for-frolick over to his kid if he wants to and he’s going to get his point across to that boy. Maybe not in one sitting, maybe not until the almost end of the book, but I’tll it’ll happen. Without you ro –or with you. I don’t care wi-which.
And in the mean time, this backspace key is going to go. I dno’t n-don’t need it here. =I’ll put it back if and when you can behave.
Me. The writer. And the muse. He’s here too.
Do you know a writer? Perhaps you’re in love with a writer or married to one. Maybe you’ve birthed a writer.
I’m a writer and there’s nothing better than getting the perfect writing gift. The perfect writing gift can take on many forms. And when it’s wrapped in shiny paper or flat paper with pretty pictures on it and tied up with a pretty bow, you can’t go wrong.
So what can you purchase and wrap up in pretty paper and give to a writer? Here are ten writer gift ideas that the writer you love will be sure to love.
1. Pens. I have yet to meet a writer who doesn’t love a really nice pen. Keep in mind that writers have “pen preferences” and it’s important to really know your writer to ensure you are giving him/her the “perfect” pen. Does she like a BIC pen? A gel pen? A colored pen? Or a fancy pen with her name engraved on it? Do your research and then go out and purchase about a dozen pens of her choice. Wrap and give.
2. Paper. Paper is an essential writer tool. This too can come in many forms. Pretty notebooks (more on this later), reams of paper, or sticky notes just to name a few. If your writer is in the editing stage, index cards might be her “paper” of choice. If it is, get lots of them.
3. Notebooks. I realize these are a form of paper, but notebooks are so wonderful, they deserve a separate number in this list. Does your writer like spiral bound, composition notebooks, hard back, with prompts, without? It doesn’t really matter. Go to your nearest book or paper store, find the notebooks and purchase one of each. Bundle them in a towering stack and forget the wrapping paper altogether. Just wrap them with a beautiful bow and be prepared to have them snatched out of your hand upon receipt.
4. A computer. In this day and age, technology is necessary. A computer, preferably with two screens, is going to be a lovely gift for any writer in your life. If your writer is mobile, go for a laptop or an iPad or another type of easy to pack and carry electronic that allows your writer to write on the go.
5. Books. I know, you’re thinking: “She’s a writer, why does she need books?” She needs books for research. Take a look at her bookshelves and skim the authors’ names on the spines of the books. Then, go out and look for more titles by those same authors. Purchase them, wrap them up, and give them to her. If you don’t want to chance getting the wrong books, purchase a gift card (think $$$) to Amazon or her favorite brick and mortar bookstore and drive her there to shop. Be prepared to be there for hours.
6. Writer’s conference. You don’t have to purchase the entire conference, just registration for one will do. You’re welcome to accompany your writer to the conference, as long as you realize that when she gets there, you won’t really be noticed except for picking her up and dropping her off each day. Think of this as your writer’s college experience. It doesn’t matter if she’s already gone to college; she’s going to want this too. Start researching, plan ahead, and get her signed up. I highly recommend the San Francisco Writer’s Conference.
7. Writer’s gear. It doesn’t matter if it’s a coffee mug or a t-shirt, writers love their flare. If you don’t know what to get her, try this site and purchase one of each and a hundred writer business cards. She’ll love you for it. If you don’t know a writer (other than me) I’ll take the scarf… in red please.
8. A desk. Every writer needs her writing space and a desk is an important component of this. Consider her style before you purchase (or build) the desk. Does it need to be a roll top? Big? Small? With nooks & crannies? Or something simple like a door on saw horses? Important note: assemble it first. No writer has the patience for it to be assembled after she’s opened the box.
9. Writer playlist. Whether you purchase her a music device with tons of her favorite music already downloaded or simply give her an iTunes card, she’s going to love this. Writers need music to writer. Be sure to include a lovely set of headphones as well. She might need to drown out the sound of your voice when she’s writing.
10. NaNoWriMo. If you haven’t heard of this, I encourage you to look into it. It’s a month of nothing but writing for your writer. She’s got the chance to win cool prizes, buy great NaNo gear, and generally pretend the world doesn’t exist while she pounds out her novel. If your writer hasn’t tried this before, set the stage and give it to her as a gift. If she’s heard of it and hasn’t been able to participate before, set the stage and give her the month of November.
And there you have it. A list of ten things the writer in your life is sure to love. #amwriting #writerslife