Are you hurrying and scurrying to get your last-minute shopping done? Is your writing set aside in the hustle and bustle of the season? Are you still looking for presents for your spouse…kids…grandkids…parents…friends…and writer friends, too?
This year, don’t forget to wrap some holiday cheer for yourself as a writer, too! Even if these won’t fit inside a gift bag or don’t require tons of giftwrap and ribbon, here are tips for 5 must-have gifts to give yourself, the writer, this year.
The extra bonus?
The most wonderful news of the season? (Other than the true reason we’re celebrating after all, of course.)
These gifts are budget friendly and won’t strain your Christmas spending. That’s because they’re all FREE! Here are tips for 5 best gifts you can give yourself as a writer!
Tip #1: Take a Personal Writer’s Retreat
Yes, there are big expensive retreats and conferences that you might sign up to join this year. And that’s great. But did you know you can take your very own writer’s retreat this month? This week? Today? Without spending a dime?
I recently took a full day writer’s retreat. I cleared my schedule of every commitment except feeding the cats. Okay. They’re my writing buddies so I can’t totally ignore them. I put on inspirational worship music. (Check out Consider the Stars by Keith and Krysten Getty…it’s my personal favorite right now.) I surrounded myself with my current writing project—the research books, the notes, the journals, the brainstorming lists, the first drafts I’d started but never finished.
I reconnected with that manuscript in ways I haven’t been able to do lately. Now I’m moving forward with it once again.
It’s a gift you can give yourself any time you need to in the year ahead. This Christmas put it on your list!
Tip #2: Surround Yourself with Mentor Texts
Dust off your neglected library card. Go online to the website of your local library network. Search their catalogs for books in the genre you’re writing on. For example, if you’re writing a baby board book, order in as many baby board books as your card will hold. Or if you’re writing a middle grade novel, do the same. Max out your library card and get a stack of books to read in your genre, for free! Then speed read and slow read and study them alongside your own writing project so you’ll be reminded of publishable success in your genre. This is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as a writer because it connects you to the words, characters, plots, target age, publishers, authors, and published books in the genre you’re working with. That’s what mentor texts are all about.
Tip #3: Get Regular Advice from Writing Experts
Here’s another gift you can give yourself as a writer this Christmas. And did I mention that it’s free, too? Get regular advice from writing experts! There are so many blogs to follow and so many newsletters to sign up for from your favorite authors, agents, editors, or publishers! For starters, sign up to receive Write2Ignite’s blog posts. We’ve got amazing experts who are writing and posting insider’s tips and secrets of the trades every few days here on our blog. Plus we’re Christians and actively involved in the KidLit world of publishing. Just think of the treasures and amazing advice you’ll get in your inbox in the year ahead! Subscribe to follow our blog today!
Here are some of my favorite blog posts here at Write2Ignite that I know you’ll love, too:
Writer’s Blocks by Marianne Hering
Who Made You? by Kathy O’Neill
Are You Independent? by Ava Pennington
Tip #4: Connect with Your Writing Tribe
Join a group of like-minded writers. Look on social media sites and get plugged in. Find your writing tribe. It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself this year to help you not feel so alone in this often lonely career of writing. (This is free, too!) May I recommend signing up to receive our newsletter each month here at Write2Ignite so you get connected with the writers here as well? We’d love to have you join our tribe of Christian KidLit authors. We’ve got critique groups and a Facebook group and more! Post a comment here below if you’d like to connect with us at a deeper level but aren’t sure how.
Tip #5: Support Your Fellow Authors
One of the best gifts you can give yourself this Christmas is the joy of knowing you’re supporting your fellow authors. I like to give 5-star reviews of books I love on Amazon, Christian Books, Goodreads, and more! If there is a mentor text or book that has helped you on your writing journey, go online and post a 5-star review. You may never hear from them, but that author will love you for it. And if it just happens to be one of your writer friends you posted a 5-star review for, email them to let them know. You’ll make their day and increase your bond of writerly friendship as well. Another free gift for your writer’s soul this Christmas!!!!
Do you have any special gift ideas you love to give yourself as a writer…and are FREE? Share them in the comments below!
-blog post written by Nancy I. Sanders, a bestselling and award-winning children’s author of over 100 books. She’d love to have you give 5-star reviews to her newest bedtime board book, BEDTIME WITH DADDY. If you’d like to receive a digital copy to review, please email her at jeffandnancys at gmail dot com. For more information about Nancy and her books, CLICK HERE to visit her website.