A Wish List For the Nice Writer

Tuesday, December 09, 2014
‘Tis the season for giving, and I have just the thing for writers!

But I covered that holly-jolly idea last year in The One-Size-Fits-All Writer Gift. So then I thought about how you’ve been such an awfully nice writer this year. You deserve a couple sweet gifts of your very own, so check out these ideas from my wish list:

Permission To Write

How about this year, you push writing time to the top of the To Do list?

Instead of “getting to writing when you can fit it in,” schedule writing time. Or better yet, give yourself a writing retreat!

I know it’s hard to justify something that doesn’t immediately produce tangible results. But you have to look at the long haul: every time you write, you’re improving your skills in the marketplace. When you schedule—and follow through on it—you’re saying writing is important business. The rest of the world—family and friends—will get the message when you stick to it.

A Writing Class (Or Two)

I know it’s tempting to skip writing classes. After all, the web is jam-packed with all kinds of wonderful information, whether you’re interested in freelance or fiction. But there is nothing like the give-and-take of a class to take your writing to the next professional level. Feedback is what makes the difference, so when you sign up for a class, be picky about the instructor. Keep in mind that cost doesn’t always guarantee quality, so ask writer friends for recommendations and do your research to get the best bang for your bucks. (And P.S. We have lots of great classes here at WOW! Women on Writing!)

A Critique Is Always Nice

When I’ve worked on a manuscript to the point of seeing double—and when my critique group groans (loudly) as I pull out Chapter One for the 112th time—I do myself (and everyone else) a favor and get a professional, paid critique. I’ll sign up when I attend a conference, or I’ll contact writer friends for recommendations. (There are tons of great writers out there who supplement their income with manuscript evaluations.) The critique is a gift that can pay off big in your writing future.

A Few More Of My Favorite Things

Joining a professional writing organization is the gift that gives back all year long—but you’ll get out of the organization what you put into it. Get involved and take advantage of all the member benefits. Treat yourself to a conference and watch how you thrive being around all those writers! And treat yourself regularly to lunch or coffee with writer friends. It’s a tough business, writing, and a little camaraderie goes a long way.

Do you have something special on your nice writer list? Tell me all about it (so I can pass it along to The Beneficent Mr. Hall)!

~Cathy C. Hall


Margo Dill said...

We just talked about this on my lit ladies blog and in our Facebook page because what most of us want (because of full-time jobs, kids, husbands) is time. So, one girl came up with a coupon book for the family--not just her husband--and one of the coupons would be a GUILT FREE pass for missing a family get-together. So she would get to stay home and write and no one in her family would make her feel bad about this. Great idea! :)

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Pilot G-2 purple pens are my favorite writerly thing to open up. I love the purple ink. It makes me happy. :) Also, it's <$10 so no one can complain about it. :)

Most of the things on your list I've already given to myself, but it's been a while since I've taken a workshop. I'll put that on my after-Christmas list so I can focus on it and not squeeze it in.

Linda O'Connell said...

We must treat ourselves well, because well, we deserve some time, a class, a special writing instrument to keep us on the writing track.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Margo, I LOVE that coupon book! I don't struggle with the time problem (well, except when I play hooky!) but I know SO many writers in that same situation who do!

And Lisa, I treat myself to fine-tip Flairs--totally get the Pilot Purple (and purple's one of my favorites, too!). And yep, you are a writer who gives yourself the best chance at success and it's absolutely paying off for you!

And yes, Linda, us hard-working writers deserve a little bit of special treatment! ;-)

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