Wednesday, December 11, 2019
‘Tis the Season! Gifts for Writers
So these are the gifts I put under my tree this year.
Um. Okay, I opened ‘em all early and I’m fine with that. I hope you’ll find something here—or a gift sparked by something here—that you want to open early.
Just last month, I talked about the two fitness trackers I have. The thing is, I need a reliable fitness tracker because…well, I’m a writer; on any given day, I will sit in my chair and work for three to four hours at a time. And I know what you’re thinking, that a fitness tracker only tracks the exercise. It doesn’t do the exercise for you.
True. But that annoying alarm that reminds me to get up and move or urges me to make my step goal is just enough to force me out of the chair after an hour. And my work will wait for a ten minute speed walk around my house.
So fine, I haven’t become a marathon runner or lost any weight. But that lower back pain that comes from sitting too long is not the constant it once was in my life. And I sleep better at night. Those are gifts worth every penny that I spend on a fitness tracker, even if I have to buy more than one (though a moderately priced one will do the same job as an expensive one).
There was a time when I could think up something and remember it a whole hour later. And I wish I could remember when that was. But suffice it to say that these days, I have a lot on my mind and I don’t have time to rack my brain, searching for lost ideas.
So I rely on notes. And for most of my notes, I don’t buy a fancy notepad when I have a ton of scrap paper around here which I recycle into note-sized squares. Note-sized scraps of paper are all over my house. (Which I see when I speed walk by.)
However, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, I do some of my best thinking-up-of-ideas in the shower. And you would think a writer could remember her great ideas for at least 15 minutes but you would be underestimating all the other thoughts that come into a writer’s head whilst showering. And that is why the waterproof note is the best gift ever.
A dear friend and writer herself gave me a waterproof notepad a few years back and I was very miserly using it. Was this idea really notepad-worthy? Can I just write down one word for each point and still remember enough? I stretched out that notepad for quite some time but alas, the day came when I had to buy another. Somehow, I don’t think this one will last quite as long because…well, turns out one word hints are not enough. But that’s okay. An idea is a terrible thing to waste.
Only you can determine the gift that will soothe or support your writer’s soul. For me, it’s spending time with my writer friends who understand the love-hate relationship we have with this wonderful and challenging profession we’ve chosen.
It might be a long lunch with local writer friends, or a long phone chat with a far-away friend, or signing up for a writer’s conference or retreat because honestly, I’m worth every penny of that gift, too.
So go to the conference. Call a friend. Treat yourself to a writer’s tool that you’ve been dreaming about all year. Because ‘tis the season for giving, and this year, dear writer, it’s your turn for a holly jolly holiday!
~Cathy C. Ho-Ho-Hall