Give Yourself 5 Gifts This Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Christmas is just days away so you may be looking at that title and thinking, “No! No more shopping! I don’t have the time/money/energy.” The good news is that these are all free and they are all things that we periodically need to be reminded to give ourselves. 

Call Yourself a Writer 

Haven’t sold anything yet?  It doesn't matter.  Call yourself a writer.  Or maybe comments from someone on your writing have left you really shaken. Don't give that person more free time in your head.  Shake them off!  You are a writer. Own it. But of course once you own it you are going to need to . . . 

Take Time to Write 

Some people believe you need to write every day. Some people get super specific. You need to write for 10 minutes, 2 hours or 400 words a day. Whatever. That’s not for me to say. I write most days, but you need to do you. But if you’re calling yourself a writer you need to write. Come on, you know you want to and it will make you a happier writer.   

Make Time to Write 

Taking time to write may mean making time to write. What is getting in your way?  Look for something that is a negative in your life and get rid of it.  This week, I got caught up in a broo-ha-ha in an organization I belong to. It ended with someone getting super snippy with me. I could have gone through the threads and proven I was right, but the reality was that I’m on deadline. I can do one or the other. I chose writing. Choose your writing by giving up something that’s an energy suck. The energy suck won't make you happy but writing will.

Write What You Love 

Speaking of energy sucks, not much is worse than writing something that you don’t like but you think will sell. I have a friend who is always suggesting that I write romances. I’ve quit saying that I don’t read romance because she’s pointed out that I read her books. Whatever. I read them because they are about cats. The point is that I don’t love romance novels. I don’t even like 99.9% of them. That would be a horrible way to spend my precious writing time. Fantasy? Mystery? Science fiction? Much better choices for me. You too need to write what you love. You’ll be happier. 

Get Rid of that Negative Voice 

Some of us suffer from a hateful inner critic. Some of us have a nasty outer critic, someone that we simply cannot let read our work. This may be the toughest thing to free yourself of, but the best thing for this is a writer’s support group. It may be a critique group. It may be book club. It may be a group of writers who are your friends. When a negative voice gets you down, turn to these people and let them know. Nothing is better than a strong group of writing women to cheer you on. 

This holiday season, give yourself things to make the writer in you happy. After all, we all deserve a very Merry Christmas. 


Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 35 books for young readers.  To find out more about her writing, visit her site and blog, One Writer's Journey.

The next session of her new course, Pitching, Querying and Submitting Your Work will begin on January 2, 2023).  Coping with rejection is one of the topics she will cover in this course.

Sue is also the instructor for  Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins January 2, 2023) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins January 2, 2023). 


Angela Mackintosh said...

Awesome advice, Sue! I remember when I received a nasty comment from someone and shared it with a colleague. She said, we don't need to respond to that, do we? And I thought, so true! Negativity breeds negativity, and life is too short for it. I'm glad you chose writing. Doing a positive activity can eliminate an energy suck for sure. Merry Christmas, Sue! :)

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

What a wise colleague. So often we spend time and energy defending ourselves, saving face, and just ramping up the negative. How much better to spend that energy spinning a story and bringing a new character to life. And Merry Christmas to you!

Cathy C. Hall said...

Write what you love instead of thinking about what will sell. Took me a while to appreciate that gift, Sue, but there is no comparison. Writing what I love brings me joy--and money can't buy that, right?

Have the happiest of holidays, Sue, and may Santa bring you lots of joy!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Happy, joy-filled holidays to you too! I'm lucky in that a lot of things intrigue me. That's a good thing when you write nonfiction. But there are some things that . . . nope. Not going to write about that.

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