Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Real Gift for a Writer

I hope there are lots of people out there who are thinking: Let's see, my son/daughter/sister/brother/friend is a writer. In light of that, what would a good Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Druid gift be?

Besides the obvious (a copy of You've Got a Book in You; a new pen), the best gift you can give a writer is time. Yeah, baby! Of course time cannot be given any more than health can, but opportunity for uninterrupted time devoted to a single task can be. How about an hour a day of quiet time with no resentment attached? Or a couple of days—better still, a week—at a motel in another town where intense work could get done? Or a course in time management.

I've always dreamed of getting passage on a transoceanic freighter where I could get the better part of a book done. In the middle of the Pacific, you can't hear your cell phone…. And there are no excuses.

If you give the gift of time to a writer, watch their reaction. Unbridled joy? Dread? If it's dread, so much the more reason for having given the gift.

Come to think of it, time is a gift that reveals more about the recipient than the giver, isn't it?

May your holiday season be filled with good cheer, love, and plenty of ink.

[Photo by ES]

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  1. I like the idea of giving someone the gift of alone time... Uh, I'm having very selfish thoughts right now because I see myself in that motel room in another town and nobody I know is in sight. Tabitha

    PS My copy of The Actress came in today. I'm reading it tonight.

    1. Give yourself some alone time, OK, Tabitha? & Let me know what you think of the book, OK?

  2. getting the gift of time would be great, but in order for that to work, is to send me out of the house and a have a relative stay over and help look after the kiddies. they're always under me, especially the 2yr old. he'd wrap my arm around him as he lays his head btwn my chest and lap. i can type one handed but not as fast as i'd like. the gift of time would have to come with a package deal to a hotel/motel with free breakfast, lunch and dinner and a do not disturb.
    other than that, another great gift is to somehow or another have the scrivner program on my chromebook. i can't believe there's no google app from scrivner. and even though i'm currently using the Evernote app, i don't really satisfied with it. what writing software do you use if any?

    1. Hi, lidy. You have my sympathies re: the little ones. Not much you can do while they're this age except get away and have a sitter from time to time. (Which isn't exactly free or easy.)

      Re: writing software, I haven't ever tried any. I do hear that lots of writers like Scrivener, which makes me think I ought to try it sooner or later. When writing a new book, I have one 'master file' for the manuscript as it comes along, one for the outline (which often takes shape as I go), and one for 'bits', or the pieces of writing related to the book, which may or may not be used in the final draft.

      Bummer re: Google & Scrivener. How do you like your Chromebook?

  3. i like my chromebook just fine thought others have problems with it.mostly because since it's cloud based a lot of the functions people are used to with regular laptops aren't available. but in my case, it works in my favor, since i've never used 100% of all the programs on a laptop really, even with essays/reports during college. so my husband was right to get me a chromebook instead, since i only use word docs and the internet

  4. Last month I took (relatively) early retirement, and so have given myself the gift of time to do and explore many things. One of them is to explore myself as a writer. I took a creative writing class last year and was amazed at what came flowing out. I loved it! I discovered you this boxing day morning, as I sat in my housecoat with first early morning cup of tea searching the internet for writer's blogs. Your post about giving the gift of time is...timely. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    1. Nita, congratulations on your retirement. It will be, perhaps, a 're-wirement'? Glad you stopped by. Keep us posted.


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