Every writer wants something. Maybe it’s an extra hour in the day so you can be more productive. Maybe it’s an extra-special fountain pen or notebook. Maybe it’s having the cat stop chewing on the corners of your manuscript. We don’t ask for much, but when it comes right down to it, the thing all writers really want is…
…to be able to write more!
Give your writer-self a gift.
It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. It doesn’t even have to be a physical object. It could be an extra block of time each week that you’ll dedicate to writing and defend with your life against interlopers. It could be a piece of computer software that will help your writing productivity. It could be a sheet of sparkly star stickers that you reward yourself with after a good writing session.
What you choose doesn’t matter. What matters is that you treat your writer self to something a little bit special. It’s so easy, especially during the hectic end of the year, to shove our writing aside and focus on all the chaos that is the holidays. We go on marathon shopping sessions to get gifts for everyone else and forget that our writer self needs some attention too.
Make sure you give to others AND to yourself.
Of course, being generous and giving to others is the spirit of the season. I’m not saying all writers should turn into Scrooge wannabes, only think of themselves and bah-humbug everyone else. Rather, I think it’s great to give to others and give back to the world and all that jolly good stuff.
The trouble is, if you spend all your time giving of yourself , you’ll never feed the passion that fuels you and ultimately you’ll become drained. The idea here is to make giving sustainable. Yes, it’s important to give and think of others, not just this time of year but all year round. Yet, if you just give, give, give and don’t protect your own wishes and passions, you’ll burn out and then you won’t be any good to anybody.
It’s like what they say on airplanes: you have to put on your own oxygen mask first, then help those around you. Because if you don’t do that, you’ll pass out and then you can’t help anybody, including yourself. Same is true with your writing. Sometimes you need to be a little bit selfish and say “this is my time” so that you can recharge and do something that’s important to you. Chances are, after you do that, you’ll be all the more energized and ready to do good stuff for everyone around you.
Giving your writer-self a small but meaningful gift is one way of saying: “my writing matters.” So go ahead, be a teeny bit selfish and treat yourself a little. Don’t worry, we won’t tell.