Showing posts with label ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ideas. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gifts for Writers

Writers are like Black Sheep. Everyone knows a writer. In the family, a friend, agiftkooky coworker… we’re common. And in one way or another, we’re all loved. That means with the holidays screaming around the corner, everyone has a writer for whom they need to buy at least a small gift. Here are some gift suggestions for writers (including ones to avoid).

Paper – Reams and reams of it. Because we go through that much. Either for brainstorming, rough drafts, character sketching, revisions (*raises hand*) or querying. We use a lot of it.
Ink – See paper. (With one caveat: it is essential to know the kind of printer the writer has, of course).
Coffee – Most writers need this fully stocked in IV bags. But don’t get them needles- that requires a prescription.
Dragon Dictate Software – For writers on the go, moving around a lot, thisdragonwill help. You’ll need to find out if they have a PC or Mac. Downside: it’s a bit pricey.
scrivenerSrivener  A fantastic new software that most writers love, no matter what they write (fiction or non fiction).
Pens – Like paper and ink, we use these a lot, and therefore run out of ink in the middle of jotting down a great idea, and then chuck the pen across the room, chipping our favorite coffee mug while we desperately search for lipstick or marker to write down said-great-idea before we lose it.
Coffee Mugs – To Replace said-broken-mug from above.
 The Latest Edition of Writer’s Market – This may be baffling for those of you who are not in publishing, but this is the first step to a golden ticket in the Willy Wonka’s Factory of Publishing.
Elements of Style from Strunk & White  – See note above.
Books – Duh. Bonus points for knowing which genre they prefer, but they’ll pretty much take anything. Especially books on writing or autobiographies from serious writers. (FYI- Snooki’s recent book does not count).
Comfy Clothes – Any funny shirt or pants specific for writers. There are sowritershirtmany websites offering screen-printed quotes on shirts like ‘Don’t Piss Me Off Or I’ll Kill You In My Novel’ or ‘Grammar Snob.’ We need something comfortable to write in and what better way to be motivated to write than to wear the reminder. CafePress has some great ones.
Slippers or Socks – See clothes. No writer can write with cold feet.
Computer Accessories – A laptop case, wireless mouse/keyboard, thumb drive. Again, helpful to know what kind of computer they have to make sure the case fits. But a thumb drive is universal. As are screen cleaners and cans of air to blast out the dust from our keyboards.
The Writer’s Block – Nuff said.
Lap Table – A bunch of different kinds, depending on whether they like classic wooden, or contemporary chic, or funky bumbo style. But a cup holder is essential.
Air Fresheners or Wickless Candles – For writers who spend hours sitting in one spot desperate to get the dialogue out of their brains, sometimes we tend to forget to shower. Something to mask the stench in the air is helpful (Scentsy is popular). But nothing that includes a flame where we’ll forget to blow it out and burn down our masterpieces.
Massage – To force us out of the house and relax our writing muscles. Spa gift cards are a great way to achieve this.
Magazine Subscription  – Writer’s DigestWriter’s JournalThe Writer (any of these are precious jewels in the mailbox).
Don’t bother with these:
Journals – Every writer has a million of these shoved away in drawers and closets. Don’t add to their clutter. Plus, it’s a cliché. Lesson #1: all writers hate clichés.
Laptop – Come on! These are so freakin’ expensive, with way too many variables that are too personal to each individual writer. Unless you want to take them to the store to pick out their own, don’t do it. They’ll just end up exchanging it for something that suits their query personality more. It’s like women and shoes. We’re just too picky.
E-Readers – See laptop. Though gift cards to purchase e-books are good.
Thesaurus – Again, every write already has one. And every good writer knows not to use it.
Digital Voice Recorder – Every phone has something that meets this need. My iPhone came with 3 of them. And there’s about 30 more apps they can download for free.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas. Have a great holiday!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One Word, One Sentence, One Paragraph At A Time

by Ruby Johnson

Whether you are working on new fiction or non fiction, sometimes self-doubt kicks in. Consider the following  when this happens.
You live a life that no one else lives. Shouldn't you have thoughts and ideas that no one else has? You do not live a life that is boring. You're an individual with your own views. You know exactly what you value, what makes you unique, what inspires you. You've spent years defining your style, your way. You see things differently — as you should. So when it comes to writing, you have definite ideas about where you are, what you see in this world, what is best, what is beautiful.  The next time you write, build on your ideas, literally. It's the way  individual writers have been showing their ideas for centuries, one word, one sentence, one paragraph at a time . With endless ideas for stories, and limitless capabilities with talent, when you  sit down to work on your manuscript, your work won't be just like the others on the book shelf, because it is uniquely yours alone. How could it be? Yours is  built around your vision.

Surround yourself with inspiration. Where does your inspiration come from? If it's the outdoors, take the time to garden and let it stream into you with the smells and sounds of nature. Ideas can come in all shapes and sizes.Start with one and add layers of complexity to build a plot that twists and turns.  Or, if non-fiction, start with an idea and build  to a perfect conclusion. But the most important thing is to start.

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