11 Delightful Gifts for Writers to Make Progress: 2022 Holiday Gift Guide
I don’t know about you but I regularly need affirmations that my writing matters.
Between changing dirty diapers and stressing over failed meal plans, writing often falls in the cracks of daily life. And as an Enneagram type nine, I translate this into feeling like my writing doesn’t matter.
These gifts I've included below are more than pieces of paper and wax. They remind me to keep going.
This isn't an obligatory end of year post. I carefully crafted this list because I want you take your writing, your message, seriously.
As a note, a few of these links are affiliates, meaning I make a small commission if you purchase through them--at no extra cost to you of course!
StoryCraft + WordCraft by Jack Hart
I will not stop singing the praises of these two craft books! Jack Hart coached Pulitzer prize-winning journalists for decades. He guided writers to their biggest career successes and compiled all of those lessons into this practical book. I read StoryCraft in a few days, most of which were poolside. (Does anyone else geek out over writing books while dipping their toes in the water?)
If you're writing a narrative nonfiction piece (such as a memoir, an article for a newspaper or magazine, or a nonfiction book that uses stories to illustrate a point), StoryCraft will help you create a solid narrative arc. WordCraft focuses more on practical tips for strong writing. I highly recommend both!
My husband gifted this candle subscription to me for our anniversary one year, and its been one of my favorite gifts from him ever. I would light my monthly candle every time I sat down to write. Plus, they send a free small gift with each candle, like chapstick, cotton makeup removers, and the BEST shower scent spray. (Seriously, my favorite. I brought it with me to the hospital for my first postpartum shower, and all of the nurses commented on how good it smelled!)
If you’re just starting on your writing journey, this is THE go-to book for strong writing. It’s been around for decades, making the advice timeless. Strunk and White strip down fancy writing and give you the essentials to create powerful pieces. I refer to this often and it’s only a few dollars on Amazon. Worth it!
The confusing journey to publication can exhaust any writer. This course gives beginner writers the tools to create a sustainable writing ministry you love. You get access to videos, worksheets, and even a book proposal template as you discover your voice and find the idea that WORKS.
I often need encouraging reminders of how to build my business in a way that honors the Lord. As a writer, you might think that you’re not building a business, but entrepreneurship is foundational to becoming a published writer. Somer and Michelle made me think in fresh ways of how to love others well, brought clarity to my work, and revealed some areas of growth in order to honor the Lord and serve others well.
My sweet friend and fellow writing coach Kristin Vanderlip has experienced gut-wrenching pain. But, she’s turned her grief into a stunning journal to help others process their own lament. This hardcover journal introduces a simple four-part process to journal through grief. Kristin also sells these smell-good candles too to inspire comforting words!
This one’s for all my planners who geek out over paper planners! I’ve used Powersheets for two and a half years and love them. I have accomplished more of what matters to me with this simple system. Every year, you reflect on the previous years while dreaming of what’s to come. Then, each month, little by little, you work towards those goals. I love the flexibility (and beauty!) of these planners. They recently launched the 90-day powersheets, which I’m going to try this year. (I have a hard time thinking a year in advance. Ninety days feels more manageable for me!)
These are excellent for planning not only your life but keeping your writing goals a priority too!
Invest in your writing by investing in your community. A ticket to She Speaks will connect you with fellow writers and inspire you to keep going. I’ve never attended, but I have wanted to for years. This year, I’m making it a priority to go! I’m saving up for the conference ticket and using credit card points to afford the airfare.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again: creativity flourishes in community. I used to shrink back from creative community, fearing what others might think of my work. But the more involved in a creative community, the more my work has flourished. You need people, and a writer’s network membership is a great opportunity for it! hope*writers is where I first started to see my work improve as I connected with others in the Facebook group and learned through their Tuesday Teachings. I even got certified as a writing coach through them! Membership opens up only three times a year but make sure to sign up for their emails so you know when it’s open.
Who else dreams of a cute cottage by the ocean to write all alone? This is your one-way ticket to making that dream a reality! Depending on where you live, a $100 gift card could give you a night or two to retreat from the chaos of daily life and spend time working on your book project or proposal. Make sure to make a schedule before you leave to maximize your time!
Ok, yes. I’m an editor telling you to purchase Grammarly. Here’s why. You can’t always afford an editor for simple things like blog posts and emails. Grammarly can easily fill in that gap. You’ll feel more confident after you’ve run through a blog post through this software! (Grammarly is excellent for short and informal pieces. I still highly recommend an editor reviewing your book proposal and manuscript! There are so many things that an editor catches that Grammarly just can’t.)
A few sessions with a writing coach can change everything. You'll gain clarity and sharpen your confidence with the project on your heart.
I would be honored to help you in your journey. Each session lasts an hour over Zoom and we discuss the areas blocking you from progress. You’ll end each session with an actionable, personalized plan to finally accomplish your writing goals, whether writing a book or pitching to an agent!
If you're not sure you're ready for coaching, here are five situations you might be.