Most writers have a lot of “stuff.” I know I do. It started when I was a baby and it all came out in the wash when my parents transported me to college in our green Dodge minivan. I could barely fit in once it was packed. No one talks about any tearful breakdowns, more than the stunned realization of (and I quote my mother here): “Jesus, that girl had sooooooo much stuff…” But, believe it or not, I want more…but I really do believe it is possible to give very useful things to writers.
There is something in the nature of the loner personality, both ill-fated and magically destined to imagine for a living which creates a kleptomania for life overall, the evidence of which are writers’ astounding collections of curiosities and mementos and souvenirs and cats and dogs and even people. And, of course BOOKS. But! It is actually okay for you to add to it with the right gifts. Anything to keep a person who daydreams and types silently for a long time feeling they are not alone, and there are others who are not only so crazy but actually successful and prosperous at it, is the perfect gift in my book.
Since I am to remain focused on the Spirit of Writing here, I borrowed this list of tips and resources from my Goodreads Blog…so over there I do not necessarily recommend the “Thank God I did it!” massage gift certificates and upbeat/comedy movie tickets to unwind to. These are primarily the gifts that keep on giving…motivation and community and reference in this complicated but exhilarating world of writing…necessary for writers and authors at all levels in all genres and styles.
A DIGITAL OR PRINT SUBSCRIPTION TO ONE OF THESE PUBLICATIONS:
Poets & Writers Magazine
The Writer Magazine
A MEMBERSHIP TO ONE OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS:
PEN American Center
The Author’s Guild
Literary Freedom Project
Red Room For Authors
Gotham Writing Workshop
Writers Guild Foundation
Association of Writers & Writing Programs
YES, WRITERS REALLY DO LIKE BOOKS AND BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS….
PUBLISHING INDUSTRY GUIDES:
Guide to Literary Agents
Novel & Short Story Writers Market
The Poet’s Market
Writer’s Market Online: 10,000+ Book and Magazine Editors Who Buy What You Write
INDUSTRY STANDARD GUIDES:
The Elements of Style
Pocket Oxford English Dictionary
The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus
The Chicago Manual of Style/The Elements of Style
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Ernest Hemingway on Writing
This Year You Write Your Novel
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Pencil Dancing: New Ways to Spark Your Creative Spirit
(For the last 12 weeks of 2014, in thanks for my phenomenal year of growth here at Negression and in my overall writing life, I am offering my Spirit of Writing practices here. I have taught these lessons and sessions in schools, libraries and community programs in Chicago and New York City. I will post new segments each Wednesday. Happy writing!)