Yes, it’s that time of year again when we all need to find thoughtful gifts to express our love to our nearest and dearest which, let’s face it, isn’t always easy!
If you have a writer in your life, these gift ideas might help.
Alternatively, if you are a writer, you could always forward this post to your family as a helpful hint… Or just treat yourself!
I have yet to meet a writer who wasn’t at least a little bit in love with stationery.
This Leuchtturm 1917 dotted journal is perfect for keeping a bullet journal (planning heaven!), writing, brain-storming or doodling. I have been using the A5 size (in Emerald) for my bullet journal this year and I am utterly in love.
Why not create a bullet journal starter-kit by adding a fine-point black pen and some pretty washi tape and stickers?
The Literary Gift Company has lots of book-themed loveliness, but I particularly like this ‘So It Goes’ necklace (quote is from Slaughterhouse Five) and their range of ‘poems instead of a card’ pamphlets.
A good reference section is useful to any writer. Once the basics (a good dictionary and thesaurus) are covered, you can branch out. I love Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase And Fable – it’s stuffed with eclectic facts and is perfect for browsing. Next, I’ve got my eye on this collection of quotes:
Writers are learning all the time, so a book on the craft or business of writing is sure to be welcome. Stephen King’s On Writingis the most-recommended book on the podcast so it’s a good place to start.
Alternatively, if you know a worried writer, then there is always my book on the subject!
My guest today is Katie Cross. Katie writes both YA fantasy and contemporary women’s fiction. Her books include The Network series, which kicks off with Miss Mabel’s School For Girls, and Bon Bons To Yoga Pants. Katie also provides mentoring services for indie authors, and she runs a lively Facebook support group called Indie Author Life. Head here to join.
In the interview we discuss productivity, publishing, and self-doubt, and Katie shares wonderful tips for combining writing with parenthood (or other responsibilities). Katie is a bundle of energy and I got so much inspiration from our chat – I hope you do, too!
I allowed myself to take my foot off the pedal a wee bit during October, and also had a week away with my family by Loch Ness, which was glorious!
Less fun, was hitting the middle of my WIP and, as usual, getting completely stuck. Every single book I have written has hit this point but it’s always a bit scary. I allowed myself to take thinking and freewriting time and, last week, I had a breakthrough on the plot – phew!
I’m planning to finish the book during November so, along with everyone who is taking part in NaNoWriMo, I will be writing as much as possible.
If you are trying to finish a project or are taking part in NaNoWriMo, let’s make this a super-productive November and cheer each other on! I will post updates on Twitter and the Worried Writer Facebook page. We can do this!
I also talk about the importance of finishing, and how getting to ‘The End’ on your first book is so difficult – but so vital.
‘From the beginning it called to me. I was like that is the way I want to publish a book.’
‘You have control, you have to do something with it and you really have to it well. I think finding a team can be the hardest part: people you trust at a price you can afford.’
‘I had a lot of beta readers give me feedback and I had professional editors.’
‘I do remember that feeling of vulnerability once I’d hit that publish button… I’ve put a piece of my heart out there.’
On helping others and the FB group:
‘It was a difficult transition for me from full-time author to full-time mom… I couldn’t find other people in the same boat so I put this group together.’
‘Authors need a tribe. It’s a solitary profession but requires a village, really.’
‘I’m an extrovert, I thrive on connection.’
‘I do write everyday.’
‘I freelance and I do mentoring for some self-publishers when I have slots available and I write my own books. It sounds like a lot but I don’t take a lot of contracts for freelancing… It’s very manageable, it’s not too many, it’s just enough so that I feel like I’m working on a team.’
‘The night before I go to bed I have a to-do list and I write down three things that have to get done.’
‘If I can get up before my son I spend twenty minutes meditating. I just sit and deep breathe and am just present in the moment… And then I go about the day with my son and I do not check my email.’
‘An hour before naptime I start preparing for naptime so I get the house clean, I make lunch, I make sure we’ve had lunch, make sure the dog is settled. Everything is ready so the moment my son is down for his nap, my butt is in the chair and I’m writing.’
‘I call myself a naptime entrepreneur.’
‘I do try to keep creativity and business separate… I always work on creative things first… And I try to stay focused when I’m in each one.’
On writing while being a full-time parent:
‘It’s a careful balance when you’re a parent of being a parent, but still having time for yourself and taking time for your writing because your writing time can’t be your self-care time.’
‘There was more time for writing with a newborn than I thought… For me it got really busy once he got mobile!’
‘I was a hardcore pantser until I became a mom then I found it much more productive to plot.’
‘Typically when I’m blocked creatively it’s because I need to make a decision and I don’t want to… I need to decide where this plot is going and then I’m worried I’ll make the wrong choice and I’ll waste words or something like that.’
‘Failure if one of our greatest learning mechanisms.’
If you can spare a few minutes to leave the show a review on iTunes (or the podcast app of your choice) that would be really helpful. Ratings raise the visibility of the podcast and make it more likely to be discovered by new listeners.