Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gifting a Writer

 By Suzanne Cordatos

Like an unfriendly ghost, a past embarrassing moment drifts to the present with the power to make us cringe years later. Afraid you've stumbled on a lost Halloween blog post? No, worse, a 1970’s Secret Santa Gift Exchange. It haunted me the other day like the Ghost of Christmas Past. The scene? Giggling Girl Scouts. Holiday packages filled with pink lip gloss and Love’s Baby Soft drug store perfume. Candy wrapped in crinkly cellophane dotted with Rudolphs and red noses. I couldn't wait to open my box.

Like Scrooge, I had to learn the hard way about gifting. My lesson? The beauty of the polite cover-up. I felt eyes, a Girl Scout friend, watching me open the box. Inside? A pen. A lovely pen, probably, but it wasn't pink or sparkly, and at ten who notices quality? What on earth had I done to earn the most boring gift in the room? Then I heard the friend mumble, “You said you want to be a writer.”

She was right, I did. I hide my Scrooge face better these days, but I still don't want a pen under the tree!

SO . . . What gifts might warm the heart of a writer in your life?

* Books. Obviously! 4RV books! Link right here!  
 Goofy writer gifts abound on internet shopping sites, like legal-pad designed napkins for when hunger—and the next great bestseller idea—strike at the same time. 
      * Keep inspired with a desk knickknack that represents the main character in a work in progress, or frame a motivating quotation from a favorite writer.

The best gift?  Time… to listen, to work, to brainstorm.

* Offer to read a manuscript and give an honest critique.
            * Create homemade coupons, each good for an hour of uninterrupted time to write or listen or read.
            *  Invite the writer to a coffee shop for an expenses-paid session to chat up their latest work.

Santa’s hint . . . Print the list. Let it mysteriously land on the family computer keyboard, or maybe accidentally-on-purpose stuffed in the cookie jar.

Have a wonderful holiday! And share—if you dare, what shadow haunts from your Christmas past? (Careful, story ideas lie buried there!)


  1. A nice Moleskine with crisp white pages waiting to be filled with writing and doodles would be nice, too. Just sayin'.
    My worst Secret Santa gift was a rock painted to look like a ladybug. It was obviously painted by someone my age, which was about eight at the time. I wanted to use it to knock out the girl who got the Love's Baby Soft and steal her perfume, but I refrained.
    Happy Holidays!

  2. Like idea number one: books from 4RV. Thanks.

    I like your ideas: creative and all timely.

    Merry Christmas.

  3. I like the third idea. Inspirational plaques and cards, really give me a boost. Current one over my desk: "On the field of the self stands a knight and a dragon. You are the knight. Resistance is the dragon. The battle must be fought anew every day." from Steven Pressfield's "The War of Art".

    Thanks for the post!

    Kristi Rhodes

  4. Books are an excellent idea and 4RV has a great lineup!

    Happy Holidays!

  5. Thanks for everyone's comments! Wishing you all a holiday season that fills with many blessings and good cheer with friends and family.

    May your stress be minimal and your joys great!

  6. All are great suggesstions. I've gifted myself with a couple of books from 4RV. Looking forward to reading them.