Monthly Archives: April 2019

Christmas Gifts for Writers

My friends tell me that finding Christmas gifts for writers can be very difficult. You can only find so many funny coffee mugs or T-shirts with writing-related quips.

One friend said it was difficult to think of what to buy for me for birthdays and Christmas because she felt that, as a writer (and editor), I might find what she chose not meaningful enough. Not certain what my friend meant by that, and being a writer, I asked.

Her answer? “Well, you’re a writer. You are so educated. You know so much. What can I give you that you would like or find useful?” I have to admit I was a bit taken aback because my friend has the same amount of formal education that I have. Still, I can appreciate her concern because I think we all feel this way when we want to give the people we care about a gift.

So, to help my fellow writers get the books they want for Christmas this year, I’ve compiled a handy list that you can give to your family or name drop when you’re having lunch with friends, or leave on your desk for the gift-givers in your life to find.

Christmas Gifts for Writers

If the writer in your life has these books, think about what she enjoys when she’s not writing and select a gift related to that. After all, the most meaningful gifts of all come from the heart.

Writing Is Easy, Just Open a Vein

“Writing is easy. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” —Red Smith, Sports Writer

Truer words were never written! I find that the most difficult thing for most writers to do is sit down and start writing. Something about how everything we write comes directly from the heart makes it like opening a vein when we share our thoughts on paper (or electronically) with the rest of the world.

Not only that, writing well takes time. Most professional writers do not sit down and write a perfect first draft. To craft a well-written, well-worded article, book, short story, report, or even a letter requires time—time to write, edit, rewrite, edit, perhaps rewrite again, copyedit, proofread, and so on.

Most writers have a ritual or process they go through when they get ready to write. Once you know what your process is, it’s easier to sit down and let the creativity flow.

When I first began writing for publication, it took a while to figure out my process. I finally realized that I tended to avoid writing when I wasn’t sure how to begin an article. The Professional Writer’s Secret Weapon changed all that. Whenever I use it, the articles practically write themselves.

So I decided to share it with other writers because the world desperately needs good information to counter some of what I call the ‘junk writing’ that proliferates now because, thanks to computers and the Internet, just about anyone can publish whatever they write.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love using my computer to write. And I love how easy it is to publish my work and get it out to the world using today’s technology. What I take issue with is the proliferation of poor writing that this wonderful technology also makes possible. That’s why I write this blog. And that’s why, too, I wrote The Professional Writer’s Secret Weapon, an online course that is delivered directly to your email inbox.

Because the Professional Writer’s Secret Weapon is an email class, you can do each lesson when it’s convenient for you. I’ve taught this course through the extension program for the University of California and through various writers groups. Now I’m making it available to writers everywhere online.

This class goes on sale for $250 but I’m offering it to Writers Inkwell readers for