Have any writers on your Christmas list this year? I’ve got some gift suggestions for them, whether they’re new writers just starting out, or experienced writers with lots of writing credits. Most of these are books, obviously, because we writers like to read, too, but I threw in a few other things just to keep it interesting.
(The below links are affiliate links– a small portion of purchases made from the links below will be paid to me.)
Heart of the Matter by Heart of Carolina Romance Writers
This is a new book packed full of advice for new writers, written by the members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. My writing partner Lisa and I have a contribution in here, and there’s just a metric ton of great information in this thing. Plus, you can feel good about yourself for buying it because it’s a fundraiser for the HCRW chapter!
The Badass Writing series by Lisa Creech Bledsoe and Sonja Foust
These four books are your guide to all things writing from Lisa and me. We’re your snarky, irreverent writer buds giving you our best advice, tough love, and penis jokes. (No lie– there are totally penis jokes.)
While you’re at it, don’t forget to pick up this freebie that Lisa and I wrote! It’s called 25 Reasons to WRITE, DAMMIT! and it’s a pretty awesome deal because there are 25 free ideas in there, just for you. Fill your brainspace with that!
Just go to badasswriting.com and sign up for the newsletter to get the freebie! (You’ll also get the info on our other books when you sign up, but we promise not to spam you or anything!) And, if you just can’t get enough of us, you can come be our fan on Facebook!
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
Most of the time, How To Write books are either reeeeally touchy feely, or completely technical. I get annoyed with books like that because writing is a combination of both. So I wasn’t convinced I’d much care for this book, which leans toward the touchy feely. I was NOT expecting to find touchy-feely with a hint of tough love.
I enjoyed it very much. Lamott manages to inspire without fist-pumping theatrics or lies about the publishing business. Instead, she offers humorous, straight-forward, sometimes tough-love advice aimed at helping you get over yourself and get on to your writing. If you’re in a rut, do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It helped me immensely.
On Writing by Stephen King
Part memoir, part writing instruction, this is a great read. The memoir part made me go out and buy some of Stephen King’s books, even though I’m really not much of a horror fan.
The section I was really interested in, though, was the writing section. Stephen King offers a lot of good advice, but you have to be warned that it’s advice on how he writes. See the above caveat. Stephen King writes, as we say, by the seat of his pants. If you are not a pantser, you never will be. I am not a pantser, but I did try the exercises in the book, and it was a good way for me to expand my thinking and loosen up a bit.
Telling Lies for Fun & Profit by Lawrence Block
This was one of the first writing books I read, and is still one of my favorites. All good advice and worth a read, though most of it was fairly intuitive. Still, it really helps to have those intuitive things put into words sometimes, especially for me. Block is entertaining to read, even if you don’t learn anything earth-shattering. But I think you’ll learn something, too.
No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty (of NaNoWriMo fame)
Most definitely the resource of all resources for NaNoWriMo. Get yourself a copy before November!
Even if you’re not a huge NaNoWriMo dork like I am, I think you can still get something out of this book. A lot of times, we as writers take ourselves too seriously, and Chris Baty won’t let us do it! He gives lots of writers’ block busting techniques and ways to churn out that first draft fast, fast, fast. After all, that’s the point of NaNoWriMo.
We writers are weird in a lot of ways, and one of the not-insignificant ways is that we adore office supplies. Nothing gets us going quite like a good pen with a nice smooth line in some lovely saturated color. My favorites are these pilot pens because of the way they glide across my notebook. I feel smarter when I write with them. heh.
I hope that gives you a few ideas for the writers in your life this year. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and do your shopping online like I will so you can sit on your bum and eat pumpkin pie instead of going to the mall at 8 pm on Thanksgiving, yeah?