For the Writer in your life…

Writers deserve Special attention

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When thinking about gifts few of us balk at flowers and chocolates, but your writer may be hoping for something a little more writerly, something that will push them a little closer to their goals. Here are a few ideas to tantalise the taste buds.

The ultimate gift for any writer is the time to write. An hour when the kids are safely occupied; a full day of peace and quiet; a whole weekend when the dishes are done, the phone doesn’t ring and the dog doesn’t bark. And many words on the page. Bliss.

Running a very close second to time is space to write. A tidy space in the corner of a room, to a purpose built studio in the garden. Or perhaps partitioning a space in the shed; somewhere with a dedicated desk and room for a notebook and pens. And a coffee mug, a comfy chair and maybe a view. Why not combine the two and gift your writer, or yourself, time at a Writers Retreat? These are optimised for writerly use and comfort.

A writer will never say no to a book. Book Her Mother's Secret by Natasha LesterA classic, a first edition. And before  you complain about the pile building at the side of the bed, how about that much needed shelf or even a bookcase? Say these words: “A writer can never have too many books.” Repeat as needed.

The same goes for notebooks, the prettier or more handsome the better. One for every nook and cranny; remember, ideas pop up any place, any time. Oh and don’t forget the waterproof notepad for the bathroom.

Subscriptions to literary magazines are a must have for writers everywhere. If the postman grumbles about the weight, there is usually an online version

A membership  to a Writers Society will keep the juices flowing, not to mention tickets to lectures or favourite author talks. How about travel and accommodation to a Writers Festival? Now you’re talking.

After a session of writing nothing quite suits as much as a soothing massage, or a soak in the bath – don’t skimp on the oils. Candle, bath balls, bath salts

Ok, now this is a big one. When your writer asks to share ideas, thoughts and writing, use honesty with your feedback. It’s not a case of “do I look fat in this?” when you are obliged to say “no, of course not.” Think carefully about your response. The best answer is constructive and honest.

Please feel free to add to my list, I love to hear new ideas.

 

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Writin’ 9 to 5…

A recent article in a national newspaper bemoaned the fact that the working day has gone beyond the 9-5, Monday to Friday realm with the advent of the much maligned digital age.

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I understand the journalist’s point that emails and texts from the boss or client or even the colleague, can and do invade the weekend junior footy match…if we allow them to. These pieces of digital masterpieces have an off button. But what about those of us who write? And do not try to tell me that writing is not a job. Let’s ponder this from a creative writer’s point of view; to wonder how many writers have ever or do stick to that Mon-Fri rule? With no consequences.

Notwithstanding the absolute necessity of social media, how many of us are able or willing to turn off our writing for the weekend? The whole weekend, every weekend.

A full time writer may be able to; those who work to a writing schedule on a daily basis (please sprinkle some of your discipline laced fairy dust in my direction), might be able to put the pen down to have a life for the rest of the day or week. But how do they stop the ideas from popping into their mind? Ah ha. No. They can’t, just like the rest of us they are unable to put them aside because it is Saturday and hope to pick them up again Monday at 9am.fullsizeoutput_5ed

This is not a new problem for writers; something which happened with the advent of emails, texts and twitter. There are ways to manage those, but if anyone has managed to stop the ideas and the manic rush for a scrap of paper at 3am on a Sunday, or even a crayon for the bathroom wall at shower time, I would like to hear from them.

Impatient in a sped up world?

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Today’s technology presents the world at our fingertips. At the click of a mouse we are on the other side of the globe chatting with a friend we may or may not have met in person. We watch war in real time on a choice of devices wherever we are. The world has become an ‘instant’ place. Yet we seem impatient for more. More time and more convenience.

Do you wait at the microwave, impatiently watching the seconds count down, ready to grab at the contents at the first beep? We prerecord our TV favourites to fast-forward through the ads; once we would have used that time to make a cup of tea or use the facilities, even converse with our viewing companions.

bags-816948_1920We bank online, retail therapy takes the shape of looking at pictures on a screen and clicking the ‘add to cart’ button, because physically waiting in a queue has become even more of a chore, and who has the time? But if you must shop in person, now you can serve yourself saving both time and personal interaction.

In fact we can have our groceries delivered 7 days a week, and why not order those pre-prepared frozen meals while we are at it. Saves all that time in the kitchen, and we needn’t get out of our armchair for more than the 45 seconds it takes to put it in and take it out of the microwave. (oh but that microwave takes a whole 7-8 minutes out of our time to heat).

No time to go for a walk? Use the Wii and no one will know when you cheat and just wave your arms around from the sofa.

car-race-ferrari-racing-car-pirelli-50704The ‘Sunday Driver’ has gone the way of Sunday drives. He has been replaced by the road rager, and the wannabe race driver. And don’t mention those traffic lights. They must take at least 5 minutes to change. (They don’t, I have timed them.)

So what to do with the spare time we are in so much of a hurry to save? Well it seems we don’t have any spare time after all. We are time poor, busier than ever. So we devour the barrage of cooking shows and books in an endeavor to learn how to cook in half the time. And we buy all the latest gadgets to move through our tasks quicker; fan forced ovens, even faster microwaves (really?), and washing machines with a quick wash option, or the one that washes then dries so we don’t have to waste our precious time taking clothes from one machine to the other.

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I wonder what would happen if we turned off some of our technology and went out to smell the roses? Well, we might get stung by a bee, or get hayfever. Or we might just enjoy it; decide to make it a priority. We might just find a way to make time.

 

 

Written waiting for my frozen meal to heat while fast forwarding the ads.