This Thanksgiving weekend is a fine time to give thanks for the good things in a writer’s life. You may not have a published book or even a byline yet, but there are still a fair number of writerly things for which to be thankful.
- Reference Materials. Maybe a good thesaurus isn’t at the top of your list—until you need to find that exactly perfect word to liven up your sentence. We have great reference materials available that make our writing lives easier and more accurate.
- The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, 4th Edition.
- The Christian Writer’s Market Guide. See the new edition pictured here.
- The Writers’ Market Guide.
- Dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, etc.
- Bible dictionaries, atlases, feast guides, etc.
- Learning Tools. From books to audio and video classes; from magazines to online courses—there is absolutely no reason to let your writing education lag. A couple of websites to visit and books to read:
- Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces and Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark.
- The Art of War for Writers: Fiction Writing Strategies, Tactics, and Exercises and The Mental Game of Writing: How to Overcome Obstacles, Stay Creative and Productive, and Free Your Mind for Success by James Scott Bell.
- regaforder.wordpress.com/articles/ for a link to Christian Communicator magazine
- Top-Level Conferences. Christian writers conferences abound, leaving you no excuse not to attend at least one conference a year. A range of price points, lengths, and locations mean you’ll find one perfect for you. Check these out:
- Breathe Christian Writers Conference (breatheconference.com)
- Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference (writers.mounthermon.org)
- Florida Christian Writers Conference (floridacwc.net)
- Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference (blueridgeconference.com)
- Fellow Travelers. Every writer needs writer friends, whether online buddies or in-person BFFs, so you’ll have at least one person who:
- Doesn’t look at you strangely when you talk about your characters as real people.
- Understands that writing is your calling, not something you fit in when you can.
- Knows that your house isn’t clean but your sentences are sound.
- Understands that you aren’t at your family’s beck and call every minute of the day just because you’re writing at home.
- Gets your need for strong coffee/dark chocolate/gold fish crackers/mint tea/etc.
- Will happily go with you to literary movies or shows such as “Jane Eyre: The Musical.”
- Won’t harangue you for buying one more writing book.
- Will room with you at conferences and weekend writing retreats.
- Editors. On the whole, editors make your work better. Those of you saying, “But my work is already great,” clearly need an editor. Whether a magazine or book editor, let them do their work and trust them to make your work smoother, less wordy, less confusing and more interesting. That said, if an editor makes a mistake mention it nicely and ask he or she, respectfully, to fix it. Side notes on editors:
- Once you are done with your novel and your self-editing, hire a professional editor to look it over and make suggestions.
- Editing isn’t the same as proofreading, though they overlap. Proofreaders (or copyeditors) look at your post-edited manuscript for typos and other small mistakes.
- A good editor is worth every penny. Listen to what they say!
- A good and fast computer is the best thing ever. The Internet is a great way to research anything from a Civil War battle to who stars in the movie you want to see. A smart phone can hold your schedule, all your email, surf the Internet in the line at the bank, text your kids and friends, monitor your heartbeat, and actually call people too. Love technology; use it wisely.
What are you writers thankful for this holiday weekend? We all want to know!
I’m thankful for writing buddies who talk me off ledges. I’m in need of that often, as you know. 🙂
It’s an important part of the Writer BFF job description, for sure!
I’m thankful for NaNoWriMo because it gets me writing and keeps me writing all month. Also love the local community of writers I never would have met if it weren’t for November write-ins.
I’ve heard many good things about NaNoWriMo. Glad it is such a help to you!