Ten Things Every Writer Wants for Christmas

Hi everyone! I normally go in to detail about my posts, but this one is pretty self-explainitory. So here are ten things that are on every writers’ (or at least this writer’s) wishlist. 

1. A Publication

This is a no brainer and pretty obvious. Every one of us has that deep desire to see our name in print. 

2. A Distraction-Free Workspace

I, like many other writers, have trouble focusing on my work. It would be nice to have a quiet space to just let inspiration happen. 

3. A Cure for Writer’s Block

Becuase it can seriously be the worst thing ever at times. 

4. To Actually Finish Our Work

I’m usually a quick book-writer, but sometimes things just take so long. 

5. More Social Media Followers

We all see professionals doing what they love and having thousands of followers. It would be nice if Santa could bring those to all my social media pages. 

6. Hearing Back from all of our Submissions

A lot of us are constantly in the process of writing and submitting pieces, which causes an eternal waiting process. It would be great to have some good answers this holiday season. 

7. A Job in Our Field

Keep your heads up, college writing majors! 

8. Financial Stability

For writers going back and forth with freelance jobs or short contacts deals, making ends meet as a writer can be tough. 

9. Writing-Themed Accessories

Really, who doesn’t love a cute journal to scribble down ideas, fancy pens, etc? 

10. People to Actually Read our Stuff

Sometimes we can have a lot of followers, but not a lot of people actively reading a critiquing our work. If you have a family member or friend who is a writer, ask to read some of their work. I guarantee, it’ll be one of the best gifts you can give them. 

Authors Need Love Too

Since I’ve been home for winter break, I’ve had some time to reflect. Last night, I suddenly started thinking about my future…I have no idea what’s going to happen. There is never certainty as a writing major. 

Anyway, I realized that being an author, like many other things, requires a support system. When I was in high school and all my friends wanted to read my works, I felt like I was on top of the world, and I wrote nearly every day, finishing books left and right. 

Now, after not having a publication in over a year and begging for beta readers, I rarely write anything that’s not for class anymore. 

The thing I realized about authors is that our career really depends on other people. A teacher, for example, needs a class. But students will always be around. An author needs beta readers, then for a publisher to like your idea, and then the public needs to love it as well. An unmotivated teacher can still show up to work. An unmotivated author can’t write. 

So this holiday season, I’d advise everyone to show some love for the writers in your life. Stop by their Wattpad account and read something, or ask them about that poem they scribbled in their notebook. Tell them you can’t wait for their next book. Chances are, they’ll appreciate it. 

When Even Friends and Family Won’t Read

I was going to write a post about beta reading, but I figured, what’s the fun in writing something I’ve never had experience with (but hopefully will soon.) So, I’ll start with a story. 

I wrote a lot when I was in my last two years of high school. We moved to a different state where I went to a small school and had no friends–a big difference from where I came from, where I spent the fall and spring on the varsity crew team and summers at the mall with friends. I had nothing to do, so I wrote, and it took me out of the world I was living in and brought me to where I desperately wanted to be: someplace else. 

Back then, I did have people I was close to that read my work. My dad read a few chapters of my first ever completed book, Living Brighter, and so did one of my friends from back home. But over time, no one else felt like reading. In fall of 2012, I finished Euphoria, my least popular book. My sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I said, “All I want is for you to read Euphoria.” The story was about 80 pages long at the time, and being a fast reader, I figured it wouldn’t take her more than a few hours. Christmas morning, to my disappointment, I was given a Spongebob DVD. 

Two weeks ago, my mom had surgery and couldn’t leave the house. She told me before I left for work, “What am I going to do all day?” 

“Read Saving Flight 926. I need feedback before doing the rewrite,” I said. “You know how to get on my Wattpad.” 

Nine hours later when I returned home, she had not even gone through Wattpad, and was instead playing Cookie Jam. And don’t even get me started on how much I have to beg my boyfriend to click through a chapter. 

At the end of the day, I mostly feel disappointed. All I think is, “Is my writing that awful?” These are the people who encourage me constantly. Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. But then I realized that there are probably a million other fellow writers who are having the same problem. 

So, what do you do if no one wants to read? Here’s what I learned. 

1. Don’t Beg

Begging can lead to people being forced to read if they don’t want to, and the classic, “I’ll check it out right now.” While you sit there awkwardly and wait for them to finish (which has happened to me way too many times.) 

2. Try to Understand

Maybe my mom just wanted to play Cookie Jam instead. Maybe your friend and relatives are actually busy. Or, try putting yourself in their shoes. Personally if it was me I’d be reading my friends’ things like I always do, BUT maybe they just don’t want to. I mean, everyone has things they don’t want to do. 

3. Come to Terms With It

While it does feel upsetting and insulting, I’ve come to terms with the fact that some people may just not want to read your stuff. Why would my boyfriend want to read a gooey romance? Or why would my sister want to read fantasy when she loves horror? And you know what? If they don’t want to read it, that’s OKAY. As authors, we know that tons of people won’t like our work, and our friend and family are just a handful. 

4. Don’t Let it Stop You

Long story short, don’t let anything stop you from going after your writing dreams. 

It really stinks when people we’re close to won’t read the work we’ve put so much time into. While it may be hard to understand why, it is possible.