Wednesday, 22 December 2010

What Writers Want for Christmas

Families and friends of wannabe writers! This post is for you. This is what the aspiring author in your circle would love for Christmas and the New Year.

  1. Start random conversations and drop in ‘when you’re an author’ as many times as you possibly can. Some examples: ‘Do you have to get that early train to work? Never mind, when you’re an author you can work from home.’ Or: ‘Won’t it be lovely this time next year when you’re an author?’ And even: ‘Let’s go into this book shop and see where your books will be placed on the shelves when you’re an author.’

  2. A fancy, gorgeous, beautiful notebook. And then a plain, bog-standard, scruffy notebook that they will actually use.

  3. An hour of quiet every single day for them to write with no interruptions.

  4. A ream of plain white A4 printer paper. And another. And another.

  5. Ink cartridges for their printer. Back up ink cartridges for when the printer runs out halfway through something bloody important.

  6. The promise that you will gently steer them away from whatever procrastinating activity they have desperately embarked on (colour co-ordinating sock drawer, preoccupation with ironing napkins) back to their computer / writing desk.

  7. No complaints, yawns, tapping of watches, or general Look of Gloom when they disappear into a book shop for hours. Instead greet them afterwards with the same enthusiastic welcome as a triumphant marathon runner.

  8. If they care to share with you a plot point, do not let your gaze slide past them to Top Gear. Listen to them; support them; and make them a cup of tea.

  9. Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’; The Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2011; a subscription to a writing magazine; and bookshop vouchers.

  10. And finally, the most important thing: Your belief that they can do it. Hooray!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Maria Zannini said...

Especially Number 10. :)

Merry Christmas, Jayne, to you and yours.

Out on the prairie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Out on the prairie said...

I gave a nice notebook to a friend and was amazed at how fast it was filed.My daughter has a stack of spiral notebooks and sketchbooks full.I write verse,outlines and ideas long hand, but tend to pound this old keyboard.Merry Christmas from out on the prairie in Iowa Jayne.

Anne Gallagher said...

What a wonderful list. I'd love to get any or all of the gifts.

Happy Happy Holidays to you and your family Jayne!

Rula Sinara said...

Great list. I want it all...esp #8 and 10 :)...ooh and a contract would be nice too ;)

Happy Holidays!

Angelina Rain said...

I need # 3 and 6 in my life.

I’m publishing my book with an e-publisher, it’s so much faster and easier. There’s no need to print anything, send out (except a signed contract) or any other stuff. The submission response times are so much faster too. In traditional publishing it takes up to a year to get a response. In e-publishing it’s like two months but if they like your book, your response can be as quick as one day.

Also, Merry Christmas!

Talli Roland said...

Belief is definitely the best one. The BEST!

Have a fantastic Christmas! We must grab that apres-work wine next year.

Here's to 2011! :)

Happy Frog and I said...

What a great list/post. Enjoyed all of the top 10 but particularly the last one. Quite right!

Christine said...

A brilliant list, Jayne. I have a weakness for lovely notebooks, so no. 2 is spot on for me.

Old Kitty said...

Oh I'd be most happy if just one of these were granted to me!! LOL!!

Have a BRILLIANT Christmas and a FANTASTIC New Year!!!!! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!!!

Take care

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Simply brilliant list!

All vital ingredients for a happy writer.

Merry Christmas, Jayne !

Shirley Wells said...

What a great list, especially number 10.

Merry Christmas, Jayne, and all best wishes for a happy and successful 2011!

Happy Frog and I said...

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments on my blog today, I really appreciate it as does Happy Frog. :-)

Pat Tillett said...

Now that is a great list!
Happy holidays...

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Great list, Jayne. I should print it off and leave it lying around the house and all my friends' houses. I probably can get some of those things for my writer friends, too.

Jemi Fraser said...

Love this list!! I really, really, REALLY want #3! :)

Tracy Z. said...

If I could get a little #6, I'd be a happy little writer.

Talei said...

Oh I definitely want a lovely new notebook! And I'd love to finish revisions.;)

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and a very jolly New Year! xx

D.J.Kirkby said...

Great post! Merry Christmas and many happy writing hours in 2011.

Jan Morrison said...

This is my list absolutely. Especially the support to keep going with no real reason to believe just yet!

Rose said...

Happy Christmas!! I hope you have a wonderful time and that 2011 is the best yet for writing and life in general- let's meet up! i will be much less busy and useless in 2011- it's my resolution

What writing magazines do you suggest by the way?

Rose x

fairyhedgehog said...

Here's hoping all your Christmas wishes come true!

N. R. Williams said...

Merry Christmas, dear. I'd love a camera and cool. May your wish come true with or without a star.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

IonnKorr said...


Nice blog!

Have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2011.

Greedings from Greece.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Jayne!!!
I promise I will NEVER veer off to look at Top Gear..!! hehe

Wishing you and yours a very merry christmas... Thanks for your kind visits and comments.. and for inspiring us with your humour!!! Here's to more in Julie

Debs said...

Now that sounds like my kind of list.

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.x

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Jayne, great post! Wish I'd seen this BEFORE Christmas. Oh well.

Merry Christmas, I hope you got everything on your list!

~ that rebel, Olivia

Joanna St. James said...

oh thank you for this list I will forward it to the hubs, maybe this will convince him to remove the bookstore alarm from my card

Eliza said...

Hope you had a lovely Christmas. Fingers crossed for your future publication this year :-)

Boonie S said...

Your post always amuse me - and none more so than this one. Thanks.

Happy holiday to you, Boonie

Carolyn V. said...

I loved #1! I'm going to start doing that right away. =)

Have a wonderful New Years Jayne!

wannabe a writer said...


Hope you got whatever you wanted for Christmas.

I love this time between Christmas and New Year where I can chill out, read, write, eat chocolate and drink wine.

Now that's the most precious gift to a writer - time.

Happy New Year


Jayne said...

Maria – Hope you had a lovely time.

Out on the prairie – I love notebooks! Of all kinds, although the very gorgeous ones I find it hard to scribble in, mainly as they seem too precious for scribbles.

Anne Gallagher – Happy Holidays to you too! Hope Monster Baby had fun. x

Rula Sinara – Oh yes, a contract would be the icing on the cake! Oh dear. Now I want a cake.

Angelina Rain – Congratulations to you for getting your book published! I hope all goes well for you.

Talli Roland – Belief is the best gift ever. And absolutely – always up for an après-work glass of vino!

Jayne said...

Happy Frog and I – It makes ALL the difference! And it was very nice to scurry around your blog and catch up on your holiday. :)

Christine – Thank you. I love gorgeous notebooks but seem to do most of my scribbling in cheapy ones instead.

Old Kitty – Absolutely – and I hope you had a lovely time over Christmas / New Year.

Wendy aka Quillfeather – Merry Christmas!

Shirley Wells – Thank you – you too!

Pat Tillett – It is, isn’t it? Thanks – you too!

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina – I think all writers can appreciate these gifts!

Jayne said...

Jemi Fraser – I need to create more time in my life for #3 – it must be possible!

Tracy Z. – I desperately need someone to stop me wasting time when I should be writing. My downfall is the delights of youtube.

Talei – Good luck with finishing revisions! And thank you – wish you and yours a lovely time over this festive season.

D.J.Kirkby – I wish you many happy writing hours too!

Jan Morrison – That is just it – the support to keep going when there is no real reason to believe at the moment. It makes ALL the difference.

Rose – Thank you! And yes, it would be lovely to meet up – let’s go for it! As for writing magazines – the best thing would be to duck into W.H. Smith and have a quick scoot at the mags on offer. They all look pretty good – lots of writing exercises to get the brain in gear and features about how to start.

fairyhedgehog – Aw thank you. You too, m’dear!

N. R. Williams – I hope Santa brought you lovely presents! And thank you – yours too.

IonnKorr – Greetings from London! Wishing the same for you too.

Julie@beingRUBY – Oh good, thank you! So glad I manage to inspire you – your gorgeous blog definitely inspires me. Onwards and upwards in 2011!

Debs – I hope you are having a most marvellous time so far.

Olivia J. Herrell – Hee! Save it for next year!

Jayne said...

Joanna St. James – Oh no – disable that bookstore alarm pronto!

Eliza – Aw thank you so much! Yeay! Here’s hoping. x

Boonie S – I’m so glad, Boonie! Happy holidays to you and Mrs S.

Carolyn V. – Do it! They’ll love you for it. And you too!

wannabe a writer – Hi Linda. I hope that you are enjoying your chilling out time, and here’s to 2011 and to writing time!

Chris David Richards said...

A great list. Sometimes I'll procrastinate while writing. If the next word doesn't come for more than two minutes it'll be 'just a quick look at YouTube, and I wonder what Facebook is doing'. An hour later and I've done nothing.

Lori said...

Top Gear is a definate rival for attention in my house, too! Great list...hope you get many, if not all, of them.

luminous muse said...

Well now Jayne, this is the first I knew you work as an editor. In my experience that means you've already mastered the harder part of writing!

I agree with you on King's "On Writing." I would add Wiliam Zinsser's "On Writing Well."

Happy New Year!

violet said...

Ahh! This is lovely! Btw, thanks for dropping that lovely comment on my blog! Happy New Year to you too! :) :)

Ev said...

Oh No 3 please. Just No 3 - that will do nicely. See SJ is getting rave advance reviews - nice to see someone making it, even in these straitened times. His book sounds fascinating, I have it pre-ordered.
Wishing you all things good in 2011