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The Ultimate Writer’s Gift List

December 5, 2023

Note From Rochelle

Dear writers,

Happy December!

At a recent event, someone asked me to talk about the best thing about writing and publishing Mightier Than the Sword. I had difficulty narrowing it down because there have been so many blessings. But here’s what I landed on: I loved the process of researching and writing the book. And I love talking about that with young people—how much fun it was to learn about interesting people and think about how to tell their stories.

This quote from Happy People by Emily Henry sums it up well:

“I want my life to be like—making pottery. I want to enjoy it while it’s happening, not just for where it might get me eventually.”

I hope you are enjoying the process of writing. In our product-oriented world, it’s hard to get caught up in publishing and marketing our work. But you can find joy in the process, too.

Today’s tip is a Holiday Gift List for writers. Some of the links are affiliate links to Target or Amazon. I get a small commission from them—and that helps support my work and this newsletter.

Happy writing,

Rochelle, the Write Now! Coach

The Ultimate Writer’s Holiday Gift List

by Rochelle Melander

Books to Read

With all the trauma in the world, I’ve needed happier books that help me feel less alone. These books have supported me these challenging times.

This charming book follows the lives of several characters in flux. In their quest to find the next right thing, each of them goes to the library to find information—and meet a wise librarian. She gives them a list of books and a bonus gift, sending them off on a new adventure. But the librarian does not take credit for her book recommendations. She says, “You may say that it was the book, but it’s how you read a book that is most valuable, rather than any power it might have itself.”

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree

Battle weary, Viv (an orc) gives up fighting to open a coffee shop. With Cal the builder, a new assistant Tandri, and baker Thimble, she accomplishes her dream and creates a safe haven for the town. But can she hold onto this or will her old life threaten to destroy it?

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill

I reviewed this in an earlier newsletter, but I still think it’s a fun read—especially at this time of year, when a fantasy can help take the chill out of the air. This coming-of-age tale is set in the 1950s, but in this world, people had to deal with the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when “hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales and talons, left a trail of fiery destruction in their path, and took to the skies.” (Book jacket)

Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym

I’ve been digging out my old Barbara Pym books to read before bedtime. They’re village dramas with plenty of acerbic wit and keen observations. I’m just finishing Excellent Women and plan on rereading my favorite of her novels, Crampton Hodnet. Miss Morrow is content in her role as a spinster companion to Miss Dogget. But when the new cleric becomes Miss Dogget’s tenant, will that change everything?

Writing and Bullet Journaling

I have been using a bullet journal for several years now to track my goals and daily tasks. (See my post on Bullet Journaling to Boost Productivity)

Bullet Journal

My very first bullet journal was a hard covered Moleskine Journal with plain paper. I loved it. It got me through a whole year of bullet journaling and was easy to carry around in my tote.

I currently use the A5 Dot Grid Notebook from Archer and Olive. The paper is a little thicker and takes markers without bleeding through. The only challenge: I need a journal and a half per year. Instead of wasting that half of a journal, I just keep going. I kind of like not having the pressure of starting a new bullet journal in January!

Idea Journal

I’ve been using this larger, plain paper Moleskine journal for recording and developing ideas. It’s a little bigger than my bullet journal and lays flat when I work on it.

Mind Mapping

I like to mind map my articles and books, and I’ve found a regular 9×12 sketch pad to be the best thing for that.

Holiday Wishes

Of course, gifts are nice but the real joy of the season comes from spending time with people you love. Whether it’s reading by the fire or watching a favorite holiday movie, I hope you have a peaceful holiday season.

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