The writer’s gift: be present

Paula’s Post #92


You did it again!

You beat me to the punch on my blog post this week. I’d intended to follow up on my post of last week: ‘Top 10 Gifts for Writers‘ with a little ‘giving back’ we could all think about from time to time. But you pretty much covered most of those bases with your epic, ‘How to Give Like a Writer‘.

So yes, thank you very much/ Now I’m in need of a little ‘gift’ of my own. Something just in the ‘Saint Nick of time’. A little last minute inspiration.

Fortunately, I have a little special ‘gift’ that we can give to all the spouses, kids, grandkids and puppies out there, to all those who just so happen to have had the wild and crazy misfortune to be along with us for the ride. To those who find themselves sharing a home with a writer.

So… if sometime in the last year you:

1) Stayed up until 3:00am because you lost track of time while you were WRITING and ended up tiptoeing to bed, trying not to wake up your spouse…


2) Forgot to make dinner because you were WRITING…


3) Forgot to:

-do the grocery shopping because you were WRITING

-do the laundry because you were WRITING

-walk the dog because you were WRITING


4) All of the above,


5) Answered:

“…uhm… ah, yah, sure…”

…without the faintest idea what you’d just been asked to do, much less what you’d apparently just agreed to do, because you were working out a complicated plot in your head for the chapter you were WRITING…


6) Engaged in a long-winded, boring-yet-dismissive, intricate post-mortem of the latest book you read explaining why it totally sucked, as in: poorly written, flimsily plotted and with trite, all-too-predictable characters and – oh yeah – pointed out that it only got published because it was written by__________ (here, you fill in blank with the name of your most reviled successful serial novelist (such as, perhaps, a certain gentleman with the initials JP who now has something like 300 million books in print)…


7) All of the above….

If you’ve any or all of these seven deadly sins, it may mean you’ve been more naughty than nice!

And if that’s the case, may I suggest you make this holiday season exceptionally nice for those who’ve put up with your callous writers’ needs. Your thoughtless work schedule. Your abrupt mood swings. Your mental absences.

My suggestion:

Don’t just give presents. Be present.

Thank your spouse/partner/kid(s)/dog(s)/grandkids/parents/ – everyone whom you know that made your world a little easier. Who gave you the gift of time and/or patience.

Time to give back.

Starting right now. Because I’ve got to go. I’m already starting. I’m taking my husband and the kids out for guacamole and margarita’s at Tortilla Republic. And tonight, I plan to be fully ‘present’.

How about you?

What gift would you give to ‘give back’ to those that give you the gift of time and space to write?

1 thought on “The writer’s gift: be present

  1. Pingback: My one-resolution New Year | 5 Writers 5 Novels 5 Months

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