September is Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month. It is great that editors and writers have their own month of acknowledgment; however, the appreciation for writers is something that should be shown all throughout the year, month to month, day by day. Writers are educators. Writers make a habit of reading not only to stay informed on world events but in order to inform others of things that are not necessarily common knowledge. Writers are the worlds experts. Writers lead the fight against wrong doing by exposing corruption and tyranny. Writers write not because it pays well, but because it makes them feel good. Writers are the unsung heroes of the human race.
Most writers may not feel comfortable being described as a hero; however, all writers would love the acknowledgment–for at least one day, no matter the month–of being vital to the community ecosystem. This acknowledgment could be in the form of a simple phone call or thank you card. If you have a writer in your family, you could handle the house chores for a week or cook a special dinner. A small, inexpensive gift could also show how much you appreciate a writers hard work.
“When I’m writing on deadline, glued to the computer for hours, my back starts in, so getting a gift certificate for a massage would be awesome and thoughtful,” says K.S. Brooks, author of Lust for Danger. “Even a brief plug on a friend’s blog is a great gift–and one that costs nothing…if someone has a friend who’s a writer, the nicest and truly most helpful thing they can do is to tell all their friends about the writer’s book(s).”
Those who are not writers may not realize just how simple a writer is to please. Most writers just want free, quiet time to clear their thoughts by putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.
“The best thing anyone could gift me is some free work-week babysitting time. My almost-3-year-old is home with me most days so my days are split between working, playing, cooking and managing my career and home. Two kid-free hours would be amazing,” says Sarah Caron, a freelancer living in Connecticut.
Other intuitive, helpful gifts that writers would appreciate are pens, desk calendars, carrying cases and notebooks.
“The most helpful gift I ever received came from my sister-in-law. For Christmas, she gave me a huge box filled with post-it notes of all sizes with my name and website at the top. I conduct numerous contests and mail out giveaways. Being able to jot a quick note down on a sticky saves me immeasurable amounts of time rather than having to write a formal cover letter,” adds USA Today best-selling novelist Catherine Mann. “I have had fans show me those handwritten notes that they’ve saved in scrap books. It’s a great way to reach out to readers with a personal note, while still protecting my time.”
For those willing to go above and beyond to show their appreciation for the worlds writers, you could gift a netbook or laptop. You can also volunteer to be a writers intern for the month of September, to help with organizing and appointment scheduling. Subscriptions to useful websites that aide in editing and formatting manuscripts, such as AutoCrit and Chicago Manual of Style, are gifts that keep on giving all year long. And then there is the ultimate gift: a gift from the heart.
“I never dreamed a reader would do something like this, but I was given a handmade quilt by a reader. She was so moved by my book, Just This Side of Heaven, that she was inspired to create a quilt based on one of the scenes from the story,” says Just This Side of Heaven author Tim Glass. “Knowing that I am able to touch my readers in this way is the greatest gift that I can receive as a writer.”
In what way have you said Thank You to a writer this month?