You may not always believe it, but you have a gift inside you to give this holiday season. Not everyone writes as well as you, but they respect your flair for the written word. How about using your talent to show a friend or family member you are thinking of them?
Recently, I used my writing skills to help a friend write a medical narrative for her personal injury lawyer. Gifting my time and skill felt terrific, and she appreciated it. This small gesture inspired me to imagine how writers could use their talents to give meaningful gifts this holiday season. Here are a few examples.
1. Write a letter – Yes, you could send a text message or post something on Facebook wishing your friends and family a happy holiday. But they will treasure a letter you’ve spent time writing much more. Include a story to make them smile. Share your admiration for their unique gifts. Show your gratitude and let them know how much they mean to you.
2. Make a list – A common writing prompt in our Tuesday Night Workshop is generating lists, sometimes a list of nouns or vegetables and verbs. Try using this exercise to make a list of reasons you love someone. You could also list ways to spend more time together or highlight what they did this year that you appreciated. The possibilities are endless. Have fun with it!
3. Be a better literary citizen – Offer advice to someone new to the writing community. Buy the book someone else wrote. Register for a workshop or the daily prompts at the Philadelphia Writers Workshops. Share your strategy to overcome writer’s block. Donate your time to help someone with their writing project. Consider being an accountability buddy or mentor.
4. Record family stories – Interview older relatives to capture stories, write them out, and share them with others. If you like, create a scrapbook or photo album, and include creative photo captions. Think about how happy they will be to know their stories have been memorialized for generations.
5. Write a poem – Compose a poem to a friend or relative. Include references to fond memories, favorite places, or personal qualities you love about them. Be specific in your descriptions and bring it all together in a poetic gesture.