How to Show Holiday Love to Critique Partners & Writing Groups

This time of year always makes me appreciate the people in my life, personally and professionally.

It’s been a year of adjustment for me. My kids “left the nest” and so not having access to them as I used to is a bit hard. Each time I see them now is a special gift, and so I am looking forward to the holiday when that will happen. And as the year winds down for “writer” me, I reflect on my accomplishments and think about the people that have helped me move forward.

Where would any of us be without the support and kindness of our fellow writers? My gosh, when I think about how Sacha Black came to my rescue when I needed help understanding ads, or how Mel Jolly let me and Becca pick her brain about outsourcing at a conference, or how our street team members worked tirelessly to help launch the newly expanded Emotion Thesaurus… I am FILLED with gratitude. Plus there are those who have offered to beta read for us, the people who share our blog posts and tweets, review our books, mention us to their writing groups, and on and on. My gosh. I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world to do what I do!

I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to say “I appreciate you,” so I put together a list of ways to do that, some free, some low cost.

Gifts for Writers: Free

An encouraging note. Sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is a kind word at just the right time. A facebook post. A tweet. An email. Public or private, let someone know how much you have enjoyed working with them this year and that you appreciate them.

A beta read or chapter critique. Feedback is what we all need but it can be intimidating to ask. If there’s someone who has really helped and supported you, why not tell them you’d like to gift them some feedback? You can even create a certificate, like this one I created with Canva!

A book review. If you’re like me, your time is constantly being swallowed by other things. If book reviews are something you always mean to get around to doing but forget, take a few moments to visit the books you love and leave some words on Amazon or other e-tailers. It helps so much. Then tag the author online so they know!

A pair of free ebooks. Tamar Sloan is one of our Resident Writing Coaches and she’s created two writing guides that can be downloaded for free. This pair is packed with value, perfect for reading over the holiday break.

A Show, Don’t Tell Thesaurus Writing Guide Sampler. Some of you have one or more of our books and/or spread the word about these books to others (THANK YOU FOR THAT!) We realize our guides are a bit different and might be harder to describe, so we’ve created a thesaurus sampler (Download it here!). It contains show, don’t tell advice, links to our best articles, and has a thesaurus entry from each book. If you know someone who struggles with showing, this is an all-in-one helpful kit. 🙂

Gifts for Writers: Low Cost

If you are looking for a gift, something inexpensive yet hugely valuable, here are some of our top picks.

(may contain affiliate links, but we stand behind all these suggestions)

James Scott Bell’s Write from the Middle writing guide ($3.99). This is a thoughtful digital gift for any writer that struggles at the novel’s midpoint. My favorite “mini-guide” from Jim, hands down.

K.M.Weiland’s Creating Character Arcs writing guide ($3.99). All of Katie’s books are great, but I am particularly fond of this one because so many writers struggle with Character Arcs and it digs into what they are and how to create them in a straightforward way.

Angela (that’s me!) and Becca’s Emotion Amplifiers (1.99). This ebooklet is a companion to The Emotion Thesaurus, and contains show, don’t tell lists for what some call “near emotions” (stress, boredom, pain, attraction, and more). Set up like our other books, it’s full of ideas on how amplifiers can unbalance your character’s emotions so they make more mistakes, creating conflict!

A One Stop for Writers Gift Certificate ($9.00 and up).

I’m biased, but I think this site should be in every writer’s toolkit. Imagine writing your next story with the largest fiction-based description database available anywhere at your side. Or creating your next character with a tool intelligent enough to build an accurate Character Arc blueprint for you. And that’s just two of the resources we have at One Stop. A 1-month gift certificate is the cost of 2 lattes, and will give your writing friend’s storytelling a big boost.

If you need more ideas, just think about what you would really like as a writer. Chances are what appeals to you will also appeal to others in the writing path.

What’s the BEST writing-related gift you’ve received? Let me know in the comments!

About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
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2 Responses to How to Show Holiday Love to Critique Partners & Writing Groups

  1. Dawn says:

    I didn’t even know there was an expanded version of Emotion Thesaurus and your other thesaurus books! What a great gift idea for my fellow writers… and what a great idea to give myself. 😉

    • Yes, we released it early this year. Becca and I always wanted to go back and expand the book to contain more emotions. Plus we’ve learned a lot and wanted to add new teaching content, too. 🙂 Good luck!

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