With February's Family History Writing Challenge hot on our heels this seems like an ideal time to think about the family history writer on your list. Let's take a look at a few of items that will help the family history writer get ready to write this year. By the first of January, we will be busy getting ourselves organized, outlining and getting ready to write, it would be nice to have some new tools to help writers be more productive. Here’s my top ten gifts for the family history writer.
1. Journals and Notebooks – Ask any writer, you can never have enough. Every writer is different, your family history writer might prefer a moleskin notebook or perhaps a yellow legal pad or the Evernote Moleskin journal. They all work beautifully for scratching out your family history musings.
2. You can never go wrong with Office Supplies, pens, binders, paperclips and colour binders for organizing. Office supplies are a beautiful thing, having an organized filing system and desk is key to writing. A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind, so help the writer in your life get organized by supplying them with the tools to organize their office.
3. Scrivener is a wonderful gift priced at only $40 and will really bring writing management to a new level. If you can only pick one gift from this list, this is it! Scrivener will change the way you look at writing.
4. Mindmapping is a wonderful tool for outlining your family history plot lines and organizing your book . There are plenty of free programs but consider Scapple by the makers of Scrivener at only $14.99. It integrates with your Scrivener software so your ideas are kept close at hand. Scapple has officially replaced my yellow legal pad. I love it because unlike most mindmapping software programs you don’t need to work in a structured template. Start throwing your ideas out there and organize them after you get them down. Of course, Post-it Notes or a White Board are also great mindmapping tools that any family history writer could employ in their office.
5. Don’t forget an abundant supply of coffee or tea. There is this unwritten law that to be a writer you must have access to caffeine. Starbuck’s gifts cards work wonderfully. Did you know you can send an gift card electronically. Check it out here.
6. Itunes Gift cards make a great writing gift. A lot of writers like a playlist while they are writing. Supply them with a gift card and let them create their own writing playlists.
7. A 2014 Calendar to schedule their writing time and writing deadlines. Nothing says I recognize your writing time then presenting a writing calendar to your favourite family historian.
8. A copy of You Can Write Your Family History by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack. It was a mainstay on my bookshelf when writing my first family history book.
9. A Blurb Gift Certificate – When the family history book is ready to be published, Blurb gift certificates will provide your writer with a fantastic resource to start putting their stories into print.
10. A framed 2014 writing goal. What better way to say Merry Christmas then by demonstrating your support of their writing goals. Present them with a framed print they can hang on their office wall. All writers struggle with self-doubt and procrastination, supporting their goals is big.
There you have it, with these 10 Christmas gift items there will be no excuses not to join us this year in The Family HistoryWriting Challenge.