I’m sitting here in the Houston airport waiting to catch a connecting flight. It’s a pretty normal week, filled with work, family commitments, moments with Greg, and—as is the case most weeks—travel. Around me, a swirl of travelers seem hurried, uncheered by the holiday decorations strewn around the terminals. The couple in front of me on my last flight boarded with carryons overflowing with unwrapped toys. Since the bins were already full when they entered the plane, they jammed each of the toys into nooks in various bins, cramming them one-by-one in tiny spots around roller boards and oversized backpacks. Of course, my writer brain was already concocting a story about a grandmother and grandfather visiting their long-lost grandchildren by the time we were told to put our phones in airplane mode.Do you have a favorite author? @LisaHendey offers some quick and easy gift-giving ideas that you can use this Christmas season to thank them! Click To Tweet
I can’t help myself. Even if much of what I write these days will never see the light of day, I am a writer, a storyteller. As such, I see the world around me a bit differently. We storytellers notice the little details, tucking them away for future illustrative purposes. Being a writer often also means questioning your purpose. Wouldn’t it be more productive to be a bricklayer, a seamstress, a doctor, or sanitation engineer? Those folks DO STUFF. I just sit around noticing things and trying to find words that do justice to the beauty and grace of everyday life.
I was cheered amidst today’s travels by a sweet email from a reader in Indiana. She wrote for no particular reason other than to thank me for one of my recent books, I Am God’s Storyteller, and to let me know that she was donating it to her parish library. Her note honestly made my day, and today was sort of a day that really needed making. It also got me thinking about myself as a reader and how much more I can do to encourage authors whose work has blessed my life. As such, I thought I’d offer a few ways that you can (affordably) bless your favorite writer this holiday season:
- Leave us reviews on Amazon and GoodReads. It’s a well-known fact that bestseller ranks are impacted by reviews – both positive and critical. Leaving a review with constructive criticism helps us to grow in our craft. This being said, if you spot a review on our work that seems unfair or overly harsh, feel free to comment on the review to help other readers place that review in context.
- Follow us on social media. Publishers these days look at social media platforms when determining whether or not to acquire a project from an author. If you are not already following your favorite author on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, go to those places and connect. Consider sharing your favorite author’s platform with your friends.
- Subscribe to our email lists. This is a great way to keep in touch, to learn about our upcoming events and specials, and to generally support our mission.
- Write them us a letter, an email or a Christmas card. Most of us who write list our mailing addresses on our websites. When we write books, we typically never know where most of them go to “live”. If our books have blessed you, write us a quick note or take a photo of yourself and share about why you love our work.
- Pray for us. This is probably the best gift you can give! It doesn’t cost anything, but it helps us immeasurably. My constant prayer for my work is that it will glorify God, that it will bless my readers, and that it will be offered with love. Almost every writer I know goes through moments of self-doubt. At times, we lose site of our mission. Your prayers, even if they are unknown to us, bless us in ways we can’t even begin to imagine.
Now that I’ve compiled this little list, I’m going to spend some of the moments until my flight arrives following my own list for a few of my favorite writers. If you’ve done any of these things for me already, please know how grateful I am for your support and encouragement. You matter. You are the reason I do what I do.