There are only 18 days left until Christmas!
Last week, we talked about how to portray characters with depression. And even though I feel like it’s an important message to discuss, the time has come for happier topics.
As a writer, I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how a story can change the world.
(And while I believe in this sentiment, I haven’t had the energy to write any deep, life-changing novels this year.)
So what are some ways that we can use our talents to help others during this freakishly bizarre COVID Christmas? How can one writer change the world?
Make Some One-of-a-Kind Christmas Gifts
Even if you’re frazzled to a thread this Christmas, don’t despair. These gifts don’t have to be 50,000 words long. I’m not forcing you to do another month of NaNoWriMo!
Write A Christmas Story for Your Loved Ones
This is something I’ve done for both my parents in the past (and I planned on doing it again this year, but I think I already spoiled the surprise o_o).
- I know that my mom likes the Mitford series by Jan Karon. So one year, I wrote a little 20 page story about some of my characters celebrating Christmas together. I tried to imitate the style of her favorite books, and she actually ended up enjoying it.
- I’ve also written fake newspapers for my dad, about some of our favorite inside jokes. The longest “newspaper” was probably about 5 pages long.
It doesn’t have to be a novel, just something that will make them smile.
(For my mom’s gift, I used Amazon KDP Paperback to print the book. I printed the newspapers at home.)
And on a similar note…
Write Stories for Children in Need
Do you know a family who needs some extra help with Christmas gifts this year?
Due to the state of our world, a lot of people are out of work right now. Imagine if you could help fill up that empty space under the Christmas tree, without putting any more stress on the parents.
Picture books are usually around 1,000-2,000 words, and most writers can write that much in a couple of days.
Again, something to spread joy and make others smile.
If you ask around and mention why you want to do this, you might be able to find a friend who’s willing to donate their time and help with the illustrations.
Writing stories is a good way to spread holiday cheer, but it’s not the only way you can use your talents this Christmas season.
A lot of people are self-isolating this winter, and sometimes, out of sight becomes out of mind. Now is the perfect time to show someone that you’re thinking of them.
Don’t let people feel like Charlie Brown. Send them a letter.
(Although of course, if someone is self-isolating, an email is probably better than snail mail.)
Encourage them. Tell them what you’ve been up to. Share some music recommendations, or tell them about your favorite podcast.
A little love goes a long way.
Advocating for Social Change
This falls under the nonfiction category.
Is there a social issue that you feel passionately about? Put your writing skills to good use!
- Write a letter to your government representatives (and be nice– the governor won’t personally see your letter, but an intern will. Interns are people too!).
- Offer to write an article for your local newspaper (especially if you’re trying to spread the word about a fundraiser).
- Do your research and write an eBook. This one takes a while, but if you market your book well, you could have the potential to change thousands of lives. (Plus, you could decide to give all the proceeds to charity.)
Mentor a Young Writer
Do you know any young writers or writers who are still new to the craft?
Help them out this Christmas!
Remember, even if they’re bad at writing, it’s your job to encourage and inspire them.
Ask them if they would like your help on their latest project, or if they would like some help with marketing ideas for their story.
It’s important to help mentor the next generation of artists. Writing can be a lonely road, but it doesn’t have to be.
Plus, how awesome would it be if your mentee became a bestselling author in 20 years?
One of the easiest ways to give back this Christmas is by donating.
You can donate money, time, or books to a charity of your choice. To get you started, here are some ideas of ways to donate:
- Do you have a loyal fanbase? Consider doing a livestream for charity. (My first thought was a holiday story read-aloud, but you can do almost anything on a livestream.)
- If you don’t think your fans are financially able to donate money, consider doing a social media blast for someone else’s livestream.
- Donate some of your books to a good cause.
As always, double check to see what their requirements are and if they are currently accepting book donations.
Don’t Forget to Smile
And last but not least, sometimes it’s the little things that can brighten someone’s day.
Compliment someone’s glasses. Smile at a stranger. Ask someone if you can pet their dog. See if you can figure out how to go caroling. Say thank you. Wish someone a Merry Christmas.
Be the reason a stranger smiles today. 🙂
How do you give back during the holiday season? Do you have any favorite charities? Leave a comment and let me know! I’d love to support some new charities this year.
As always, thanks for reading, and I’ll be back with a new post soon!