Friday, December 8, 2023

A Christmas Gift Every Writer Should Give Themselves

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

'Tis the season for giving. Today I'd like to suggest a gift you can give yourself. 

Most writers I know are part of a conflicted group. 

We’re driven to write—spending time composing poetry, writing books, researching articles. We doodle titles, character names, and plot ideas on scraps of paper. All the while feeling guilty about the time we spend pursuing our dream. I call it writer's guilt.

Everyone of us has felt the tug of war deep inside. it’s all part and parcel when you work at home. 

I’ve fought the battle for years—sometimes more successfully than others. And the craziest thing is the guilt is pretty much self imposed. My family is frequently more supportive of my writing time than I am. So this Christmas I'm gifting myself with freedom from guilt and time to write.

Time to Write

Years ago I made a conscious decision to give myself permission to make writing a priority. I gave myself the gift of time to write. Sometimes it would have been easier to avoid the blank page and not risk the failure. But I refused to cave into the fear.

Has it been worth it?

You bet it has! Not only have I gotten farther along with my goals and dreams, but it’s given me a self-confidence I didn’t expect. The more I make writing a priority, the better I get at it. Then the more success I have, which leads to the courage to push myself and reach for the stars.

Steps to Take to Make Writing Time a Priority

1. Come up with a schedule and keep regular, consistent hours. Notice I said regular hours—not normal ones. For years I wrote with young children. That meant writing in the afternoons and after they were in bed. Just because you’re working odd hours doesn’t mean you can’t have a schedule.

2. Respect your dream. If your best friend, or child had a dream you’d encourage them to pursue it. Give yourself the same support that you’d give someone else. Trust me, you’re worth it!

3. Be consistent. If you’re not accepting calls from your mother-in-law because you’re working, don’t spend the afternoon on the phone with your best friend. Stay focused on your writing. This is even more critical if your time is at a premium.

4. Recruit a support team. Instead of adversaries, enlist your friends and family to help you reach your writing goals. Communicate those goals, clearly and frequently. Ask for their help to reach them. After all, what mother doesn’t want to help her baby succeed!

5. Share your victories. Let those that help you share in the joy of goals accomplished and milestones reached.

What do you do to make your writing time a priority? What interruptions do you struggle with the most? Share your thoughts and we’ll all support each other.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


  1. Great advice, Edie! Thank you!

    To make my writing time a priority, I treat it as a job. Even though I work at home, I get up and get dressed as though I am going to an office to work outside my home. I put on makeup and report on time. I work my agreed- upon number of hours (agreed-upon with myself :), and then I "go home" to my family.

    As a writing coach, I encourage clients to set writing appointments with themselves and to treat those appointments as seriously as they would treat appointments with other professionals. After all, if we don't respect ourselves as writers, no one else will.

  2. Great suggestions and advice. I'd like to also add: Attend a Writer's Conference! If finances are an issue, as for friends or family members to contribute financially to the conference instead of buying you a gift. It's the best investment a writer can make!

  3. Hoo boy, I struggle with this to this day. This past year a close family member had serious health issue that demanded my attention, and any progress I felt I'd made in this area went right out the window. I don't regret the time spent helping out at all... but now that things have stabilized, it's been incredibly difficult to get back into the swing of things. There is always another load of laundry, another grocery shopping trip... Thanks for this word of reminder and encouragement.

  4. Great article Edie. I have wavered in the first three areas that you have written about. I cannot come up with a good excuse so I must take accountability for my actions. I am not one who is big on New Year’s resolutions but I am making a commitment to be more consistent on these first three items.

  5. I am struggling to build a tribe that supports me. I am determined to talk about my passion wherever I go in 2024. Being too passive and introverted to speak about my writing thus far has crippled me from being honest with my friends.

  6. Edie, this is a great post that we needed to hear. When family members are old and need you, it's hard to say "no." Building a tribe takes time and effort. May you continue to be blessed.