Remember when you were a little kid and you'd write out your wish list for your birthday, or to Santa? You'd agonize over the list, making sure to write the items down in order of importance (or, at least I did). Then, there was the anticipation over which item(s) would be wrapped and waiting for you on that special day. And finally, when you got something you really wanted . . . WooHoo! True elation!
As you grew, there was that awkward time, where you stopped writing those lists out, and the gifts were less and less exciting. Maybe someone would buy something that you only sort of liked, or maybe you stopped collecting a certain trinket, but the message didn't get passed down to everyone in your gifting circle. When that started happening to me, people would often just want to give me a gift certificate.
On the one hand, gift certificates (or gift cards) are good, because the receiver can get whatever it is they want. But it always seemed so impersonal to me, because to give a gift card is like saying "I don't know you well enough to buy what you'd like." I do have people for whom I buy gift cards, because I don't see them often enough to know what they want or have--and nowadays, we're so connected to shopping on the web, it's more instantaneous that way--but a part of me still twinges inside whenever I buy one. I once got a gift card from a boyfriend for my birthday. He and I had been living together for a few years by then, so to get a gift card was one of the final straws that made me realize our relationship was dead; as was his admission that he had won the gift card . . . he hadn't spent ANY money on me for my birthday that year.
Anyway, I've lately come to realize that it gets harder for people to buy me things, the older I get. I'm making a decent wage at my day job now. I'm living with my fiancé (soon to be husband), and we're sharing the bills. So I have enough money to buy the things that I truly need, or even want on a day to day (or month to month) basis. However, I still don't want to receive gift cards from people who've known me for years; it still feels impersonal to receive one.
Which is why I'm a big fan of Amazon's Wish List feature. It makes it easy for me to compile a bunch of things that I want and then be able to send the list off to friends/family who might be in the market to buy me a present for occasions like Birthday, Christmas, or Just 'Cuz (my favorite gift-giving season). With Amazon expanding their items more and more, I can "wish" for anything from books and movies, to clothing, to tools, and whatnot. When I get something as a gift, I can go into the list and delete it easily; making room for something new that catches my eye.
Well, today I'm creating a Wish List for the things I want, from an author perspective. Some are things I can only give myself, and others are things you readers might have answers for. If you do have an answer, I'm hoping you'll give it to me as sort of a Birthday present . . . since my birthday was at the beginning of this month.
This list is in no particular order of importance.
- More time to write.
- Online grammar classes, so I can learn this stuff without having to finger through multiple manuals.
- More discipline, so I can make better use of the time I DO have for writing.
- Grammar classes in a mortar and brick building. I'd LOVE to get college credit for something like this.
- A critique group in my neck of the woods, so we can meet in person.
- A grammar and punctuation cheat sheet - one page of easy-to-read pointers.
- A dedicated area for my writing.