✍ 11 Books to Improve Your Writing

Included in this list are books on how to write both fiction and nonfiction.

1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott — Advice on writing fiction, including exercises to get you started.

2. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss — A guide to proper punctuation with hilarious examples of real-world misuses.

3. The Elements of Style by Strunk and White — A brief guide on how to properly write a sentence.

4. On Writing by Stephen King — This Stephen King classic is more memoir than how-to guide. Still, it reveals plenty of insights into King’s writing process and serves as great motivation for the wannabe novelist.

5. On Writing Well by William Zinsser — If you need to do any kind of writing to get through the day, this book will teach you how to improve.

6. The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester — This book gives a beat-by-beat guide to writing a fantasy novel. Even if fantasy is not your genre, you can find value in this book.

7. Dreyer’s English by Benjamin Dreyer — A sharp and funny guide to clarity and style.

8. The Everyday Writer by Andrea Lunsford — An all-purpose writing guide for students.

9. The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth — Learn how to elegantly turn a phrase.

10. Stein on Writing by Sol Stein — Editing is an essential part of the writing process. This book will teach you how to fix writing when it is flawed.

11. Everybody Writes by Ann Handley — If you have any interest in creating online content, this book will show you how to attract and connect to audiences.

💸 75 Purchases Under $100 to Improve Your Life

Sometimes a small purchase can make a huge impact on your life. Below are 75 affordable purchases that have the potential to improve your life in some way.

Note: Links below include affiliate links to Amazon.com. I am an Amazon Associate, therefore I receive a small commission for every purchase made through these links, at no added expense to the customer.

The list:

1. A pull-up bar to get you in shape fast.

2. A heated blanket for cold nights.

3. A detachable showerhead for washing the hard to reach places.

4. A pair of blue light blocking glasses to protect your eyes from screen fatigue.

5. A YNAB subscription to get your finances in order.

6. A bidet for a thorough cleaning.

7. A headlamp so you can see in dark places without occupying your hands.

8. A sharp chef’s knife because a dull one is dangerous and less efficient.

9. A sunrise alarm clock for a more gentle way of waking up in the morning.

10. Blackout curtains to sleep peacefully.

11. A shoehorn so you don’t damage your shoes.

12. A journal for working through your thoughts.

13. Noise canceling headphones for focus mode.

14. A National Parks pass to explore America’s best places.

15. A second monitor for optimal efficiency.

16. Timer cap bottles so you don’t have to remember if you’ve had your medication.

17. A mechanical keyboard for satisfying typing.

18. An extra long phone charging cable so you can use your phone while it charges.

19. A toaster oven for quick meals.

20. A fireproof safe to protect your most valuable possessions and documents from disaster.

21. The perfect notebook for capturing ideas.

22. A therapy light to bring the sunshine indoors.

23. A rice cooker for easy rice.

24. A first aid kit for emergencies.

25. A AAA membership for safe driving.

26. An e-reader for cutting down on book clutter.

27. Slippers to keep your feet warm.

28. A phone lockbox with timer to cut out distractions.

29. A kettlebell for heavy lifting.

30. A BKLYN library subscription for unlimited ebooks.

31. A tongue scraper for better breath.

32. A Bluetooth headphones headband to fall asleep to soothing sounds.

33. A jump rope for some cardio.

34. An egg cooker for an easy breakfast.

35. A pair of socks to last you forever.

36. A curved shower rod for more space in the tub.

37. An electric toothbrush for optimal dental hygiene.

38. A meat thermometer for safe and tasty eating.

39. A Uni-ball Jetstream pen for smooth writing.

40. A beautiful planner for managing your schedule.

41. A kitchen scale for more precise measurements.

42. A fabric shaver to keep your cloths from pilling.

43. A handheld vacuum to clean the hard to reach places.

44. A toilet stool for better bathroom time.

45. An iFixit toolkit for electronics repairs.

46. Scrivener for writing efficiency.

47. A vertical mouse to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

48. Motion sensor lights to make walking around in the middle of the night a little easier.

49. A carbon monoxide detector for a safer home.

50. An air compressor to fill up your tires and more.

51. A portable jump starter for when you need a jump.

52. A fire extinguisher to save your home.

53. A dash cam so you don’t get blamed for an accident you didn’t cause.

54. An SSD for faster computing.

55. A car emergency kit in case disaster strikes.

56. Touchscreen gloves for when you are outside in the cold.

57. A power bank so your electronics don’t die.

58. A Bluetooth car kit for more pleasant driving.

59. A pepper mill for delicious, fresh pepper.

60. A bento box for more pleasant lunches.

61. A running belt for a place to put your stuff as you exercise.

62. A foam roller to loosen your muscles.

63. Smart plugs so you don’t forget to turn things off.

64. An emergency blanket just in case you get stranded on the road.

65. Bar Keepers Friend for easy scrubbing.

66. A reusable water bottle so you don’t have to buy water bottles.

67. A water flosser for healthy teeth.

68. A bicycle helmet to protect your brain.

69. A water filter for clean drinking.

70. Cloth napkins to cut down on paper towels.

71. Magic erasers to clean the stubbornest of stains.

72. A slow close toilet seat so the lid doesn’t slam.

73. Houseplants to add some green to your living space.

74. A soft robe for luxurious lounging.

75. A drill brush to deep clean any bathroom.

🎁 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Creators and Explorers

2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Creators and Explorers

Celebrate the winding down of this chaotic year with some holiday shopping. Below are my gift suggestions for the 2020 holiday season. This list emphasizes creation, exploration, and learning. You will find useful things, fun things, and causes worth supporting. Good luck shopping, and happy holidays!

Disclosure: Some of the products listed below link to Amazon.com. I am an Amazon Associate member, which means anything bought through one of these links sends a little money my way at no extra cost to you.

NATIONAL PARKS MEMO BOOKS

Get these beautiful notebooks for writers with an appreciation for the outdoors. The National Parks memo books are sold in packs of three. If you can’t decide which parks you want, get all 18 by buying the box set.

FREEWRITE TRAVELER

The Freewrite Traveler is a great gift for the easily distracted writer. It consists of a keyboard and an e-ink screen for maximizing writing productivity — no editing or web browsing capabilities included. When finished writing, press a button to send your work straight to your email.

HOW TO WRITE ONE SONG

Songwriter Jeff Tweedy of Wilco fame breaks down his creative process. Even those who aren’t musically inclined and have no wish to ever be could benefit from this book.

CRITERION CHANNEL SUBSCRIPTION

Get the largest collection of classic cinema. The Criterion Channel is a curated collection of the best movies ever made, making it a perfect gift for film buffs.

SONY ZV-1 VLOGGING CAMERA

Start your YouTube career. The Sony ZV-1 is made specifically for content creators. It includes a pull-out screen that allows you to see yourself as you record — perfect for the filming crew of one.

HOW TO WRITE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL

This award-winning memoir by writer Alexander Chee explores life as a gay Korean-American and the impact it has on his art.

PERSONAL LIBRARY KIT

Play librarian. Turn your bookcase into an at-home library. This kit comes with card catalog checkout cards, bookplates, a pencil, a date stamp, and an ink pad.

THE CITYRADIO

Wake up to the sounds of cities across the world. Press a button and listen to the radio from a city of your choice. Customize your cities from up to 18 different locations around the world.

CUSTOM TRAVEL COASTERS

Commemorate your travels across the world with custom coasters.

WINDSOR & NEWTON WATERCOLOR KIT

Create art. This portable watercolor set is perfect for anyone wishing to connect nature to their art.

LAMY SAFARI FOUNTAIN PEN

A beautiful writer deserves a beautiful pen, and there is none more beautiful than the LAMY Safari. It’s a great pen for the beginner fountain pen enthusiast as it is quite affordable (as far as fountain pens go) and easy to use.

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY MERCH

Support public libraries, specifically the New York Public Library. They sell all kinds of merch at their website including the hat seen above. You can even buy bookends of the famous library lions Patience and Fortitude.

50 THINGS TO DO IN THE WILD

Rediscover the outdoors. With 50 Things to Do in the Wild you will learn skills and projects to bring you closer to nature.

RASPBERRY PI 400

The Raspberry PI 400 is a computer in a keyboard. It’s great for the project enthusiast or those who want to learn about tech. When you buy the Raspberry PI 400 you also get a mouse and a beginner’s guide.

XI’AN FAMOUS FOODS

Recreate dishes from the popular New York noodle shop. Xi’an Famous Foods will teach you how to make delicious Western Chinese meals.

PARKS PROJECT MERCH

Support our National Parks by purchasing something from the Parks Project. Proceeds from the purchase of these beautifully designed items go directly to helping out parks. The mug seen above depicts landmarks from parks across the nation.

IFIXIT PRO TECH TOOLKIT

Fix your stuff. The iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit comes with (almost) everything you need to repair your electronic devices.

MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR

For most people the opportunity to fly a plane will never be a reality, but with Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, you can get close. Fly over the world and do your best to scratch your pandemic-induced travel itch.

LETTERS TO THE FUTURE NOTEBOOK

Write letters to your future self. This notebook comes with perforated pages and twelve envelopes, so you can tear your letter out and save it for later. This is a limited edition release from Baron Fig, so once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

BLACKWING 602 PENCILS

The perfect pencil makes the perfect stocking stuffer. With the Blackwing 602, Palomar promises “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed.” After using these pencils, you will never look back.