Writing Books Makes You Better at Christmas Shopping

No, really.

It may be hard to swallow, but if you keep an open mind, it isn’t hard to see why practicing this


makes you better at this


Not that anyone needs more reasons to write books, but the upsides of the experience touch every aspect of our lives.

Which is a good thing, since Christmas shopping can be really hard, especially for certain people on your list (you know the ones). With a little writing magic, however, you can make sure to pull off the perfect gift.

Don’t believe me? Well, consider the following reasons why writing makes you a better gifter.

Writing Teaches Creativity

Businessman painting abstract colorful design on gray background concept for business creativity, i

And creativity, in turn, expands your ability to give great presents.

The best Christmas gifts are always “outside the box” ideas. They come at you from unexpected angles yet fulfill a deep wish. A lot of would-be gift givers in the world use the same excuse that keeps so many would-be writers from writing:

“I just don’t have any ideas,” they cry.

I’ve attacked this subject before, but the solution deserves repeating: the only thing keeping you from having ideas is your obsession with arbitrary rules.

Before you ask yourself what’s possible, take a moment to think about what isn’t. If you had unlimited resources, and there was no limit to what you could give a person, what would you give them. Then you can start eliminating the impossible entries in that list until you arrive at the perfect gift.

Writing Teaches Character Analysis


Building multifaceted and three-dimensional people is the writer’s bread and butter. Much like gift giving, it requires a capacity for understanding the layers and nuance of a person. If anyone can be trusted to figure out a gift recipient’s weak spot, it’s a writer.

It starts with research. Any idle conversation from the intended recipient is fodder you can use in your efforts. From this, you can build a dossier you can use to profile the perfect gift choice. I have sometimes been known to prepare gifts months in advance, based on the whimsy and desires people express in idle conversation long before the holiday approaches. It’s highly effective.

Writing Makes You Cunning


Creativity is one benefit of writing, but what often gets overlooked is the boldness to take clever risks—the ability to undermine and subvert people’s expectations—that comes with the profession.

One of the most important aspects of Christmas gift giving is the ability to keep the intended recipient unaware of your true intentions. Hiding presents always poses a challenge, but leading the recipient astray is just as important. You don’t want to run the risk of the recipient guessing what their present will be, based on subtle subconscious cues dropped by you. So you must deceive them. Like a talented mystery author, you must drop a red herring or two into the mix, and keep that poker face nice and tight. Being a writer gives you a natural advantage in this arena.


Writing books gives you an edge. It gives you mastery over a practice that you have to do, year after year, even if you weren’t a writer. So why not take the chance and make it your next acquired skill? November is National Novel Writing Month for a reason. How else are you going to get ready for the holidays?

It may just make the season bright.



[This week’s tagline: “Where people come…laughing all the way.”]