A Gift of Words: Guest Post by Oliver Gray

Christmas wreath

I was editing a novel the other day and thinking about how much I enjoy my work, so I posted on Facebook:

“Writing is creative, but revising is like putting together a puzzle, and editing is like wrapping a gift. I love them all!”

Writer Oliver Gray commented, “This is just begging to be turned into an Xmas-themed extended metaphor for the writing process.”

To which I replied, “Do I hear you accepting my invitation for a guest post?”

Lucky for all of us, Oliver did accept my invitation, and you’re in for a special holiday treat:

As I kid, I was notoriously bad at giving gifts. I had a penchant for stealing things that people needed (like my grandfather’s reading glasses, or the communal TV remote), wrapping them up, and giving them back to their owners as gifts on Christmas morning in some attempt to make them more appreciative of the things they already had.

My mom put a stop to my pilfer-gifting pretty quickly.

As I got older, I started to be a little more thoughtful, but just as cheap. To save precious college beer dollars, I would often write presents for people, scrawling down impromptu mock-heroic poems, brief essays on shared memories, even sometimes sappy love notes. These hand-wrought gifts seemed to be cherished (and saved me a lot of money), but it’s only now that I realize how tightly the writing process is tied to the idea of shiny wrapping papers and elaborate bows. Continue reading “A Gift of Words: Guest Post by Oliver Gray”

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