Son of a nutcracker! It should come as no surprise that the hit movie Elf, starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel, has joined the ranks of other holiday favorites like A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. While the titular elf, Buddy, teaches us that the four main food groups for elves are candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup—the research elves at Writer’s Relief have revealed that Buddy can also teach us a few things about writing! Settle in with a big bowl of breakfast spaghetti (or just a cup of hot cocoa) and check out what writers can learn from an elf like Buddy.
Here’s What Writers Can Learn From An Elf
Build A Support System
Unlike the sociable elves at Santa’s workshop, writers can be notoriously solitary creatures. However, there are many ways you can connect with other writers to create an effective emotional support system. As Buddy says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
You can spread cheer and positive energy by joining a local or online writing group to share and receive encouragement. Or you might consider becoming a mentor for a fledgling writer. Remember to gently critique and generously praise your fellow writers, and the support will surely come flowing back to you.
Improve Your Powers Of Observation
Buddy is a vivid storyteller, especially as he recounts his journey from the North Pole to New York City: “…I traveled through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, past the sea of twirly-swirly gumdrops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.”
Unlike Buddy, many people ignore their surroundings. But when you make an effort to be more observant, you’ll find it easier to pick up on the unspoken messages, overlooked details, and subtle cues you can use to give your writing more authenticity. Follow these tips to improve your powers of observation and become a better writer.
Buddy becomes disillusioned about his status as an elf when he learns his parents are humans. It’s Santa Claus who reminds him, “Buddy, you’re more of an elf than anyone I ever met!”
Even well-known, published authors can experience creeping self-doubt. Imposter syndrome, or doubting your abilities despite having proof otherwise, affects both published and unpublished writers. It’s easy to become discouraged by the annoying little voice in your head that says, “You’re not a real writer.” But like Buddy, it’s important to remember your own accomplishments and strengths and not to compare yourself to other writers (or elves).
Treat Every Day Like A Day To Write
Buddy treats every day like Christmas, and writers should treat every day as an opportunity to be creative and work on a writing project. You may be folding laundry, getting a haircut, or standing in line at the bank—but you’re also a writer! Buddy never shifts out of elf-mode, and writers should always be on the lookout for inspiration and ideas. Carry a pen and notebook, or take notes in your smartphone, and check out these 13 ways writers can be creative every day.
Take Steps To Achieve Your Publishing Goals
“You did it!” Buddy proclaims. “Congratulations! World’s best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody!”
As a writer, you might make a decent cup of joe, but it’s more likely your goal is to get published. Good writing is important if you want to get published, but having a great submission strategy is the key to success. Fortunately, the Writer’s Relief research elves are experts at targeting the best publishing opportunities for you! They’ll comb through thousands of markets and help get your writing into the hands of the right literary editors and agents. Take the first step toward getting published: Submit your writing sample to the Writer’s Relief Review Board today!
Don’t be a cotton-headed ninny muggins—use these elf-approved writing tips to improve your creativity, build your circle of support, and achieve your publishing goals. And remember, if you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn’t free candy.
Question: Which elf-inspired writing tip will you try first?