Writers are like Black Sheep. Everyone knows a writer. In the family, a friend, a kooky coworker… we’re common. And in one way or another, we’re all loved. That means with the holidays screaming around the corner, everyone has a writer for whom they need to buy at least a small gift. Here are some gift suggestions for writers (including ones to avoid).
Paper – Reams and reams of it. Because we go through that much. Either for brainstorming, rough drafts, character sketching, revisions (*raises hand*) or querying. We use a lot of it.
Ink – See paper. (With one caveat: it is essential to know the kind of printer the writer has, of course).
Coffee – Most writers need this fully stocked in IV bags. But don’t get them needles- that requires a prescription.
Dragon Dictate Software – For writers on the go, moving around a lot, this will help. You’ll need to find out if they have a PC or Mac. Downside: it’s a bit pricey.
Srivener – A fantastic new software that most writers love, no matter what they write (fiction or non fiction).
Pens – Like paper and ink, we use these a lot, and therefore run out of ink in the middle of jotting down a great idea, and then chuck the pen across the room, chipping our favorite coffee mug while we desperately search for lipstick or marker to write down said-great-idea before we lose it.
Coffee Mugs – To Replace said-broken-mug from above.
The Latest Edition of Writer’s Market – This may be baffling for those of you who are not in publishing, but this is the first step to a golden ticket in the Willy Wonka’s Factory of Publishing.
Elements of Style from Strunk & White – See note above.
Books – Duh. Bonus points for knowing which genre they prefer, but they’ll pretty much take anything. Especially books on writing or autobiographies from serious writers. (FYI- Snooki’s recent book does not count).
Comfy Clothes – Any funny shirt or pants specific for writers. There are so many websites offering screen-printed quotes on shirts like ‘Don’t Piss Me Off Or I’ll Kill You In My Novel’ or ‘Grammar Snob.’ We need something comfortable to write in and what better way to be motivated to write than to wear the reminder. CafePress has some great ones.
Slippers or Socks – See clothes. No writer can write with cold feet.
Computer Accessories – A laptop case, wireless mouse/keyboard, thumb drive. Again, helpful to know what kind of computer they have to make sure the case fits. But a thumb drive is universal. As are screen cleaners and cans of air to blast out the dust from our keyboards.
The Writer’s Block – Nuff said.
Lap Table – A bunch of different kinds, depending on whether they like classic wooden, or contemporary chic, or funky bumbo style. But a cup holder is essential.
Air Fresheners or Wickless Candles – For writers who spend hours sitting in one spot desperate to get the dialogue out of their brains, sometimes we tend to forget to shower. Something to mask the stench in the air is helpful (Scentsy is popular). But nothing that includes a flame where we’ll forget to blow it out and burn down our masterpieces.
Massage – To force us out of the house and relax our writing muscles. Spa gift cards are a great way to achieve this.
Magazine Subscription – Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Journal, The Writer (any of these are precious jewels in the mailbox).
Don’t bother with these:
Journals – Every writer has a million of these shoved away in drawers and closets. Don’t add to their clutter. Plus, it’s a cliché. Lesson #1: all writers hate clichés.
Laptop – Come on! These are so freakin’ expensive, with way too many variables that are too personal to each individual writer. Unless you want to take them to the store to pick out their own, don’t do it. They’ll just end up exchanging it for something that suits their query personality more. It’s like women and shoes. We’re just too picky.
E-Readers – See laptop. Though gift cards to purchase e-books are good.
Thesaurus – Again, every write already has one. And every good writer knows not to use it.
Digital Voice Recorder – Every phone has something that meets this need. My iPhone came with 3 of them. And there’s about 30 more apps they can download for free.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas. Have a great holiday!