But buying for writer friends or family needn’t be a chore. And it needn’t be expensive, either. Of course, the latest word processing programmes, computer technology, a library full of books or a year’s rental on a retreat to a villa in France, would all be welcome gifts. Bear in mind that the latter could be very pricey indeed, because most of us writers are broke much of the time so you’d definitely have to throw in air fare and stock the place with food.
But for more realistic purposes, here are a few writer pleasing ideas.
1) Fancy pens, pencils, cute notebooks, or other desktop gadgets. Sure, we know we’re in the age of high tech, but there’s nothing like the allure of a clean, virginal page or a fancy new gel pen.
2) A really good diary with at least a page per day for notes. Or more than a page, to help keep track of word counts, deadlines, book signings, talk events, submission dates, etc.
3) The online version of The Writer’s Market.
4) The online version of Writer’s Digest
5) A comfy cushion for the desk chair – you’d be amazed just how numb one’s posterior can get after a few hours of typing madly, butt in chair….
6) One of those little desk puzzles, to give the brain a break from words. Careful with the choice, though – nothing too difficult. Writers are all too familiar with failure, and not being able to do the Rubik’s Cube, for example, can begin a slow slide into depression as fast as any rejection letter.
7) A pair of those woolly fingerless gloves, for typing when the power is out – or has been cut off – and there’s no heat.
8) Woolly socks with tops that will fit over flannel pajama bottoms.
9) Flannel pajama bottoms.
10) A gift card for Starbucks or Tim Horton’s, so that your writer won’t get black looks after sitting in the warm café for hours, typing without buying…..
11) Probably the very best gift for a writer costs nothing: Time. Yes, time to write without interruption is such a gift! Be a friend. Don’t take offence when your writer buddy rolls her eyes at your suggestions that the two of you go out, when you know she’s on deadline. Offer to take the kids for a couple of hours, cook a meal, pick up groceries, dry cleaning, kids from school. Don’t talk for hours on the phone. Listen when she needs a sounding board, otherwise give her some space.
Trust me, she or he will eventually emerge from the writing cave, eager and ready for human interaction again……one the writing is done. Until the next book, of course….