Writers hemorrhage over words, sentences and scenes all day. Writing is tedious! How can you show your appreciation and respect for the writer in your life this Christmas?
I can help. I make my living as a writer, which translates into hundreds of hours each month in front of a computer and inside my head. Below, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite things. Maybe they will inspire a gift or two for the writer in your life.
If you want to give a writer a creative boost
Writing every day takes energy, discipline and gumption. When I feel a bit sluggish or burned out, I put on one of my writing shirts – the comfy, colorful shirts I purchased exclusively for writing time. I never wear them for anything else. When I put one on, a switch flips in my brain, and I know it’s time to get serious and get to writing. Maybe your loved one would appreciate a writing shirt. Here’s the one I wear when working on my current novel:
What a writer wears can fuel the imagination and so can the things we hear. Spanish guitar always notches up my creative noggin. My favorites are Azúcar: The Magic of Spanish Guitar with Guido Luciani and Guitarisma 2: The Charisma, Mystique and Pure Expression of the Guitar.
Sometimes, just one song can send me speeding forward on the writing track. Songs like “Focus on Sight” and “Indra” from Thievery Corporation’s Mirror Conspiracy shift my brain into high gear every time.
If you prefer to give practical gifts
Although a lot of wordsmithing occurs in a place nebulously called “the cloud,” there are many times I prefer to print book chapters for editing or print students’ writing papers for grading. This year, I spent $350 on printer toner, paper, legal pads and other desktop necessities. That’s $350 that could have been used for a writing retreat at my favorite cabin or attending a workshop.
If you like to give practical presents, consider a gift card to an online or local office supply store. I would LOVE to get a few of those and free up some cash to spend on my craft.
Of course, a beautiful pen is always a practical and appreciated gift. One suggestion: If the writer in your life takes lots of notes or writes often in a journal, choose a slender pen to make the words flow faster. A chunky pen is best for signing important documents, like book contracts.
Below are my pens. The one on the far right is my fav. It’s lightweight, and I love the sleek design and deep green and black colors.
If you like to give books
Although the internet is a great resource, many writers prefer to have a hard copy of key reference books within arm’s reach. Here are my two favorites:
- Roget’s International Thesaurus – I have the 7th edition, but there’s also an 8th edition. This thesaurus is a monster of a book, but I use it EVERY DAY. It is the only thesaurus based on the original Peter Roget’s reference book from 1852, and it keeps getting better with each new edition.
- The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression – This reference comes in handy when trying to show rather than describe an emotion. It’s great for prompts/ideas to bring fiction and nonfiction characters to life.
If the writer in your life appreciates homemade gifts
If you enjoy making presents, consider creating a pen holder. It’s practical but also serves as a mnemonic device, reminding you of a special someone and a special story associated with that someone. Here’s one a friend made for me years ago. It serves as a little ray of sunshine every time I look at it:
If the writer in your life loves helping others
A number of nonprofit organizations could use your support this year. Consider purchasing a gift for your loved one from Girls Write Now, an organization that mentors young girls to find their voice through writing, or shop at the Women’s Fiction Writers Association store, where all proceeds go to programs and events that help people develop writing skills.
One more thing
No organization or brand paid or influenced me to endorse or mention any of the products on my “best” list. The suggestions are based on my personal experience as a writer. I hope my favorite things give you great ideas to help you show how much you appreciate the writer in your life this Christmas and all year long.
“Start writing, no matter what. The water doesn’t flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour