by Laura Michelle Thomas
Here is my list of 12 great gifts for writers of all ages.
#1 – Weird objects. Get the writer you love a box of interesting and unusual objects from the second-hand store or dollar store. These objects can be woven into stories or inspire a new character or setting. I like that chubby penguin with the Santa hat in the picture to the right.
#2 – Books to escape in. Ask your writer what he or she likes to read to escape. You can’t go wrong with a book as a gift. We are obsessed with words. When in doubt, choose a bestseller, new release or a classic.
#3 – Books to learn from. There are also a lot of books on the market for writers at various stages and levels of craft. Two of my favourites are Polly Wants to Be a Writer (of course!) and The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Voguel. You can also give a copy of a popular writing magazine such as Writer’s Digest or a local literary journal. You can get suggestions from the staff at your local bookstore.
#4 – Anything coffee or tea. Many writers have a favourite coffee shop or home-away-from-home where they like to work. A gift card is always appreciated.
#5 – Fancy writing things. We love to write, so anything from the stationary or office supply store is going to be appreciated. Some favourites include: red pens, spiral-bound notebooks, fancy journals, sticky notes, recipe cards, a large box of printer paper, and highlighters.
#6 – Computer supplies or upgrades. Ask your writer if there is something that would help them write more efficiently. Maybe something they use all the time is broken, like the printer. Or they need ink or toner. Maybe their WiFi is not working well or their monitor is cracked. Our computers are our livelihood, so any help upgrading is deeply appreciated.
#7 – Cozy clothes. When you sit immobilized for hours, with nothing moving except your fingers, you get cold. I love a playful toque or colourful scarf. I also cannot write without slippers on. Cold feet are distracting. Oversized sweaters are great too.
#8 – Favourite snacks. Every writer needs a stash of treats to dig into when the imagination gets fuzzy. I personally love getting a box of chocolates. They slide very nicely into my desk drawer. Nuts and dried fruit are another favourite.
#9 – A body-friendly writing place. Taking time to find out if your writer is sitting at the optimal height and in the optimal position while writing could save them pain down the road. There are many typing-related injuries (known as repetitive strain injuries) that writers are prone to. Some of the solutions are: a new office chair, a stool for the feet, a new keyboard tray, a better mouse pad, or a new mouse.
#10 – Read our stuff. Do you know a writer who has a book available? A really nice gesture and show of support is to buy a few copies of the book to give as gifts. If your writer is not published yet, invite him or her to do a reading at your holiday event or ask if you can have a copy of something he or she has written to read. We love to share our work.
#11 – Uninterrupted time to write. This is an obvious one, but I think every busy writer, especially one who does not live alone, appreciates the gift of time. Make a coupon book for one-hour uninterrupted writing sessions or simply put in a card that you promise to give your writer a certain number of quiet, uninterrupted hours to write. I would love that.
#12 – A break! Get us away from our notebooks and computers and take us out somewhere fun. Our brains need rest and we need fresh ideas. Even though we seem to be completely addicted to our craft, time with family and friends keeps us going!
Thank you to LTC Team members (Lucy, Tegwyn, Cathy, Journey, Hannah, and Erin) who gave me some of these gift ideas! Happy holidays.