It’s been a tough year for writers. Sure, we
tell lies about our imaginary friends write stories, but it really works best if our worst fears stay within their 85K word count instead of becoming presidential candidates.
Frankly, as the holidays approach this year, that special writer in your life needs more from you than pretending (again) to read their book or even buying it on Amazon. (Again.) They need you to go beyond reminding them about personal hygiene, putting on pants before they go out, or if they’ve been arguing with their characters out loud. (Again.)
Right now, your special writer needs some love. And what better time to show you care than the holiday season? Luckily, there are a lot of absolutely senseless gifts to gladden the heart of any writer. Last year I offered writerly-gift suggestions–
Practical gifts are out, of course, because if writers were practical…well, they certainly wouldn’t be writers. [see:It’s (still) not personal… It’s the (writing) business.]
In addition to all those mentioned in last year’s writers gifts post here, I’ve got a few more essentials.
- Peace and Quiet. There isn’t a writer alive who doesn’t
want to scream “STFU World!”express their desire for some version of the Cone of Silence. Until science catches up to TV though, you might try getting your writer away from it all. If you think outside the grid, peace might actually be cheaper than you might expect—
“Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker.”—Ogden Nash.
Inspiration and comfort comes in many forms. Some are very good.Some are good and quick.
- Cool Tech. You know you want it.
- The well-dressed writer. Mwa-ha-ha-ha. Okay, there are a metric ton of T-shirts and other apparel items bearing writerly admonitions. But let’s face it. One of the enormous advantages of being a writer is that you never have to get dressed up. Or get dressed, for that matter. If any writers get up, pull on a clean and pressed outfit, and do their hair…well, I don’t know them, but I do hope their new live-in lover lasts past that first week, because I’m pretty sure the grooming won’t. So instead I’ll add in a few de rigeur grammar nazi items, the odd T-shirt, and a baby outfit because you can never start their programming too young.
- Stocking stuffers. If your writer
has been very good pretty goodhasn’t actually been arrested this year:
- Genre-specific. — For the historical fiction writers plus general literary boo-boos: For your horror writer:
Of course, there is a fabulous gift that every writer dreams of but may be too shy to ask for themselves. It’s the one thing that every single person they know could do for them. It’s easy, and (in these days of below-subsistence-level book pricing) it’s even cheap. You can buy their book, read it, and then—here comes the gift part—write a review. Just tick off some stars, say a few words about almost anything at all (but the book is a good place to start) and you’re done. You don’t have to write a gift tag or wrap anything. Believe me, your writer will think it’s the best present you could ever give. (Unless you happen to be on the nominating committee for the Booker prize, of course. In that case, you might want to go with the two best words ever written.)
What’s the best gift for writers you’ve ever given or received?