Christmas Wish List for Writers
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Here we go. I have seen them already. Christmas lists. Wish lists from children, helpful gift suggestions from retailers, tongue-in-cheek lists from other questionable sources. Yup, it’s Christmas time and that equates to the Season of Giving.
Do I really want to get in on this? Write my own list? More specifically, a list of gifts for writers? Plenty of other writers have made practical and/or funny lists of gift ideas for the writers in your life. We generally don’t need anything more than time, patience, and that ever-elusive spark of creativity that helps us make a go at our writing craft.
But people like to give gifts, as do I. And when those creative juices are fleeting, well… we all know that we can use a little helping hand sometimes. So, the question then becomes what does a writer want or need?
Oh, oh. Now I am painting a whole tribe of people with one pen stroke. Are all writers the same? Do we have the same needs, wants, and desires? I fear I am getting all existential on you.
Just as an aside, existential happens to be the 2019 Word of the Year over at Dictionary.com.
Christmas Gifts for Writers
I digress, but maybe that makes for as good a place to start as any. While writers come in all shapes, colours, and mindsets, we could all use a little help now and again. As the English language changes on a constant basis, perhaps a current dictionary could be in order for your budding scribe. There is just something to be said to taking a mini break from the keyboard to crack open a real actual book to advance our learning. Yeah, I am a book geek. But so are most writers, so keep that in mind.
Now I want to go back and make my list alphabetical, but this is supposed to be about helping out the poor souls who love us tortured artists. Maybe I can return and edit this post afterwards? Carry on with festive thoughts!
Drat, I am distracted by a commercial on my music streaming site. Hey, that’s an idea! While some writers need silence, there are plenty of us who need a little distraction. I work from home, so some background noise sometimes keeps me more peppy. I need the sound of silence for creative writing, but editing and skimming social media channels call for music! Why not spoil your writer friend with a subscription to their favourite music channel (mine is Spotify in case you were wondering).
Speaking of subscriptions, there are plenty out there that provide another great service—Image sites. You know, places where you can go to find appropriate stock images for blog posts. Like this one. While I sometimes have time to take pictures, there are other times when I don’t have the correct materials on hand (like snow in summer). That is when I click through the many websites that offer glossy stock images perfect to illustrate my point. While some of them are free, others dangle the very best images behind paid subscriptions. And that can be frustrating for starving artists like myself who aim for as close to perfection as I can get in the moment.
Of course a really great DSLR camera would be appreciated too! Either or. Your pick.
Okay, now I am hungry. Gah, where does the time go?! I get into something and lose all track of time, then have to stop for something trivial like food. I know my fellow writers have all experienced this too. So what should you do? Feed them! This is probably the easiest thing on the list. Think meals, snacks, drinks, whatever. Food is the perfect gift for writers!
fancy cookies(hmm, probably any kind of cookies will do actually. Homemade are my favourite, but I don’t need too many as I haven’t moved in a while. Never mind, scratch this…)
- fruit baskets (better for the writer who recognizes that exercise doesn’t happen when the creative juices have you in their grip, and finger tapping doesn’t burn near enough calories)
- coffee (I know it’s cliche, but good quality coffee is never a bad thing. A big bag of organic, handpicked, artisanal, fair trade, flavoured, dark roast, blah, blah, blah beans won’t go to waste at my house)
- gift cards for food delivery (you don’t really think writers think far enough ahead to do meal prep, do you? Sorry, but it takes away from the gripping plot twist they are working on in their latest vampire/historical/alien/sci-fi/romantic novel. Just saying… )
- cheese advent calendar (I saw one and my mouth watered. Your writer might prefer scotch, craft beer, or books… wait, those sound good too. Yes, please!)
- wine (coffee is only good until a certain point in the day. Once the words have wrung you dry, you need a glass of good quality vino to wind down for the day)
- never mind – I want the cookie. It’s called my dessert/treat/pick-me-up. Get me one. Now.
Take us away from it all! From the net, from research, from the constant influx of knowledge that threatens to overwhelm us, so that we can move, see the world, spark new ideas, and reconnect with you lovely people in it. It doesn’t really matter where we go, but unless there is a deadline looming, wifi is counterproductive. We need to disconnect from social media and become social in real life for a while. Of course, writers can never really turn it off, so we might take pictures, make mental notes, grab business cards for networking, or write in a journal for something completely different!
And as many writers struggle to eke out a living by their trade, a fully paid for vacation tops the list of amazing gifts for writers.
Vacations are great, but sometimes we just need a night out to unwind. Maybe get our creative juices flowing in a different way with a paint night. How about snapping up tickets to the theatre. Even better, what about a live music show. Music helps improve your mood, calms you down, gets your feet tapping, and most importantly allows you to feel. Yup, feelings are pretty important things for writers to experience, if we want to recreate them for our readers. Or if that doesn’t cut it, there is always axe throwing. It might help release any tensions from sitting hunched over a computer all day.
Random Ideas for Christmas Gifts for Writers
Have any of those ideas hit the mark? Are you even still reading? You need a list. I can tell. They are easier to skim, which is perfect for you poor sods who dare to love—and read the words of—a writer. These are things that I use, might appreciate, or already have, but are a must for my day to day functioning;
- a new desk chair
- journals (for jotting notes, ideas, and lists)
- sticky notes
- day timer/planner
- USB drives for manuscripts, pictures, files, etc
- wireless speaker (speakers on computers are notoriously tinny)
- compressed gas duster (how do you expect us to get the cookie crumbs out of our keyboards?)
- pens (lots and lots of pens, pencils, highlighters)
- calendar (to note contest deadlines, holidays, client meetings, and how long since we sent in that manuscript before we can start bugging publishers/editors/agents)
- Inspirational messages (yes, we are often suckers for stuff like that)
- books (books on writing, classic novels, current bestsellers, other books from the genres your writer writes in, picks from different genres, audio-books, e-books, non-fiction, poetry, pop culture, current events, comedy, etc.)
- sweater, throw, shrug (you get cold when you haven’t moved in a while)
- clock (yes, we probably all have cell phones to check the time, but there is something about seeing the hands of a physical clock move that puts the pressure on)
- timer (because some writing exercises are timed and other times you want to push yourself that little bit further)
Well, as per usual, that took a little longer than expected. Darn verbose writer. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. I am happy to be sitting here in my chair amusing myself and the world with my words.
Oh, and before I forget. The best thing you can get for those amazing writers who have their very own books in print—is book sales. Help them by promoting their work, buying copies of their books, and occasionally asking how the writing is going (if you really want to subject yourself to the self-indulgent monologue that might ensue. You have been warned.). I promise you, they appreciate it!