With the holidays upon us, scrambling to find the perfect gift can be difficult. But if you have a writer on your list, I have a few suggestions to make your shopping easier.
A reference book would be a great addition to any writer’s library. Bird by Bird by Anne Lament is one of my all-time favorites. It’s not a book that teaches the mechanics of writing but it brings back the joy of creativity. And, as a bonus, it’s funny, too. Nicole Christoff swears by 20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias. I love that one as well. Candy Lyons recommends Self-Editing for the Fiction Writer by Renni Browne, Dave King and George Booth. She says this book has helped her the most with editing.
For writing implements, Nichole Christoff loves Papermate's Flair felt-tip pens in a variety of colors. They're perfect for color-coding revisions in hard copy. The 10-pack would make Roy G. Biv proud. I recently ordered the “Tech 3+ Multifunction Pen by Cross” from Franklin Covey. It has black ballpoint, red ballpoint and a mechanical pencil, changeable with a twist of the bottom half of the pen. I purchased the frosty pink and had my name engraved on it. It’s available at www.franklincovey.com.
Keely Thrall suggests the gift of a class, whether online or in a classroom. Margie Lawson has several good online and in-person classes. Keely and I just saw her in November and she was excellent as always. Margie’s website is www.margielawson.com. She also suggests a Laurie Schnebly Campbell class such as “Plotting Through Motivation.” Her classes can be found at www.booklaurie.com. In addition, your community college or county may have noncredit courses on writing topics. Keely thought that a membership to a writing group might be a good gift as well. Since writing is often a lonely pursuit, a membership to a club might just be the creative kick in the pants to get your writer started on the road to success.
Another good idea might involve making the writing experience more comfortable. Keely suggests gift cards to friendly writing haunts like Panera or Starbucks. Gift cards to places such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or your local indie bookstore could be great gifts. Writers love nothing better than to browse bookstores for that perfect acquisition.
Candy recommends an e-reader. She loves her Kindle Touch. I received a Kindle Fire for Mother’s Day and I’ve read more in the last seven months than I have in awhile. A gift card to fuel it (see above) could be the perfect addition to get started.
How about something fun for the writer’s desk? Café Press has a mousepad that quotes Chekov—“If I had listened to the critics I’d have died drunk in the gutter.” The “Chekov ‘The Critics’ Mousepad” has a cool-looking black and white picture along with the quote that would be perfect for anyone. There’s nothing like a little inspiration every time you touch the mouse. They also have a “writer’s wall clock” that I love. Each of the numbers from one to twelve reads write, stare, margarita, write, curse, writer’s block, chocolate, start over, edit, revise, proof, and publish. Each of these gifts is available at www.cafepress.com.
Hopes this list helps in the quest for the perfect gift for the writer in your life. Good luck shopping and have a happy holiday.
If anyone has any suggestions for great writer gifts, please let me know. I’m always looking for new writing boys, gadgets and toys.