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All I want for Christmas

December 9, 2009

Every writer deserves quality tools of the trade; so that realistically, writers block is the only issue with word count, rather than faulty products, dodgy internet connections, cramping hands and fingers or body pain. Writers can be a little difficult to buy for, if you go past the ubiquitous book store voucher, magazine subscriptions or the sappy coffee mugs. I’ve compiled a small list of things which would be gratefully received by a majority of writers.

Despite their best attempts, writers cannot create in a vacuum. Gift them with something that inspires them, instigates creativity or fills them with a memorable experience. Try a new pursuit, hobby or just a plain silly activity and you will be surprised at the characters your writer will meet, but the situations they are likely to use in their next story (Think : go carting, lazerforce or paintball with a group, a cooking class or a cultural event.)

Many writers create directly onto a screen, but there is a certain beauty and style to handwriting ideas and drafts. Why not wrap up a luxuriously bound blank – or lined book and pen? If your writer hasn’t already have one – gift them a fountain pen with coloured ink to choose from. I would recommend a Safari – as they are durable, usable, affordable and funky.

One of the hazards of writing is the stiff necks and backs which then often result in headaches and the like. Gift the writer in your life to a Massage – either a hand made voucher which you deliver or purchase a professional one.

Computer accessories for your writer never go astray. If like many other writers, they like to go out to a cafe or similar to write, perhaps look at a carry case for their laptop – something leather and classic or funky and creative to sit their style.

The gift of time is possibly the most precious of all. If the writer in your life have children (or demanding pets) – offer to take them for an afternoon/ night/ weekend to allow them to focus on their editing and writing. Hand them a voucher announcing that you will take over chores or meal preparation for a specified time – or perhaps vouchers to mow lawn or garden, should that be more appropriate.

A writing retreat; even for an afternoon, is a wonderful experience to focus the intention of the task. Depending on your budget, gift your writer a weekend away from their home – perhaps its a country home you own or its a house swap – or its a quiet B& B you’ve been to. Regardless of vocation most people cannot afford a weekend away and the thought behind organising a retreat would overwhelm the emotions of most who receive it.

How about a muse for their writing space? Would your writer fancy Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde or Shakespeare watching them write? I’m particularly impressed by the Writers Action Figures

If they don’t have one already – get some business cards made for them to announce that they are a writer. Include their blog/ wordpress website address and simply the title of ‘writer’ ( or author if that is more appropriate) There are a number of inexpensive online places to get interesting business cards from – but you can’t go past Vistaprint for their cheap and cheerful selection ( where they are free – you only pay for postage for 500 cards).

Other thoughtful gift ideas for the writer in your life might include:

  • prepaid WIFi cards ( so they can be connected where ever they are!)
  • A pamper pack which includes beverage of their choice ( quality coffee or teas or wines)chocolate and cheeses.
  • Tickets to a writers festival (or promises to look after children/home/pets while they go)

If you have been sent this link by the writer in your life, take it as a HUGE hint there is something here they’d really like under the tree this year. Christmas came a little early for me this year (I have a Mac.. have I told you how much I love Hamish?… yes it has a name….), but I still have a list ready to present to Santa in case he deems I have been good enough for extras!

Do you have any extra ideas you’d like to share as perfect gifts for writers?

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Annie Evett shares little known fact about her is that she would actually like at least one of her front teeth for Xmas. After a motorbike accident years ago she was lucky they were the only permanent damage. Follow her here on Twitter and catch her growing amount of websites and blogs here
2 Comments
  1. December 9, 2009 9:44 am

    A silent, meditation retreat is a gift of time somewhat similar to a writer’s retreat.

    A number of monasteries offer relatively inexpensive day, weekend, and week-long stays that discourage talking. They are generally not invested in converting visitors and are welcoming places.

    These retreats are not specifically for writers and may not produce any brilliant work while you’re there. But such a change of pace can be very stimulating and may prove productive in a longer term.

    A 2005 article on this in New York Times can be found here:
    http://travel.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/travel/20silent.html

  2. December 9, 2009 11:03 am

    Some great ideas. Selfishly, I want the massage!

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