So you have a writer in your life. I’m sorry.
With the holidays here, you’re probably trying to figure out what to give this crazy creature of creativity, right? Never fear – I have a few ideas for any budget, and links to where you can find them. Oh boy, did I just make your life easier.
Free (or close to it) Gifts
Offer to babysit the kids, do housework, yard-work or run errands so your writer can spend more time writing.
Clip interesting articles and photos from old magazines or newspapers, jot down strange bits of conversation you overhear at work, motivational quotes or your own scribbles of encouragement. Organize it in a binder as a source of inspiration.
This idea depends on the openness of your writer. Writing is a lonely business. Knowing you are excited about their story in progress could prove very motivational. For example, when I was working on a YA fantasy, a friend of mine grabbed the latest teen magazine and matched up celeb photos with characters in my story. Of course, she cast herself as one of the characters. I still laugh about it years later. Are you artistic? You could help draw the landscape, act out dialogue… whatever shows that you are interested and excited to talk about the work in progress.
If they write fiction, leave a comment below for a chance to win a free copy of GMC for them. Then, print out several copies of gmc template. (One for each character. If you don’t know how many characters your writer has, start with a healthy dozen worksheets.) Tip: If you have a way to laminate the worksheet, do it. It makes them completely reusable. The worksheet is designed to use mini post-it notes.
Gifts Under $10
Yes, I know I’ve already referenced these little treasures, but tons of writers use these as a plotting tool. They stick to walls and move around easily. While I use the mini cubes for my GMC worksheets, I use the larger sizes for outlining my plot.
From editing to marking up reference books, highlighters are an essential tool. Fine point is nice for underlining, so it doesn’t smear the text ink.
A pen should flow as freely as your writer’s creativity. Nothing is more frustrating than losing a good bit of dialogue because every pen in the house is refusing to cooperate.
Inspiration strikes at odd times, so get several of these to stash in a jacket pocket, the car, the bathroom, the kitchen…
Gifts Under $20
Sometimes, getting away from the house is the best way to defeat writer’s block. A portable desk like this will keep your writer’s lap and CPU from overheating, no matter if they’re sitting on the bed, by the lake or in the elementary school parking lot.
Does your writer complain about sore hands after a day of typing? Chances are these gloves will help relieve the aches associated with a long day of fleshing out a story.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this book is a must-have for fiction writers. You can find the Kindle edition here, or you can enter to win a free paperback version by leaving a comment below.
Another must-have for all writers or dramatists.
There is a new version of this book every year, with the most up-to-date information on where to submit writing to make money. No, it’s not always about the art. (Gasp!) Writers want to make money, too.
Gifts that Shoot for the Moon
(Expensive gifts that might earn you undying love and appreciation)
Travel to the setting
Experiencing the sights, sounds, smell, taste and feel of a setting can do wonders for the writing. If there is a way to get your writer to their story setting, it’s sure to be an experience they’ll never forget. Really, because they’ll immortalize the experience in writing.
If that’s not a possibility, send them away for a writing retreat – paid hotel or B&B, complete with takeout menus for nearby restaurants. Quiet solitude in a place where they can’t hear the kids or see the dirty dishes or mountains of laundry waiting to be folded… ah… I’m drooling.
What ideas to you have? Leave a comment below. Who knows? You might be saving the sanity of some unfortunate writer’s spouse. Plus, you’ll get a chance to win a free copy of GMC by Debra Dixon! Get your comment in by midnight on December 13th, and I’ll announce the winner soon after.