Gift Guide: Gifts for Writers

19 Dec

Everyone’s doing the mad dash to get gifts right now so I thought I’d offer a few last-minute gift ideas for writers.  Keep in mind this is just a general list and each writer is different, but at least this will give you a starting point if you’re stumped on what to get for your writer friend.

  • Trader Joe’s Gift Card:::  Banish the term “starving artist” from your writer friend’s bio with a gift card to Whole Foods, Starbucks, Chipotle—any chain* that’s easily accessible and open late.  I picked Trader Joe’s because they offer delicious, quick-to-prepare foods on the cheap.  (*Better than a chain is your writer’s favorite neighborhood haunt, but if you don’t know what that is and you suspect your writer friend is too busy and/or nervous – writers like stability – to go traipsing off to some unknown gem, stick to someplace obvious.)
  • Coffee and Tea:::  Stereotypes of the drunken writers prevail, but many writers prefer caffeine.  Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road fueled by coffee (and split pea soup … oh yeah and Benzedrine).  A hot cup of coffee or tea is especially welcome in the cold winter months that writers burrow away and get most of their writing done.  Bonus: add a travel mug that boasts a quote from their favorite author or some specialty chocolate.
  • Nail Polish::: Our fingers might as well look pretty as they clak clak clak against the keyboard.  Obviouls
  • Stationery:::  Even if nowadays we like the convenience of email, we still know the power of the written word.  Agents, editors, performance space hosts, and other authors are all deserving of handwritten thank you notes.  Throw in some stamps and you’re golden.
  • Mix Tape:::  Make a mix CD of instrumental music based along a theme or that is personal to you and the writer.
  • Tickets:::  Tickets to a play, an opera, the symphony, or passes to an art museum will inspire us not just to get out of our pajamas but to embrace different forms of the arts.  Sometimes seeing a beautiful production shakes up our senses and gives us new insight into our work.  Tickets to the movies also work.
  • Class:::  Writers have interests other than writing.  It gets pretty boring to just write about writing.  If you know your writer friend has an outside passion in cooking, yoga, art history, or something else, pay for a class.  One day courses are usually ideal because they’re low commitment.
  • Candles:::  Help set the mood for a night of writing.

Gifts Not to Buy Writers::: Other books—especially how-to-write books–exception: first editions; fancy pens; bookmarks; office supplies (we can write a lot of this off on our tax returns as a business expense).

Writers, what’s the best gift you ever received?

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