Presents for Your Writer

All a writer really needs is paper and some sort of writing instrument. If a story wants to come out, and all a writer has at hand is a stubby red crayon and a napkin, it’s gonna happen.

So, let’s assume the writer in your life already has the basic tools of choice covered–paper and a pen, a typewriter, or a computer with whatever word processing software is most preferred.

What can you offer as a gift to make the writing experience better, easier, or more comfortable?

1. Liquid fuel

You know your writer best. What do they like to drink? Coffee’s usually a good bet. Running out of caffeine in the middle of an intense scene is catastrophic. You could gift them with a pound of their favorite beans or even sign them up for a monthly coffee delivery. Some prefer tea, so you could gift them with a special blend, a whimsical steeper, or a beautiful new teapot. I know a few writers who prefer something more potent for after-hours writing. I’m sure a really nice bottle of their favorite would be much appreciated.

2. Music

I myself write in silence. Most people don’t. I’m often dismayed by the people who post their playlists for each manuscript or talk about what they were listening to when they wrote a story. But I’m in the minority, here. So an iTunes giftcard would make a lot of writers out there happy. To most, music is their muse. Buy your writers some muse bait, and they’ll be in heaven. In the same vein, check out their headphones or earbuds on the sly. Maybe what they have is wearing out or could use an upgrade.

3. Tools

Okay, this one is personal. I do a lot of outlining before I start a new project, and this little baby is actually on my wishlist. I love my index cards, and I love my white board. But this is both. It’s a wipe-off board that actually folds up and fits in your pocket. Seriously. It’s the best of both worlds for me. A whiteboard made of index cards, and it’s small enough to take everywhere. You can get it here: Think Geek Noteboard. I can’t give up my big boards or my index cards, so those are also good bets for a writer who plans things ahead. The related accessories are also nice: magnets, wipeoff pens, white board erasers, colored pens for the index cards, sticky notes. None of those things are good for writers who write by the seat of their pants, though. If you give them planning tools, it will likely freeze them up. Know your writer, folks.

4. Peace and Quiet

Your writer might enjoy the background noise of music. They might be capable of shutting out or ignoring the noise of other customers in a cafe, children running through the house, the neighbor’s loud television coming through the wall–but they’d rather not have to. Give them the gift of quiet time. Writers need time to think, refresh, plot, or just sit in a chair and write without distractions. You can take the kids out for a movie. Give your writer time to go out on their own to a coffee shop or the park. Turn off the television and go do something quiet in your room for a little while. Whatever it takes to give your writer some much-coveted silence they can fill with words and the clicking of fingers on the keyboard. Really want to surprise them with something big? Book them a trip away for a week in an isolated location. Lots of national parks have cabins you can rent for a very reasonable price. You can go too, if you like.

Somebody’s got to do the cooking while your writer becomes one with nature.

Rachel is the author of the urban fantasy Monster Haven series from Carina Press. She believes in magic, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks, and putting things off until stress gets them done faster at the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas.


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