Everyone knows that no matter what religion a writer follows, all she wants for Christmas is a goddamn breakthrough in the story, and six to 12 hours of perfect flow in which to write it. Good luck wrapping that and getting it under the Christmas tree.
I took a look at several “Christmas gifts for writers” lists, and found some interesting results. Nobody seems to recommend fancy stuff like writing programs. I don’t know if those are too personal to be given as gifts, or if they are too expensive.
But themes ran through several lists: give books. I think most writers like having books around, even if they hardly have time to read them anymore. It’s a concrete reminder of the goal. Another common refrain was: give them something that gets them out of the house. Restaurant gift cards, manicures, yoga classes, concert tickets. Good ideas, if you can pry your writer from behind his desk.
My favorite lists were by real writers who . . . well, they were writers, and let the fantastic creep into their lists. The list tells a story.
Chuck Wendig seemed to start running out of gift ideas at item 10 . . . and he started mixing in random ideas. I have to say, I love items 13 and 14: Neil Gaiman’s magic gazebo is so cool. Or better yet, just give me Neil Gaiman for Christmas. I’ll thumb-wrestle you for him, Chuck.
Finally, this list from the Atlantic was such a lot of fun. Practical gifts mixed in with the astounding. Where is the writer who wouldn’t like a jet-pack or her own island? Well, in theory, at least? Very few writers look like they have the physical stamina to control a jet-pack. (-: But an island of my own? Move over, Virginia Woolf.
Have a happy holiday season! And may you all get and give good stories this year!