Elizabeth: More Gifts for Writers

10393951_868673773164678_4771891598503378537_nMichille passed along some great gift ideas for Writers and Readers in her post a few weeks ago, and I thought I’d add a few more items to the list for those who are still searching for that certain something for the writer in their life.

Books

Reading is right up there with Writing as an important part of a writer’s life.  It is a great way to broaden horizons, learn new things, mentally refresh, and have some fun.  What better way to get your writer reading than with a gift-certificate for a local bookstore, an eReader, or some actual books.

Need some help selecting the right book?  Micheline recently recommended Nancy Mitford’s 1945 novel, The Pursuit of Love and Lois McMaster Bujold’s Penric’s Mission.  You can find many other suggestions in our “What have you been reading” posts here, here, here, or here.  The internet is also full of suggestions, like The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2016.

Looking for something a little more “educational” for your writer?  How about one of the many titles by blog favorite Chuck Wendig like 500 Ways To Be A Better Writer or Jilly’s recent favorite, Lisa Cron’s Story Genius.

Movies

loveactuallyBesides being entertaining, movies are a great way to inspire creativity and learn a bit about story in the process.  I’ve been doing a big sort out of files and paperwork recently, so I’ve been queuing up of movies to keep me company while I work.  Some are new titles that caught my eye as I surfed my way through the offerings on Netflix like My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, others are old favorites like Love Actually, The Philadelphia Story, and Miracle on 34th Street.  The internet abounds with lists of movies to help you find the perfect title for your writer (or yourself).  Remember, it’s not just entertainment, it’s educational too. 🙂

Comfort & Warmth

Okay, you can’t exactly wrap up a big box of comfort and warmth, but you can give the next best thing.  Some fuzzy socks or cozy slippers (who can write with cold feet), or a blanket to wrap up in when writing on those chilly late nights or early mornings could be just the ticket.    I know I’m far more productive when wrapped up in my favorite writing quilt than when I’m shivering in my office – pretty sure I’m not the only one.  Pajamas, a fleecy robe, or even some comfy sweats would be good gifts as well.

Post-Its and Pens

4621-ssmia_crip_rgb_pI don’t know about other writers, but colorful post-its and an assortment of pens and highlighters are critical to my writing process.  The post-its are very useful during the plotting phase and the multi-color highlighters make it easier for me to see the balance of elements in my story during the revision process.

If your writer prefers writing out stories by hand, rather than on a computer, then a nice pen (ballpoint, fountain, etc.) might be just the thing.  A smooth writing pen that feels good in the hand, along with a pretty journal or notebook, always makes me feel a little more creative than staring at a blank computer screen, especially when I find myself stuck in a story.

Some Technical Support

Has your writer been thinking about trying out some writing software but hasn’t yet taken the plunge?  If so, how about giving a copy of Scrivener, the writing software that many writers swear by.  It’s not too expensive and it’s available for Mac, Windows, and as an app for iPhone and iPad.

A bit of Inspiration

amazingstorygeneratorWho doesn’t need a little something to kick-start their creativity from time to time?  Here on the blog we have Random Word Improv on Fridays as a way to have a little fun, do something different, and get some words on the page.

Along those lines, The Amazing Story Generator provides tons of story prompts for improv sessions and/or to jump start new ideas.  Along those same lines, Santa brought me The Writer’s Toolbox last year, which also provides a variety of tools like “First Sentence” sticks and the “Protagonist Wheel” to help generate ideas and spark creative thinking.

A Living Thing

No, not a puppy, although I did give Santa a hint about that.  I was thinking more along the lines of a plant.  Not only are they nice to look at, they remove toxins from the air, increase oxygen levels, and have even been shown to increase concentration.  If nothing else, they provide a nice focal point when staring off into space and day-dreaming.  If you decide to gift a plant, make sure to choose one that is hardy or low maintenance and can survive potential bouts of writer-ly neglect during marathon writing sessions.

A Delightful Beverage

drink_bookIf your writer is a coffee (or tea) drinker, then how about a gift card to a local coffee-shop?  It’s like a two-in-one gift:  the ability to obtain a delicious beverage (or two) as well as a place to people watch or work on the latest manuscript.

If your writer prefers beverages of a more adult nature, something like Tequila Mockingbird – Cocktails with a Twist along with a set of cocktail glasses might fit the bill.  If you really like them, you could even provide a few ingredients, or make it a group gift and offer to be a taste tester.

So, what else would you put on the list?

6 thoughts on “Elizabeth: More Gifts for Writers

  1. The booze that goes with Tequila Mockingbird. Just kidding. I have a thing about office supplies. I would be ecstatic with a stocking full of those. Maybe cozy stuff for the writer who gets cold when sitting at the computer for long periods – wraps, throws, and finger gloves. Happy holidays!

    • Michille – I have a thing for office supplies too. I think it grew out of my childhood fondness for crayola crayons. A stocking full of pens, post-its, index cards, etc. would be just fine with me, though I’m pretty sure I already own a life-time supply of all of those.

  2. I just gave Tequila Mockingbird to someone! Great minds think alike.

    About story generators: way back when I was a first-year student at university, I had a professor in the communications department who, as a more lucrative sideline than teaching, wrote for TV. He mentioned several shows he worked on, but now I’m only remembering Mission Impossible, his favorite, he said, because there was so little dialogue and all the actors had to do was jiggle wires. In any event, the professor had five-year-old twin daughters. When he was starting a new script, he’d turn to his story generator, a three-ring binder with tabs for “protagonist,” “antagonist,” “conflict,” “complication,” and so on. Each tab had multiple pages, so for example, “protagonist” could be “middle-aged male high school teacher,” or “young female ballerina” or “aging Russian nuclear physicist.” And then he had his twins pick a page out of each tab, and he’d write the story to it. I’ve often been tempted to try that technique.

    • Kay, sounds like that could be a fun thing for us to do on one of our Improv Fridays, though not sure where I might find some five-year-old twins to help 🙂

      • Oooh, making up the tabs might be a fun New Year’s project for Friday — take a couple of weeks (or the whole month) to have us all come up with some protagonist, antagonist, settings and possibly conflict. (Not sure how to make generic conflict, but I’m sure it would be educational to try.) Or maybe take one of our days . . . I’d be willing to give up some Saturdays for the project!

  3. I’m not sure how people give ebooks as gifts, but I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Bujold novellas may be available through Subterranean Press. https://subterraneanpress.com/store/product_detail/penrics_demon They might be sold out, but they might be available elsewhere . . . . I thought I’d wait for an ominbus, but now that I’ve seen the cover of Penric’s Demon, I wish I’d bought the first edition . . . .

    I think we might be getting two puppies before New Year’s . . . . My husband knows how to wreck a writing schedule, LOL, but some things are more important than writing (-:.

    Great list of gifts! I’d also like to add a hot water bottle. Some of the fleece designs for the bottle jacket have been really cute (little fluffy sheep, or kitty faces), and I’ve been using a hot water bottle in the car for the past two mornings to take the edge off the cold.

Let Us Know What You Think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s