I was at the local craft store this weekend to pick up something for a project I was working on. They didn’t have what I was looking for, but it all turned out okay since once I got home I found that I actually already had what I needed, it had just gotten put away in the wrong place.
Perhaps there is such a thing as too tidy.
It’s lucky that I wasn’t planning to stock up on holiday items at the store, however, since deep-discounts on all things Christmas were well underway on the day I was there. The shelves made me think of the food dish after the puppy has eaten – licked clean and knocked over to make sure there was nothing left underneath.
Fortunately, if you’re looking for gift ideas for that special writer on your list you don’t have to brave the craft store, or even leave the house. Instead, why not consider one of the non-traditional items listed below?
No, I don’t mean one of those devices that stops time, although that would definitely come in handy. As you’ve probably heard us all say here one the blog at one time or another, it can be challenging to find the actual time to write, especially when balancing other priorities like full-time jobs, families, eating, and sleeping. You can’t add more hours in the day, but you could offer to take care of a task that could help free up some time for your writer. How about offering an afternoon of babysitting or dog-walking. Or, if your writer has neither dogs nor kids, how about preparing and delivering dinner or performing some other needed task. I’m sure you get the idea.
Writing can be a very solitary pursuit, if you don’t count the Girls in the Basement, and sometimes a writer might actually want to talk to someone other than themselves or their characters. Whether it’s someone to brainstorm with, someone to talk through a story problem with, or just a chance for a little human interaction, your company could be a nice gift. You could set up a periodic coffee or lunch meetup, make plans to go out walking together (exercise bonus for this one), or give a gift certificate good for a few “call me anytime” sessions. Sometimes the best gift can be a friendly ear.
No, I don’t mean those plaques with sayings you can find just about everywhere – though they are delightful. I was thinking more along the lines of doing something together to fill the creative well. A movie, a show, a day-trip to an interesting spot nearby, an art project – something fun or a new experience that can be a nice break from writing and, if you’re really lucky, something that inspires some writing afterwards.
If none of those suggestions are your catnip, there are always the tried and true recommendations. I’ve yet to meet a writer who ever said “I have too many notebooks” or one who didn’t have a fondness for Post-It notes, colored pens, highlighters, and the like. Most also have a fondness for some kind of beverage, whether it’s coffee, special teas, a favorite wine, or some other adult beverage. For those who write in the chilly early morning or late-night hours, fuzzy slippers, cozy socks, or even a nice fleecy wrap might be appreciated.
Still undecided? Head out to the web and search for “gifts for writers”. You’re bound to find just the right idea – or loose several hours following random links – one or the other.
What great gift ideas, Elizabeth! I think I should give the gift of time to my cousin for her birthday. She’s not a writer, but she sure does need more time. And it’s always great to give of ourselves, rather than purchase something (although I’m always happy to get bright and shiny stuff, too).
Glad you liked the ideas Kay. I love presents too, but more and more I look around and think, “I do *not* need any more stuff!” We’ve been slowly moving toward gifts that are “doing things together” types of things, rather than stuff. It has been working pretty well and there’s nothing that needs to be put away afterward, so that’s a plus. On the downside, at this rate I’ll never be able to use up all that gift-wrap I had to buy when my son was fundraising in school 🙂
I’m with you on the “don’t need any more stuff.” I’ve asked my husband for time away. The time I spent in England was so precious and I was so productive. I could use a lot more of that. He’d rather us spend time together, with me not working, but unfortunately that doesn’t get the book finished.
When all else fails, I can always use highlighters. Any kind of office supply product is as precious as a gem to me. I’ll find a use for it!
I’m starting to think I’m going to need a 12-step program for highlighters and Post-Its pretty soon. Or a bigger office.
On the time away, maybe you could get your husband on-board with a weekend away here and there. Maybe not as good as a week in England, but still could be some solid productive time, and then you could have family time after.
My husband is very supportive and is totally on board with me having a weekend away. Our challenge is timing. He travels so much, and with the activities that the kids have, school breaks, family visits, it’s really hard to find a time that works for all of us. But we will endeavor!
I’m with Justine, time is the crucial factor for me. I like cute writer-y gifts, too, but someone else taking care of household chores, cooking, laundry, etc, would add time to my writing day. I realized during NaNo that I just can’t do all my regular household stuff in addition to my day job AND write.
Great gift ideas!
Consumables are a great gift for almost anyone! I was looking up some book-shaped cookies to go with all that tea and coffee, when I found that there’s a huge market of book cookie cutters — open, stacked and otherwise. LOL! I think it’s a much nicer gift for a busy writer to bake them some cookies . . . however, maybe the meditative process of making shaped cookies can spur some writers into creating great things on paper!
And . . . look at these! Chaucer cookie cutters! Who would have thought?? http://www.literallydarling.com/blog/2015/12/18/literary-christmas-cookies/
Those cookie cutters are great, Michaeline. I think I’m partial to the Jane Austen cutter, though mostly I now just want to have a cookie. LOL.
LOL, I’m mostly in the “cookie, now, please” camp, too. But I’m fond of the open books — could write all sorts of things in those . . . well, if I had any skill with a tube of frosting. I thought the Jane Austen ones were quite good, too.