Several readers and friends have asked my advice on what to buy a writer. Here are some possibilities any writer would be happy to find on Christmas morning (or any other day of the year).
1) Books about other writers - Get the writers you know a book that's actually about what a writer's life is like.
2) Magazine subscriptions - Most writers love to read but don't actually get a lot of time to sit down and do non-research reading. Magazines are great because they let the writer read things that aren't for work but they offer the reading in bite-sized chunks. Figure out which topics interest the writers you know and order a subscription.
3) Subscription to stock image sites - If you know someone that does online writing or self publishing, he/she probably spends away too much time searching for images that aren't copyrighted to use on posts. Give her a subscription to a stock image site like Jupiter Images or Photos.com and make work life easier than ever.
4) Coffee or Chocolate - Okay, okay, so it's a stereotype to say that all writers drink coffee or eat chocolate. But it's a stereotype for a reason. If you're fairly certain that your writer friend has a minor addiction to one of these vices, be nice and help her indulge it. If a coffee maker is too much of an investment, get her a few bags of coffee beans or a gift card to her local coffee shop. Chocolate bars can be an fairly inexpensive gift.
5) Laptop accessories - Most writers work from a laptop at least now and then. There are all kinds of things that you can get to make the laptop a little nicer. Laptop skins decorate the outside of the laptop. Laptop stands help make writing on a laptop more ergonomic and comfortable. A new laptop bag can protect the item while also giving the writer a better option than the backpack for carrying work around.
6) Massage - Writers sit at desks all day long and type their little hearts out. It's satisfying work but it can be killer on the back, neck and shoulders. Make a writer happy and relaxed with a gift certificate for an hour long massage.
7) Basket of office goodies - Hit the local office store and pick up a bunch of little things. Paper clips and binder clips, pens, folder and files, post-it notes and any other little things that catch your eye can all be compiled together into a basket of goodies that any writer can appreciate. Add in some printer ink if you know what type of printer your writer uses.
8) Fun software - There are different types of software for all different kinds of writing. There is database software for organizing book proposal submissions, design software for decorating writing with images and creativity software with writing prompts. Find something that suits the writer you know and wrap it with a bow.
9) Fun items - One of my favorites is the Writer's Clock (pictured above), available from Linda Rohrbough. For more examples, check out my post from last year.
The best gift that you can give the writers in your life is the gift of reading their work, spreading the word and taking their writing seriously. Merry Christmas everyone!
What gift would you most like to receive? What have been some of your favorite gifts in the past?